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Tokyo Fashion and Kimoken: Vintage and Independent Styles in Koenji

Tokyo Fashion and Kimoken: Vintage and Independent Styles in Koenji

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Images of fashion in Tokyo conjures up exquisite luxury fashion in Ginza to the unique fashion scene of Harajuku and the various fashion trends which enlighten this amazing part of Tokyo. Refined and elegant fashion can be found throughout many parts of this buzzing city and clearly the fashion districts of Aoyama, Ginza, Ebisu and Omotesando spring to mind quickly. Likewise Daikanyama, Ikebukuro, Jiyugaoka, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Yurakucho and many other districts are awash with amazing brands. However, like all powerful fashion cities in the world you also have a vibrant vintage scene and this notably applies to Koenji and other districts like Shimokitazawa.

Shibuya 109, Laforet Harajuku and Marui One are famous department stores for fashion in Tokyo. Recently, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara) opened up for business and this new vibrant shopping plaza will enhance Omotesando Hills which is blessed with amazing boutiques throughout the entire shopping mall. However, Koenji is a million miles away from these iconic stores and recent developments which are altering the fashion landscape in places like Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya.

One amazing expert who knows about the vibrant vintage fashion scene and other aspects of Koenji is Kimoken (Kenta Kimoto). Kimoken (http://kimoken.exblog.jp/) is an individual who adores fashion and understands the importance of creativity, individualism and the need to discover the “real self.” Therefore, he is constantly updating his websites in order to show “real fashion” connected with the independent vibes of Koenji.

Kimoken (http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/) provides “real street images” whereby the viewer can really understand the unique fashion angles of this part of Tokyo. He also recommends Lactose Intoler-Art (http://lactoseintolerart.tumblr.com/) which is a very interesting website to visit. Obviously, with Kimoken highlighting this creative website then you know immediately that it will have many unique angles.

In a past article about Kimoken by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “The reason why Koenji appeals to Kimoken so much is based on the vintage scene, individualism, creativity, fresh designers, the fusion of the past with the vibrancy of youth, the special feel of the place, acceptance of diversity, and because you have no boundaries. Therefore, if you want to visit a fashion district with a unique vibe then Koenji is a must place to visit. Also, the Kita-Kore building in this district is gaining in awareness because of the fashion buzz inside.

A partial list of fashion companies to visit in Koenji applies to the Mad Tea Party, Spank!, Safari, Yuri, Kiki, Jinjer, dai-dai, Chiruru, Peep Cheep, Zool, Yakusoku, Kuro Benz, Bernet, Sokkyou, Hoy-Hoy Station, Now Or Never, UK Extra, Re’all, Hikari, Mouse, , Vivid, Cord, and Pheb. This is only a partial list. Therefore, it is important to take your time in Koenji in order to seek out other companies which enrich this unique fashion district.

The beauty of the fashion scene in Tokyo is that it is so diverse. Also, individuals are literally spoilt for choice because you have so many vibrant districts to visit. Likewise, the contrasting reality of Aoyama and Koenji are a million miles apart. After all, Koenji highlights the raw edge of Tokyo fashion compared with Aoyama which focuses on the crème de la crème of fashion. Despite this, it is this collective diversity which really makes Tokyo tick and for vintage lovers and people who adore independent fashion vibes, then Koenji provides this.

The powerful favorite phrase of Kimoken also works perfectly with Koenji. He states that he loves the phraseWara e ba wara e. Ware ga nasu koto ha ware nomi zo shiru” (If you want to laugh at me, then do it. What I do is known only by myself). This extremely poignant comment says much about the real vibes of Koenji. After all, in Koenji it is clear that for fashion lovers who flock to this part of Tokyo, that the fashion angle is a way of life. Therefore, the favorite phrase of Kimoken fits in perfectly with the vintage and independent angle of this fashion district.

ALL  IMAGES BELONG TO KIMOKEN 

https://twitter.com/kimoken1979 – Follow Kimoken on twitter 

http://kimoken.exblog.jp/ Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/ Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://www.pheb.jp/ and Pheb

http://bernet.shop-pro.jp/ Bernet

http://chiruru.net/ Chiruru

http://ameblo.jp/cord1006/ Cord

http://daidaikoenji.blog56.fc2.com/ dai-dai

http://hoyhoy.shop-pro.jp/ Hoy-Hoy Station

http://ameblo.jp/greenlight-shoes/ Jinjer

http://kiki-kiki.ocnk.net/ Kiki

http://yaplog.jp/clobenz/ Kuro Benz

http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/ Mad Tea Party

http://ameblo.jp/mikamithemouse Mouse

http://usedclothingnowornever.blogspot.com/ Now Or Never

http://www.peepcheep.com/ Peep Cheep

http://ameblo.jp/realstep2/ Re’all

http://e-safari.co.jp/ Safari

http://www.sokkyou.net/ Sokkyou

http://spankworld.jp/ Spank!

http://uk-extra.com/ UK Extra

http://www.vivid-web.jp/ Vivid

http://www.e-yuri.jp/Page/TOP Yuri

http://zool.jp/ Zool

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: Kimoken and Koenji fashion in vibrant Tokyo

Tokyo fashion: Kimoken and Koenji fashion in vibrant Tokyo

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kimoken (http://kimoken.exblog.jp/) highlights the fashion district of Koenji in Tokyo and this can be seen by the images he takes and the passion of his love of fashion. The different vibes of Koenji are gradually making waves in the media in Tokyo because the international press is mainly focused on Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. However, in Koenji you have a different side of fashion and many upcoming designers are focused on this district in Tokyo because of many factors. Also, the vintage angle is exceptional in Koenji and this factor enables individual styles to flourish.

The individual Kimoken (Kenta Kimoto) was born in 1979 and this year was very revolutionary in the international arena. This applies to the Iranian Revolution and other global events. However, the “revolution” within Kimoken would turn out to be fashion and the independent spirit of Koenji suits his philosophy.

Kimoken (http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/stated that his favorite phrase is “Wara e ba wara e. Ware ga nasu koto ha ware nomi zo shiru” (If you want to laugh at me, then do it. What I do is known only by myself). This is a very powerful phrase and the daring fashion styles of fashion in Koenji, Harajuku, Shibuya, and so forth, which can often be viewed, suits this phrase. After all, only the individual knows the “real self” and why should people be constrained by others?  Therefore, this phrase is both enlightening and based on inner confidence.

If you want to connect this phrase with fashion in Tokyo then the fashion scene of Koenji flows naturally. Kimoken, therefore, takes photos of the daring fashion scene of Koenji which can be viewed at the above websites which have already been highlighted.

A partial list of vintage fashion companies in Koenji applies to Spank!, Yuri, Safari, Zool, Yakusoku, Bernet, Kuro Benz, Peep Cheep, Kiki, Jinjer, dai-dai, Chiruru, Sokkyou, Hikari, Mad Tea Party, Mouse, and Pheb, Vivid, Hoy-Hoy Station, Now Or Never, UK Extra, Re’all, and many others like Cord. This list is not the complete list of vintage fashion companies in Koenji therefore it is important to browse around in this fashion district. Also, the Kita-Kore building is growing in reputation and you have a special buzz in this place.

The beauty of the websites of Kimoken is that you can not only see his passion of fashion but you can feel the sheer vibrancy of the area he focuses on.  Kimoken highlights the freshness of fashion in Koenji and he does this with an individualistic style. Also, unlike some fashion websites which have a high commercial aspect the beauty of Kimoken and his thinking is that fashion is the central theme.

Kimoken was born in the prefecture of Ishikawa and he graduated at Osaka Bunka Fukushoku Gakuin in 2000. This fashion institution focuses on individuals to express their unique fashion styles and thinking. Also, the fashion scene in Osaka in places like Umeda and Namba, and other districts, is very vibrant. Therefore, Koenji fashion in Tokyo and the Osaka Bunka Fukushoku Gakuin have many similar characteristics because individualism, expression, freedom of thought, and so forth, are essential aspects of both Koenji and this fashion institution which is highly acclaimed.

After Kimoken finished his studies he became a DJ in the Kansai area but in 2005 he decided on a fresh break and moved to Tokyo. While being based in Tokyo he works and connects with people in various fields. This applies to movie directors, actors, comedians, street-performers and script writers. At present Kimoken primarily works as a scriptwriter where creativity is needed. However, other important areas apply to performing and continuously taking photos of the fashion scene in Tokyo and this notably applies to Koenji.

To understand the importance of fashion to Kimoken and why he is so passionate about this area, then you have to turn the clock back. This applies to the 1990s when he was a junior high school student because it was this period of his life when fashion became an important aspect to Kimoken.

At first he tried many different styles but he couldn’t find anything which expressed himself. However, this experience and searching around for the right fashion style for Kimoken was a valuable time for him because it broadened his understanding of fashion and highlighted how important it was to his life. Therefore, Kimoken now looks back at this time with fondness because it set him up on the future path that he would take.

In the 1990s he liked the 60’s Mod fashion which hit Japan in the 1970s and he connects this with why he adores the fashion of Koenji in Tokyo. After all, Koenji in Tokyo is famous for vintage fashion. Given this, Kimoken places Koenji to be number one for fashion in Tokyo based on the fashion scene which he is passionate about.

Kimoken’s favorite shop is the (http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/) Mad Tea Party and(http://lactoseintolerart.tumblr.com/Lactose Intoler-Art is highly respected by him because of the freshness of this website which focuses on creativity. Also, the fashion area he clicks with the most is the fashion style of 15 years ago and according to Kimoken the fashion scene in Koenji is based on many aspects. This notably applies to the vintage scene, up and coming designers in Tokyo, a fusion of the old mixed with the vibrant energy of youth and young adults, individualism, and where the only boundary is the “self.”

The style of Kimoken when feeling at his best applies to a shirt made from gauze, bell-button pants, and an opera hat to compliment everything.

If you want to view the vibes of Koenji then the Kimoken websites below are a must because they highlight the freshness of this fashion district. Not only this, the individual taking the images is passionate about fashion and you can feel his unique style and thinking within the images he takes.

ALL IMAGES IN THIS ARTICLE BELONG TO KIMOKEN

http://kimoken.exblog.jp / Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/ Kimoken (fashion images and news)

I have produced online-comics.(Fashion & LoveStory comics)
http://ameblo.jp/kajipan2011/

Kimoken highlights this website

http://lactoseintolerart.tumblr.com/

Lactose Intoler-Art

Boutiques in Koenji

http://www.pheb.jp/ and Pheb

http://bernet.shop-pro.jp/ Bernet

http://chiruru.net/ Chiruru

http://ameblo.jp/cord1006/ Cord

http://daidaikoenji.blog56.fc2.com/ dai-dai

http://hoyhoy.shop-pro.jp/ Hoy-Hoy Station

http://ameblo.jp/greenlight-shoes/ Jinjer

http://kiki-kiki.ocnk.net/ Kiki

http://yaplog.jp/clobenz/ Kuro Benz

http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/ Mad Tea Party

http://ameblo.jp/mikamithemouse Mouse

http://usedclothingnowornever.blogspot.com/ Now Or Never

http://www.peepcheep.com/ Peep Cheep

http://ameblo.jp/realstep2/ Re’all

http://e-safari.co.jp/ Safari

http://www.sokkyou.net/ Sokkyou

http://spankworld.jp/ Spank!

http://uk-extra.com/ UK Extra

http://www.vivid-web.jp/ Vivid

http://www.e-yuri.jp/Page/TOP Yuri

http://zool.jp/ Zool

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion in Koenji: vintage fashion in this part of Tokyo

Tokyo fashion in Koenji: vintage fashion in this part of Tokyo

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The ultra-modernity of Omotesando Hills with stunning boutiques is the usual image of fashion in Tokyo along with kawaii fashion in Shibuya and Harajuku. Then you have exquisite and refined fashion in Aoyama, Omotesando, Ginza, Ebisu, Yurakucho, and in many other parts of Tokyo. Meanwhile Shibuya is famous for the younger generation and Shibuya 109 is a rite of passage for many young Tokyoites and people who visit this ultra-modern city. While the individualism of Harajuku and kawaii culture is a huge pulling power. This notably applies to the iconic shopping mall called Laforet Harajuku and the fashion company 6%DOKIDOKI which provides a glimpse of the vitality of this fashion district. Also, other powerhouse fashion districts like Shinjuku and Ikebukuro appeal to fashion lovers and Marui One in Shinjuku is also a must place to visit if you adore Tokyo fashion.

Outside the main shopping districts you have elegant fashion areas like Jiyugaoka, Shimokitazawa, Daikanyama, and many other places like Nakameguro. However, in Koenji the fashion vibe is a million miles away from Marui One in Shinjuku, Shibuya 109, Omotesando Hills, and Laforet Harajuku. This is because Koenji is famous for vintage fashion. Therefore, if this is your cup of tea then clearly a visit to this district in Tokyo is a must.

In Koenji you won’t find the trendy buzz of Harajuku and the international appeal of this major fashion district in Tokyo. Nor like in Ginza you won’t see the crème de la crème of exquisite Japanese and international brands which are famous throughout the world. You also won’t find an area which is ultra-modern within the train station and connected like the high octane nature of fashion in Ikebukuro which can be found within the train station complex. This notably applies to Tobu Department Store, Lumine, Seibu Department Store, and Esola. Instead, Koenji provides a “bread and butter” part of Tokyo whereby everyday life can be witnessed.

However, while Koenji may lack the gracefulness of the above named parts of Tokyo and the ultra-modern architecture of sophisticated boutiques in Aoyama, Ginza, and Omotesando; the district is still a fashion hub in its own right when it comes to vintage fashion. Therefore, if you adore vintage fashion then Koenji is the place to visit and search around the many stores in this district. Not only this, you can feel the vibe of fashion lovers who wouldn’t swap Koenji for any other fashion district because of its uniqueness.

Also, if you want to view the latest photoshttp://kimoken.exblog.jp/ of daring fashion then the Kimoken website is the place to visit. This website shows a different side to Tokyo fashion and it is fresh, individualistic, well maintained, and an amazing website to visit when it comes to visual images of the many styles of Tokyo fashion. Also, unlike some other fashion websites in Tokyo which are purely commercial, you can feel the natural passion of Kimoken website  (http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/).

It is difficult to state how many vintage fashion shops are based in Koenji but the number is at least around seventy to eighty. This in itself shows the power of vintage fashion in this part of Tokyo.

A partial list of vintage fashion companies in Koenji applies to Spank!, Safari, Yuri, Kuro Benz, Peep Cheep, Zool, Yakusoku, Bernet, Kiki, Jinjer, dai-dai, Chiruru, Sokkyou, Hikari, Mad Tea Party, Mouse, and Pheb, Vivid, Hoy-Hoy Station, Now Or Never, UK Extra, Re’all, and many others like Cord. Of course you have many other vintage fashion stores but this list is a guide to some of the stores in Koenji.

Of course each vintage fashion shop will cater for different areas. For example Peep Cheep focuses on 1960s clothing; Bernet is a must for ladies who adore leather bags; Re’all is great for shoes and stylish vintage jumpers from Ralph Lauren; therefore, the beauty of Koenji is that you have to discover these special vintage shops for yourself.

The Kita-Kore building in Koenji is also attracting growing awareness even in parts of the mainstream press despite being far from the glitzy world of Harajuku and kawaii culture. Therefore, if you want to feel the spirit of something new and daring a visit to this building is essential. Also, it is ridiculous for individuals to put labels on the Kita-Kore building like “London Camden” in its heyday before this part of London became rather stale. In truth, Kita-Kore is “itself” and this means free, experimental, vibrant, and pushing new boundaries when it comes to design and other essential areas.

Simply put, if you adore vintage fashion then Koenji will certainly be your cup of tea!

http://kimoken.exblog.jp/  Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/ Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://www.pheb.jp/ and Pheb

http://bernet.shop-pro.jp/ Bernet

http://chiruru.net/ Chiruru

http://ameblo.jp/cord1006/ Cord

http://daidaikoenji.blog56.fc2.com/ dai-dai

http://hoyhoy.shop-pro.jp/ Hoy-Hoy Station

http://ameblo.jp/greenlight-shoes/ Jinjer

http://kiki-kiki.ocnk.net/ Kiki

http://yaplog.jp/clobenz/ Kuro Benz

http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/ Mad Tea Party

http://ameblo.jp/mikamithemouse Mouse

http://usedclothingnowornever.blogspot.com/ Now Or Never

http://www.peepcheep.com/ Peep Cheep

http://ameblo.jp/realstep2/ Re’all

http://e-safari.co.jp/ Safari

http://www.sokkyou.net/ Sokkyou

http://spankworld.jp/  Spank!

http://uk-extra.com/ UK Extra

http://www.vivid-web.jp/ Vivid

http://www.e-yuri.jp/Page/TOP Yuri

http://zool.jp/  Zool

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Japan

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
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