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Tokyo fashion: exquisite fashion districts and diversity of boutiques

Tokyo fashion: exquisite fashion districts and diversity of boutiques

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Fashion in Tokyo is simply dynamic and the creative buzz you can feel in this ultra-modern city is unbelievable. All major capital cities and famous cities will have famous fashion districts and London, Milan, New York, Paris, and Rome run of the tongue when thinking about fashion. However, the diversity of fashion in Tokyo and the numerous fashion districts is what makes this city tick when it comes to exquisite boutiques.

Famous international fashion streets with huge reputations based on sublime fashion applies to Fifth Avenue (New York), Avenue Montaigne (Paris), Bond Street (London), Via Montenapoleone (Milan), Bahnhofstrasse (Zurich), P.C. Hooftstraat (Amsterdam), Stroget (Copenhagen), Rodeo Drive (Los. Angeles) and Calle Serrano (Madrid). 

At the same time you have fantastic fashion in other major cities in Japan and Osaka is extremely trendy. This notably applies to the exquisite boutiques in Umeda and in Namba you have a lovely mix of high fashion and independent fashion. Meanwhile Kobe is extremely trendy and you have a lovely buzz in this city.

However, what makes Tokyo so special is the sheer size of fashion and the amount of districts you have in this fabulous city which caters for different trends and styles. Therefore, you are spoilt for choice because you have extremely sophisticated districts like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Roppongi Hills, and Yurakucho. Alternatively, you have a mixture of sophisticated fashion, independent boutiques and the buzzing nature of Ikebukuro, Shibuya, and Shinjuku and elegant areas like Ebisu.

 

International wise you will have a wide mix of famous fashion districts which appeal to individuals. However, without a shadow of a doubt Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya and Shinjuku will be the most famous internationally but it is the collective which really makes fashion so special and unique in Tokyo.

Therefore, you have smaller suburbs which are brimming with elegant boutiques and their own styles. This applies to Daikanyama, Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Shimo Kitazawa, Naka Meguro and other trendy places which provide a different ambience and vibe. These smaller districts provide a special feel because the sheer number of fashion areas in Tokyo is amazing. Also, you have other famous areas in Tokyo like Ueno and Odaiba which are fantastic for fashion and tourism is also a major theme in both places for very different reasons.

Jiyugaoka and Daikanyama are extremely popular and the feel in both places is special because you have so many back streets and the energy can be felt when browsing around. In Jiyugaoka the elegant boutiques, café bars, beauticians, quaint shops, famous cake shops (Dalloyau, Roll Ya Cake and Sweets Forest), restaurants, and other factors, all adds up to a lovely suburb which is blessed with stunning fashion.

In Aoyama and Omotesando you have sophisticated fashion in abundance and both places are chic and stylish. Therefore, you have famous international and Japanese boutiques in both districts which share the same space in trendsetting Tokyo.

In Aoyama you will find sublime boutiques in abundance and this applies to Comme des Garcons, Gucci, Prada, Donna Karan, Loveless, Michael Kors, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Vivienne Westwood, A Bathing Ape, Jil Sander, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Stella McCartney, Cynthia Rowley, Paul Smith, Helmut Lang, Mark Jacobs, Tsumori Chisato, Costume National, Carbane de Zucca, Hanae Mori, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Design Works, Frapbois, and many others like Deuxieme Classe.

Meanwhile in Omotesando you have famous international and Japanese brands and both Aoyama and Omotesando, just like Ginza and Yurakucho, are exclusive areas for fashion. In Omotesando Hills which is a sublime fashion store you have exquisite companies like Adore, Anterpima, Apartment Department, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, iliann loeb, Kiwa Sylphy, Martinique Le Conte, Milly, Oriental News, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro), Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Tiara, Tracy Reese, Yves Saint Laurent, Zara, and other exquisite boutiques.

In another article about Tokyo fashion by Modern Tokyo Times it was commented that “The energy of exquisite fashion and individualistic fashion designers can be felt through the entire area which links Aoyama, Omotesando, Harajuku and Shibuya.  In many ways Omotesando represents all the beauty of this area because it links high quality fashion companies with independent and stylish boutiques and in the backstreets you can find street fashion.”

For the younger generation internationally the buzzing areas of Harajuku and Shibuya are extremely famous, while in Tokyo it is clear that Ikebukuro is buzzing with students, teenagers and people of all age groups. However, Harajuku and Shibuya are internationally famous and these districts throng with the latest trends.

Sebastian Masuda the designer and owner of 6%DOKIDOKI is iconic because of kawaii culture and “chaotic punk.” The younger generation who adore fashion in Barcelona, London, Madrid, Paris, and other famous cities, are fascinated by kawaii culture, Dolly-kei, Visual-kei, Lolita fashion, and other trends which keep on changing the scene in Tokyo.

Therefore, companies like 6%DOKIDOKI, Grimoire, Candy, Macaronic, Metamorphose temps de fille, and many others, are followed avidly by fashion conscious youth and young adults all over the world. At the same time you have iconic stores like Laforet Harajuku and Shibuya 109

In a past article it was stated that “Internationally famous designers like Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto provided a strong image for Japanese fashion and their energy was noticeable in the 1980s and onwards.  Yet younger designers and famous individuals are changing the evolving fashion scene and Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Sebastian Masuda, Rei Kawakubo, Nobu Kitamura, Junya Watanabe, Takashi Aoki, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Kuniko Kato, Chiharu Kikuchi, and others, are all maintaining the freshness of fashion in Japan alongside companies like Grimoire and Candy.”

The sheer diversity of fashion districts, boutiques, designers, thinking, and the ongoing trends which come and go, alongside internationally famous and Japanese boutiques is what makes Tokyo fashion so special.

Issey Miyake Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kawakubo, did so much to put Japan on the map internationally when it came to fashion. Then other generations have followed with their own thinking and styles and designers like Sebastian Masuda have reached out and maintained the rich vitality of fashion in Japan.

Fashion means many things to different people but at its heart it isn’t about famous individuals despite the limelight being hogged by a selective crowd. The heart of fashion belongs to new vibes, new trends, fresh thinking, relating to the times, and alongside this you will have continuity but freshness within exquisite brands. This collectively, and a host of other factors, is what makes fashion so powerful and full of energy.

Therefore, in Tokyo you will find this energy throughout the city and for fashion writers at Modern Tokyo Times it is the smaller fashion districts like Jiyugaoka, Shimo-Kitazawa, Daikanyama, Kichijoji, Naka-Meguro and other places like Nakano, which creates the uniqueness of Tokyo.

Of course the spark of fashion and Tokyo’s international appeal is based rightly on fantastic fashion districts, which include Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. However, when all the smaller fashion districts are included with more famous districts within Tokyo like Ikebukuro, Ebisu and Yurakucho; then collectively this is “the icing on top of the cake” and this is why Tokyo is unique when it comes to international fashion.

The contrasting styles between Japanese, North American, and European fashion, comes alive in Tokyo. Alongside this are established companies and new trends and brands which maintain such freshness and vitality. In Tokyo you are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to fashion districts, new styles, exquisite boutiques, independent boutiques and the sheer diversity of this mega-fashion city.

Simply put, Tokyo is “a real pearl” when it comes to fashion. Therefore, international fashion lovers have so many places to visit and multitudes of boutiques and styles to pick from in exquisite and trendy Tokyo. 

Famous stores

http://www.laforet.ne.jp/floor_guide/floor_1f_e.html  Harajuku Laforet

http://www.isetan.co.jp/icm2/jsp/store/shinjuku/info/iclub/index.jsp Isetan

http://info.keionet.com/foreign/index.html Keio Department Store

http://www.lumine.ne.jp/shinjuku/  Lumine

http://109guide.com/top_f.html Shibuya 109

http://www.maruione.jp/en  Marui

http://www.shinjuku-mylord.com/ Mylord

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/  Omotesando Hills Shopping Mall

http://www.parco.co.jp/customer/  PARCO

http://www.takashimaya.co.jp/shinjuku/store_information/ Takashimaya

http://www.japan-hotels.ws/tokyo/aoyama/shopping.htm Where to shop in Aoyama

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3011.html   Information about Shinjuku

Boutiques in Tokyo

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

http://www.ap-dp.com/

www.bape.com/   

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

http://www.brooksbrothers.co.jp/fleece/index.html

http://candy-nippon.com/  

http://www.commedesgarcons.org/

http://www.10corsocomo.com/  

http://www.cynthiarowley.com/

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (6%DOKIDOKI website)

http://www.donnakaran.com/

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.frapbois.jp/

http://www.gucci.com/us/home

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://www.incontro.co.jp/

http://www.isseymiyake.com/en/

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/

http://www.leclaireur.com/en/

http://www.lov-lab.com/  

http://www.maccosmetics.co.jp/

http://www.macaronic.jp/    

http://www.melrose.co.jp/martinique/index.html

http://www.melrose.co.jp/tiara/

http://www.merveilleh.co.jp/

http://www.metamorphose.gr.jp/english/

http://ameblo.jp/oriental-news-omotesando/

http://www.pasdedeux.co.jp/

http://www.paulsmith.co.jp/

http://www.prada.com/

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/   (Sebastian Masuda)

http://www.smackyglam.com/   

http://www.stellamccartney.com/default/stores/Tokyo

http://store.costumenational.com/

http://www.tracyreese.com   

http://www.tsumorichisato.com/index.html

http://www.viviennewestwood.co.uk/

http://yaplog.jp/grimoire-blog/  

http://www.yohjiyamamoto.co.jp/

http://www.zucca.cc/index.html

http://6girls.jugem.jp/   

Images of fashion in Tokyo

http://www.fashion-j.com/E/trend/201010.html

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://www.metrocity.nl/tokyo/streetfashion/harajuku-fashion/     

http://tokyofashion.com/candy-sister-fashion-shibuya/   

Past articles

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/10/14/tokyo-fashion-omotesando-hills-and-adorable-fashion-in-tokyo/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/10/20/tokyo-fashion-lumine-to-open-a-new-store-in-trendy-yurakcho/

http://moderntokyotimes.com   PLEASE VIST

 
 
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: culture and aspects of the pulling power of Japan

Tokyo fashion: culture and aspects of the pulling power of Japan

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The old Japan still appeals to vast numbers of people because of the rich cultural legacy of this unique nation.  This applies to so many factors, from the cradle of high culture in Nara which was then followed by Kyoto and the religious influence of Zen Buddhism,  Kukai, and Nichiren. Other major areas apply to ceramics, martial arts, ukiyo-e, Japanese tea ceremony, the samurai, geisha, kimono, kanzashi, Japanese garden, haiku, kabuki, mysterious world of the ninja, ikebana, bonsai, and a host of other factors. 

Indeed, the uniqueness of Japan is best summed up within the Shinto faith because no other major nation maintained its indigenous faith within just one location. All other major nations throughout the world became swallowed up by Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.  Hinduism of course is the indigenous faith of India but Hindu civilization spread to distant shores, from Afghanistan to Indonesia, before the advent of Islam.

 

In modern times the pulling power of the old world still exists but new themes attract the international community and this applies to the younger generation and all generations.  Therefore, Japanese animation, kawaii culture, fashion, cosplay, maid café, computer games, gadgets, and a host of other areas, is drawing people close to Japan. 

 

Regionally also, Japan is a huge pulling power for music and many American singers and groups have fallen in love with the buzzing fashion of Tokyo and Osaka.  Not only this, but Korean pop (k-pop) music and dramas now understand the power of Japan because more and more k-pop groups and television series from South Korea want a slice of the “Japanese apple pie.”

European fashion companies also desire a slice of the “Japanese apple pie” and this can be seen by the strong showing of profits made in Japan.  The South Korean k-pop scene is now following the same logic and this will only enhance the international reputation of Japan.

Therefore, while the economic base of Japan may be stuttering and the ravages of nature continues to create havoc during this sad year in the land of the rising sun – the soft power still continues to grow despite all these negative upheavals.  Indeed, political leaders in Japan and many internal companies should be doing more to reach out globally because the younger generation in many nations is focused on aspects of modern Japan. 

Fashion wise Tokyo and Osaka are buzzing and not only these cities because Kobe fashion is extremely vibrant and Kobe in its own right is a stunning city and one which is creative.  However, internationally the focus is on Tokyo and Akihabara (anime, gadgets, otaku, and maid café), trendy Shibuya, independent Harajuku, high fashion of Aoyama, Omotesando, Ginza and Roppongi Hills, and the name of Shinjuku, are all internationally well-known.

Osaka also is a huge international market and places like Namba and Umeda are great places for fashion and Namba entertainment district never sleeps.  In truth, Osaka is overlooked too much because the Kansai region is one of the richest regions in the world.  Therefore, Namba fashion and Umeda needs to be sold more and Osaka needs to reach out to the international community because this city is so energetic and contrasts greatly with Tokyo in terms of thinking.

Twenty years ago the younger generation in China and South Korea were largely disenfranchised from Japanese street culture.  This no longer applies and Japan is a hip place to visit and the Chinese tourist market to Japan is growing and developing rapidly.  Therefore, more fashion companies in Japan are focused on developing their image in China and also attracting Chinese tourists.

The best of k-pop in South Korea are also focused on the huge music market in Japan and this is altering the music balance.  Fifty years ago to the last ten years the American music power dominated in Japan and the same applied to the film industry.  However, in recent times more and more young people in Japan are listening to j-pop and k-pop and the domestic film industry is seeing a growing share.

 

Of course American music is still powerful and the same applies to the film industry but companies like Warner Bros. Studios in America are increasing their sights in Japan by also focusing more on Japanese films.  Warner Bros. Studios is a fantastic company in this sense, because they understand that times are changing and the best of both worlds is being provided by this dynamic company.

Therefore, while j-pop and k-pop continues to grow within Japan for the younger generation both music styles are making inroads in other nations like China, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and others within Asia.  It must be remembered that in China, Japan, and South Korea, you have over 1.5 billion people and the growing middle class and upper class in China is leading to new thinking and new energy.

Japan will always attract people because of its rich legacy and Kyoto, Nara, Kamakura, Koyasan, and so many other places, will always attract people because of high culture and the richness of Buddhism in the old world is internationally famous.  The Shinto faith also provides the real uniqueness of Japan and festivals throughout the year keeps this faith within the soul despite Japan being secular on the whole.

Turning back to fashion then this sector is so rich and diverse and each area within major cities like Tokyo and Osaka will have special zones which cater for certain styles. Also, exquisite international companies want a share of the “Japanese apple pie”

In a previous article about fashion I comment that “The beauty of Tokyo is that different areas contrast greatly and you have noticeable changes within fashion styles. Therefore, you will find greater individualism in Harajuku and Shibuya and both areas have a youthful image and are powerhouses.” 

“This contrasts greatly with Ginza and other fashionable areas like Ebisu and Aoyama which cater for young adults and all age ranges, with the emphasis being high income earners or people with wealth. Ginza is awash with international brands and Japanese brands where the focus is on elegance, sophistication and extreme quality.”

“Harajuku and Shibuya are not just about youthful fashion because both areas connect with Omotesando and within each area the mixture of fashion is amazing.  Therefore, you can visit independent companies like 6%DOKIDOKI in Harajuku and within a short distance you will find international and famous Japanese brands.”

“The fusion of fashion companies and the noticeable change within districts or within a short distance; increases the spice and the creativity of fashion in Tokyo.”

 “This all adds to the high energy of fashion in Tokyo and the spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic are a blessing.  Therefore, designers like Sebastian Masuda (6%DOKIDOKI) and Takashi Aoki (Macaronic) have no boundaries and instead their creativity and passion can be felt within the products that they provide”.

Sebastian Masuda

In the past Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo were famous for attracting broad followers and each individual is highly respected within the fashion world. Despite this, the fashion sector in Japan is extremely diverse and no individual designer or brand can dominate because the market is so complex.

The beauty of the fashion sector in Japan is its rich diversity and collectively all the influential designers compliment this aspect of the fashion scene.  Therefore, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Sebastian Masuda, Yohji Yamamoto, Takashi Aoki, Junya Watanabe, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Chiharu Kikuchi, and many other fantastic designers, are collectively creating a major buzz throughout the international fashion industry.

 

It matters not if your favorite company is A Bathing Ape, Comme des Garçons, N. Hoolywood, Grimoire, Samantha Thavasa, 6%DOKIDOKI, SmackyGlam, Diet Butcher Slim Slim, Hiroko Koshino, Rip Van Winkle, H. Naoto, Macaronic, Candy Stipper, or any of the multitudes of quality and imaginative fashion companies in Japan. The most important aspect is the creativity of each individual company and how competing styles help to highlight fashion in Japan.

6%DOKIDOKI and SmackyGlam use amazing creativity and color schemes within their designs and both companies have different thought patterns and client bases.  Yet, this diversity amidst creative fashion is attracting fashion lovers from all over the world.

The brainchild behind 6%DOKIDOKI is Sebastian Masuda and this extremely creative fashion designer and thinker, never remains static because the spirit of fashion and Harajuku run through his veins. He is blessed with excellent staff who enthuse not only kawaii culture and chaotic punk, but who have raw energy and a rare vibrancy and spirit. 

The color schemes and creativity of 6%DOKIDOKI is beyond boundaries and kawaii culture and their free thinking shines out in a world of fashion which can sometimes be constrained.  6%DOKIDOKI is a company which makes Harajuku tick and their fashion and accessories say much more than people could ever imagine.

Another amazing aspect of fashion in Tokyo is that you have so many districts in this city which have their own distinctive vibe. Therefore, while places like Aoyama, Ebisu, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ueno, are more well-known and established areas, this is not the entire picture.  This applies to trendy smaller areas of Tokyo like Kichijoji, Daikanyama, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Naka-Meguro, and Shimo-Kitazawa, because these places highlight the plethora of areas to visit for fashion in Tokyo and this is rare for a major city because the options are enormous and extremely varied.

The image of Japan is changing in the eyes of the younger generation because the new Japan is trendy, creative, and provides rich new trends which have global appeal.  Kawaii culture is no longer stuck in Japan and cosplay, Japanese anime, new gadgets, fashion, computer games, maid café, and other areas are all adding up and leading to new dimensions.

At the same time, the mysterious Japan is still potent and appeals to all generations and this unique factor makes the land of the rising sun so fascinating. For some individuals it is all about kawaii culture and Japanese anime.  However, for others it is about the richness of Nara, Kyoto, Wakayama Castle, Koyasan, Japanese gardens, Buddhism, Japanese ceramics, kabuki, ukiyo-e and other high cultural aspects of Japan.

 

Obviously many individuals will enjoy both worlds and feel relaxed within the rich traditional culture of Japan and the changing aspects of the new nation which is constantly evolving because of new trends.

Therefore, the pulling power of Japan will continue to grow and k-pop groups and other international music styles will continue to focus on the “Japanese apple pie.” The same applies to the magnificent and stylish fashion scene because of amazing designers who focus on creativity and innovation.

Overall, Tokyo is amazing for fashion and cosplay, anime, maid café, kawaii culture, and a plethora of other trends, is leading to such a rich and vibrant culture.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/ 

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/tokyo/harajuku_fashion.htm (Harajuku – Tokyo)

http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/shopping_5160.html  (Namba – Osaka) 

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/tokyo/shibuya.htm (Shibuya – Tokyo)

http://candystripper.net/

http://www.macaronic.jp/

http://tokyofashion.com/

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://www.photopassjapan.com/tokyo_-_shibuya/

http://www.warnerbros.co.jp/main/homepage/homepage.html (in Japanese)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Japan

 

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

Tokyo fashion: pulling power of fashion in this dynamic city of creativity

Tokyo fashion: pulling power of fashion in this dynamic city of creativity

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

6%DOKIDOKI

Tokyo is one of the most powerful cities in the world and the fashion scene continues to flourish and grow.  Also, the international appeal of Tokyo is making major waves because more and more international musicians desire to be linked to this ultra-modern city.

At the same time animation, kawaii culture, cosplay, and a host of other vibrant areas, are rebranding the image of Tokyo because many young people from all over the world are connecting with the “soft power” of Japan.  Therefore, Tokyo and other major cities like Osaka are helping to create “a hip Japan” which appeals to the younger generation.

However, despite the ultra-modern reality of Tokyo and other powerful cities the “old Japan” still survives. Therefore, places like Hakone, Koyasan, Kyoto, Nikko, and a host of other famous places, means that Japan provides something special because of multiple factors and the appeal applies to all generations.

When it comes to fashion then Tokyo is second to none when it applies to choice, exquisite quality, individualism, mainstream fashion and creativity.  Therefore, all major international fashion houses want a slice of the Tokyo “apple pie” and this applies to other powerful cities like Osaka.

Clearly Milan, Paris, New York and London are internationally famous but the same also applies to Tokyo.  However, the beauty of fashion in Tokyo is that indigenous fashion companies and international companies are based throughout the city. 

Therefore, you are spoilt for choice and this applies to major fashion districts like Aoyama, Harajuku, Omotesando, Ginza, Shibuya Shinjuku, Roppongi Hills and other fashion districts like Ikebukuro and Ebisu. Alternatively, you have an abundance of fashion in smaller districts of Tokyo and Daikanyama, Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Shimo Kitazawa, Naka Meguro and other places provide a more distinctive vibe and each area appeals for different factors.  This, therefore, makes Tokyo unique because you have countless areas to visit and other parts of Tokyo like Ueno have their own distinctive feel and energy.

This reality is attracting major musicians to Tokyo and further afield in Japan. Michael Graham, in his article called Japan and the international music industry highlights this reality. 

Michael Graham states that “From Lady Gaga to Kanye West, there are not many modern pop artists that haven’t done “the Japan thing”. This says a lot about how Japan is perceived to the rest of the world. It’s modern, it’s cool, and it’s fun. If you are trying to show your fans that you are the newest biggest thing then you cannot go wrong with including Japanese style in your video’s and why not?”

“Japan not only brings us some of the latest fashion, technology and art but its music industry is one of the most sophisticated and cutting edge in the world.”

Michael Graham continues by stating that “This trend in music and Japan continues to be ever more present in modern music and does not show any signs of going away. You can look back at earlier artists such as Gwen Stefani because her music videos were covered in Japanese art and style. Gwen Stefani even brought out a clothing range inspired by Japanese clothing and her backing dancers were the Harajuku Girls. Therefore she could not have been anymore Japanese if she had tried.”

“The list seems to be endless of videos or artists that use Japan for style and image and it looks set to continue. I for one cannot get enough of it!”

Therefore, the fashion scene in Tokyo is very potent and the same applies to modern Japanese culture which is making headway internationally and other famous musicians like Courtney Love simply adore Tokyo fashion. 

Aoyama and Omotesando provide sophisticated fashion and both places are full of chic and style because you have endless exquisite boutiques to visit.  At the same time, it is clear that architecture is important and this provides the icing on top of the cake because you can feel the passion, creativity and the buildings match the crème de la crème fashion which is provided by both international and Japanese fashion companies in these two districts of Tokyo.

In Aoyama alone you will find many panache and exquisite fashion companies and this applies to Comme des Garcons, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Prada, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Loveless, Stella McCartney, Mark Jacobs, Bathing Ape, Tsumori Chisato, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Design Works, Frapbois, and many others like Deuxieme Classe.

The energy of exquisite fashion and individualistic fashion designers can be felt through the entire area which links Aoyama, Omotesando, Harajuku and Shibuya.  In many ways Omotesando represents all the beauty of this area because it links high quality fashion companies with independent and stylish boutiques and in the backstreets you can find “street fashion.” 

Harajuku and Shibuya are global names for the younger international generation and like Michael Graham commented Gwen Stefani was inspired by Japan and her backing dancers were called the Harajuku Girls. Harajuku, therefore, is a major pulling power and the name sells itself.

The independent nature and creative spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI means that the culture of Tokyo is influencing the younger generation in cities like London, Paris, New York and a host of other major cities. Therefore, kawaii culture, cosplay, Dolly-kei, fantasy fashion, Visual kei, Lolita and other trends are changing the image of Japan and independent companies like 6%DOKIDOKI, Grimoire, Macaronic, Candy and others are spreading a unique and distinctive fashion scene.

Internationally famous designers like Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto provided a strong image for Japanese fashion and their energy was noticeable in the 1980s and onwards.  Yet younger designers and famous individuals are changing the evolving fashion scene and Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Sebastian Masuda, Rei Kawakubo, Nobu Kitamura, Junya Watanabe, Takashi Aoki, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Kuniko Kato, Chiharu Kikuchi, and others, are all maintaining the freshness of fashion in Japan alongside companies like Grimoire and Candy.

Fashion is not about famous individuals it is about new vibes, new trends, keeping a fresh outlook and not remaining static.  Therefore, Issey Miyake, Sebastian Masuda, Yohji Yamamoto, Takashi Aoki, and other fantastic designers add their own individual spark and energy. This spark in turn reaches far and wide and continues to draw in new designers who constantly maintain the freshness of fashion in Japan. Also, every so often unique designers emerge like Sebastian Masuda and they come along and bring a new angle and edge and each individual designer compliments the entire fashion industry.

Sebastian Masuda

6%DOKIDOKI, Candy, Grimoire, Macaronic, Metamorphose temps de fille, Alice and the Pirates, and other unique fashion companies are maintaining a bright spark. This energy can be felt internationally because the energetic vibe that they are creating is enabling Tokyo fashion to reach out to the international community.

Nobu Kitamura and Gwen Stefani sum up the nature of fashion because while Nobu Kitamura and Hysteric Glamour was influenced heavily by American culture.  The singer Gwen Stefani is fascinated by Japanese culture and in her song she sang “My boyfriend bought me a Hysteric Glamour shirt. They’re hard to find in the States, got me feeling couture.”

The influence of cross cultural fashion and unique fashion companies can be found throughout Tokyo.  Therefore, irrespective if you are an avid fan of Tracy Reese, Hysteric Glamour, Prada, SmackyGlam, Grimoire, Metamorphose temps de fille, 6%Dokidoki, Comme des Garcons, Macaronic, Alice and the Pirates, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Candy, Artisan, Loveless, Stella McCartney, Mark Jacobs, Bathing Ape and many other amazing fashion companies, the simple fact is that you have choice in abundance in Tokyo.

In another article I wrote about fashion I stated that “Kawaii culture in Tokyo goes back several decades but this unique style which belongs to Japan continues to develop and modify.  6%DOKIDOKI is part and parcel of kawaii culture and the ongoing vibrancy of this unique style. However, Sebastian Masuda does not pertain to any single style because he is a creator and styles come from 6%DOKIDOKI.  Therefore, Sebastian Masuda is not a follower of fashion but he is a rare creator of fashion and styles.”

Therefore, it matters not what the fashion label is because fashion for some companies can never be fully pinned down because they are always evolving.

Tokyo is set to continue and prosper in the fashion sector and the international image will also grow because of the vibrant nature of modern Japan. Therefore, the magnet of Tokyo will continue to attract younger generations from all over the world who love fashion and this dynamic and creative city will continue to lead and inspire.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/  (6%DOKIDOKI website)

http://www.metrocity.nl/tokyo/streetfashion/harajuku-fashion/  

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/  (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project)

http://candy-nippon.com/

http://www.maruione.jp/en/  

http://yaplog.jp/grimoire-blog/

http://www.smackyglam.com/  

http://tokyofashion.com/

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/shops-restaurants/index.html

http://6girls.jugem.jp/  

http://www.laforet.ne.jp/floor_guide/floor_1f_e.html

http://www.lov-lab.com/

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience/  (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI)

http://www.tracyreese.com/c-45-dresses.aspx  

http://sanyo-i.jp  – Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)

http://www.macaronic.jp/   

http://tokyofashion.com/candy-sister-fashion-shibuya/  

leejay@modernttokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Japan

 

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6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sebastian Masuda and 6%DOKIDOKI

The “Harajuku Kawaii Experience” recently visited North America after 6%DOKIDOKI showed the passion and creativity of Harajuku.  This followed on from last year when 6%DOKIDOKI visited America and Europe. 

6%DOKIDOKI is a very vibrant fashion company and if you want to understand the underbelly of Harajuku which makes this place tick; then this company is a must. 

The “kawaii culture” in Tokyo goes back several decades but of course you have many modifications and changes.  6%DOKIDOKI is part of the ongoing vibrancy of the “kawaii culture” and this company clearly thinks on its feet.

The creative nature of its fashion is truly unique and this applies to the amazing color schemes of their products and how they keep on moving forward and challenging new barriers.

However, 6%DOKIDOKI is not only a fashion company because their founder, Sebastian Masuda, and all people who are involved in this company; have a genuine interest in their client base and they care deeply about Harajuku.

The recent tour by 6%DOKIDOKI took them to America and Canada but after recent events in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami; then this was more than just a fashion statement.

After all, many media outlets painted a distinctively gloomy picture of Tokyo and while shock and bewilderment did take hold on March 11 and the following weeks in Tokyo; it was also true that many people were pulling together in order to help northeast Japan where the real tragedy unfolded.

True to the vibrancy and genuine care of 6%DOKIDOKI the founder, Sebastian Masuda, came up with the MIGHTY HARAJUKU PROJECT.

In my article called Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake, I stated that “…the fashion conscious in Harajuku have organized the “Mighty Harajuku Project” which is aimed at generating capital in order to help the people of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and other areas hit by the recent tragedy which engulfed the north-eastern Tohoku region.” 

“The “Mighty Harajuku Project” is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%Dokidoki.  Sebastian Masuda cares deeply about Harajuku and 6%Dokidoki provides an abundance of brightly colored accessories and like Harajuku itself the company is vibrant and individualistic.”

Therefore, while 6%DOKIDOKI is primarily a fashion company with zest, individuality, creativity and a genuine buzz about the products created.  This company is also concerned about the bigger picture during times of crisis and it is rare for a company to connect with its client base like they do in Harajuku.

6%DOKIDOKI, just like Tokyo, is vibrant and energetic and the latest tour clearly showed the pulling power of Harajuku and Tokyo itself.

This applies to the amazing fashion scene in Tokyo where the choice is fantastic and the quality on offer is of the highest.

Once more 6%DOKIDOKI is showing its international spirit and this company is revered by many individuals all over the world.

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508    (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo: radiation scare seems distant and Mighty Harajuku Project

Tokyo: radiation scare seems distant and Mighty Harajuku Project 

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ladies in Ikebukuro shopping -  Modern Tokyo Times image
Ladies in Ikebukuro shopping – Modern Tokyo Times image

The devastating earthquake which unleashed the potent tsunami is still an ongoing nightmare for hundreds of thousands of residents who reside in shelters in northeast Japan.  Added to this, is the ongoing pain and suffering because whole communities have been destroyed and the loss of life was huge. 

At the same time, the nuclear dimension remains a major problem for people in Fukushima and areas which are close to this prefecture.  Therefore, the exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and areas within range are still ghost towns and the future looks bleak.

The initial shock of the earthquake and tsunami could be felt clearly in Tokyo and many people were in a daze and confused.  After all, the powerful tremors on March 11 in Tokyo were severe and the capital city was hit by power failures and other structural problems.

Television images of the tsunami in northeastern Japan were shocking and while the tsunami was not a threat to Tokyo the psychological impact was enormous.  Also, many Tokyo residents will have strong family connections with this part of Japan because many Japanese individuals move to Tokyo from all over Japan.

Then after several days it became apparent that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was in a serious crisis.  This unleashed the best and worse about journalism because some reports were realistic however others were scaremongering and this all added to the confusion.

Tens of thousands of foreign nationals began to flee Tokyo and other areas of Japan and many Japanese individuals also felt uneasy.  However, for the vast majority of people in Tokyo they were staying and while the atmosphere felt eerie at times during the initial period; the overwhelming majority of people just knuckled down and focused on daily problems.

Many embassies were closed and some companies sent their international staff to other areas of Japan or sent them home.  This led to further strains on the economy because many media outlets were blowing up the crisis in Tokyo. However, in truth, most Tokyoites were counting their blessings because it was clear that the real crisis belonged to northeastern Japan.

The radiation scare did cause alarm bells for some people in the first few weeks and parents of babies and young children seemed particularly worried.  Therefore, you had a brief spell when bottled water was in vogue because of radiation fears but this fear is now in decline for the majority of Tokyoites.

The crisis in Tokyo witnessed greater community bonds and individuals responded in kind.  For example Sebastian Masuda, the founder of 6%Dokidoki, used the potency of his fashion company and began the “Mighty Harajuku Project.”

In my article called Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake, I comment that “Sebastian Masuda was shocked by the events which engulfed the north-eastern-Tohoku region on March 11 and which continue to beset the region.  This applies to the huge loss of life, the ongoing homeless problem, whole communities being destroyed, thousands of bodies being washed up along the coast, and the ongoing nuclear cloud hanging over Fukushima and creating a major radiation problem.”

“In Harajuku the creativity of this place which Sebastian Masuda genuinely cares about also uniquely provides its own distinctive community.  Irrespective if this applies to locals, people who often visit Harajuku because of the buzz it creates or to workers who commute to Harajuku.”

“Therefore, Sebastian Masuda focused on all the positives and energy of Harajuku and came up with the “Mighty Harajuku Project.”  The purpose of this project is to help the disadvantaged who have suffered so much since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11; and to give encouragement and support to people who utilize the energy and environment of Harajuku because so many people are still bewildered by recent events.”

The “Mighty Harajuku Project” was bigger than it could be imagined because it united youths and young adults who are fashion conscious in trendy Harajuku and built bridges with people from other communities.  Also, the “Mighty Harajuku Project” was telling the world that Tokyo may be in shock however the “heart was still ticking” and this applies to the spirit of Harajuku and other areas of Tokyo.

It now appears that Tokyo is returning to normal albeit with minor problems from time to time; for example train related problems or stores closing a tad early.

However, these minor problems do not compare with the real problem areas and it will take a long time for parts of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima to recover and other areas which were hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

Also, the nightmare for people close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will continue and many sectors like the fisheries will face an uphill struggle to survive.

Now Tokyo must play its role in putting Japan back on its feet because while you have many powerful cities like Osaka and Nagoya; it is apparent that Tokyo is the engine of Japan and international companies and tourists flock to this city for different factors.

The Kansai region is potent and powerful but in the eyes of the international community the image of Tokyo is strong.

Therefore, it should be known that by the middle of April the vibrancy of Tokyo is gradually building up and many embassies have returned.  It is hoped that this will be followed by an economic upturn in the following few months because enormous strains are being put on the economy.

The spirit of the “Mighty Harajuku Project” was based on compassion, hope, and a sense that the future will be reshaped by new creativity. 

It is hoped that politicians in Japan will overcome their petty bickering and back stabbing and that the international community will flock back to Tokyo and Japan.         

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508    (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-mighty-harajuku-project-2011-world-tour/  – Please visit this website about the Mighty Harajuku Project.

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

http://moderntokyotimes.com  (please visit)

 
 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Japan

 

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Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake

Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times  

Harajuku 
Harajuku

The usual image of all major cities in the centre will see major dividing lines and Tokyo is no different. Therefore, in Tokyo you will have places like Edogawabashi where you have stunning parks and Chinzan-so is a place where the Japanese garden comes alive and old statues to the various Shinto gods can be found.

Alternatively, Harajuku is famous for fashion and even within Harajuku you will have notable brands and highly expensive fashion shops in the Omotesando Hills area.  However, you can also find many fashion outlets which cater for individualistic styles, which flow with current fashion trends amongst the younger generation, highly experimental, and you will find many smaller exquisite fashion shops throughout Harajuku and the Omotesando backstreets area.

It may appear that the streetwise fashion youngsters are very distant from the wider society where conformity often dominates. Or if you see an individualistic young lady or boy who are dressed in a very striking way then it may appear that these individuals are obsessed by fashion and that they have little in common with the usual salary man in Tokyo.

Also, the streets of fashion in Tokyo may appear to be miles away from the rural areas of Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi.  However, if you scratch under the surface then the vast majority of citizens in Tokyo, irrespective of age or fashion sense, are deeply shocked and saddened by the recent earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear crisis hanging over Fukushima.

Therefore, the fashion conscious in Harajuku have organized the “Mighty Harajuku Project” which is aimed at generating capital in order to help the people of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and other areas hit by the recent tragedy which engulfed the north-eastern Tohoku region.

The “Mighty Harajuku Project” is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%Dokidoki.  Sebastian Masuda cares deeply about Harajuku and 6%Dokidoki provides an abundance of brightly colored accessories and like Harajuku itself the company is vibrant and individualistic.

Sebastian Masuda was shocked by the events which engulfed the north-eastern-Tohoku region on March 11 and which continue to beset the region.  This applies to the huge loss of life, the ongoing homeless problem, whole communities being destroyed, thousands of bodies being washed up along the coast, and the ongoing nuclear cloud hanging over Fukushima and creating a major radiation problem.

In Harajuku the creativity of this place which Sebastian Masuda genuinely cares about also uniquely provides its own distinctive community.  Irrespective if this applies to locals, people who often visit Harajuku because of the buzz it creates or to workers who commute to Harajuku.

Therefore, Sebastian Masuda focused on all the positives and energy of Harajuku and came up with the “Mighty Harajuku Project.”  The purpose of this project is to help the disadvantaged who have suffered so much since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11; and to give encouragement and support to people who utilize the energy and environment of Harajuku because so many people are still bewildered by recent events.

At first the staff of 6%Dokidoki, customers and others all chipped in and gave donations but this was just the initial stage. After this, Sebastian Masuda wanted to provide a positivity about Harajuku despite the recent worries and concerns and then to let other areas throughout Tokyo and Japan know that Harajuku is baring up and focused on the future – despite understanding the dire nature of events in Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi and the radiation fear which is felt by many.

Also, Sebastian Masuda wanted to reach out to the youth of Tokyo and to assure the younger generation that Harajuku was a haven amidst all the chaos, sorrow, anguish, and sense of foreboding.

This image of positivity which is based on care and support was also important to show the world because Harajuku is famous for fashion and an economic recovery is needed in order to help people who have suffered so much.

The “Mighty Harajuku Project” also shows you the heart of the younger generation and that fashion companies have a serious side which desire to reach out in times of need. 

Therefore, this project is helping people who need assistance in order to overcome so much tragedy and at the same time it is creating positivity within Tokyo and Japan.

Also, it is important that the outside world knows that Japan is not only ticking but it is fighting back against adversity.  Recently, tourist numbers are down and some business companies have pulled out of Tokyo in the short-term. 

However, it is vital that the economy of Japan is supported and the energy of the “Mighty Harajuku Project” is a way of showing everybody that Tokyo is ticking and churning out fresh ideas.

At the same time, the people of Harajuku want to show their compassion and sense of solidarity because they know that you have so much pain and sorrow in places which were hit by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.

                                                                                                                                                                       

n.com/mighty-harajuku-project/        

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508   (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 

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