Tokyo fashion: creativity, independent and high fashion
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Milan, Paris, London, New York, and other major fashion cities in the world, have their own unique styles. However, in Tokyo you have so much variety and when you mix this with the rich environment, huge population and ongoing creativity; then it becomes abundantly clear that Tokyo is one of the best fashion cities in the world.
In truth, it is very difficult to judge which city is the best fashion place in the world because you have so many variables and language issues. Therefore, research may be tainted by geographic and linguistic factors and fashion also depends on individual tastes, influences of culture and other important issues.
However, without a shadow of a doubt Tokyo is amongst the crème de la crème and having visited or resided in other major cities; for example London, Paris, and a host of other famous cities; then at no time have I witnessed such a vibrant fashion scene which exists in Tokyo.
The uniqueness of Tokyo fashion is that you have so many districts to visit and in some of the lesser named districts like Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Naka Meguro, Daikanyama and Shimo Kitazawa, you also have a vibrant fashion scene which caters for the style of each area and this is the beauty of Tokyo.
Harajuku, Omotesando, Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi Hills and Aoyama are more internationally famous and these districts hog the main headlines. However, the lesser named districts’ enables Tokyo to become such a powerful fashion powerhouse. Also, Ebisu, Ikebukuro and Ueno have their supporters and the west side of Ikebukuro is awash with fashion and the east side is always buzzing and the Lumine shopping complex holds many lovely fashion companies
Aoyama and Omotesando are avant-garde, sophisticated, haute couture and chic places to visit because you have endless exquisite boutiques. The architecture is also part of the image and in Aoyama and Omotesando the crème de la crème fashion companies are a treasure for Tokyo.
In Aoyama you have stylish and chic fashion companies and this applies to Comme des Garcons, Prada, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Miyake, Issey, 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.
True to the nature of Tokyo then despite Aoyama and Omotesando sharing the same area of Tokyo the client base is different. This applies to the diversity of Omotesando because in the backstreets you have more independent boutiques and street style fashion can also be found. Therefore, Omotesando is really diverse and this applies to the layout because Omotesando is between Harajuku and Aoyama and kawaii culture, cosplay and other trends including independent fashion and more casual street fashion is awash in Harajuku.
Therefore, age groups, fashion styles and other factors are unique to each area. However, parts of Omotesando overlap in the backstreets and this factor and the natural buzz of Harajuku can be felt alongside the avant-garde and haute couture of Omotesando.
In Omotesando you have many top notch fashion companies and I really love the style and layout of Tracy Reese. Tracy Reese have lovely styles and color schemes and like SmackyGlam in Lumine in Ikebukuro, and other parts of Tokyo; both these two distinctive companies blend fashion with extreme care about image and the quality is exquisite.
In Harajuku you have an area of Tokyo which continues to grow in stature and international appeal. Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%DOKIDOKI is part of the vibrancy of Tokyo fashion because his creativity and fashion styles have impacted on the “real underbelly of Harajuku.”
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.
This in itself adds to the aura of 6%DOKIDOKI and clearly they have a strong appeal within aspects of Tokyo fashion and an international following which loves the vibrancy of this company.
In Shibuya you have a hub of fashion within Shibuya 109 and the vibes of Center Gai and Koen Dori are alive with fashion conscious people. Shibuya means high octane fashion and the famous crossing is mega busy and the youthfulness of Shibuya and Harajuku can be felt powerfully.
In Shibuya you also have SmackyGlam and you have countless boutiques which include the innovative Candy. Marui, Parco and other leading stores are based in Shibuya and the Marui store in Shinjuku is a must place to visit because of the style, layout and diverse fashion within this store.
Grimoire is another amazing fashion company and Dolly-kei and other fashion styles can be seen and this store is what makes Tokyo fashion so great. The same applies to 6%DOKIDOKI because you have real venture, innovation and fresh ideas. Grimoire is managed by the elegant looking Hitomi Nomura and is owned by Naoaki Tobe and this store is on the border of Harajuku and Shibuya.
In Shinjuku and Nishi Shinjuku you have major department stores and this includes Isetan, Keio, Lumine, Marui, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord. Each department store provides quality of the highest and if you are a fashion guru then you need time to check the ample fashion on show.
In another article I stated about Shinjuku that “It is unfair to pick any one individual company because they all have a wide selection of brands and I am more familiar with Lumine but also visit Odakyu and Keio often and my visit to Takashimaya was very pleasurable. Also, I know that Isetan is widely liked throughout Japan and Mitsukoshi, despite setbacks in Ikebukuro after closing their store, is very different in places like Shinjuku, Nihonbashi and Ebisu. In truth, Ikebukuro clashed too much with the nature of Mitsukoshi and this department store is vibrant in Shinjuku.”
Marui One in Shinjuku and Isetan are very vibrant and energetic and both stores have amazing fashion on display. The Marui One is extremely diverse and caters for Tokyo fashion, modern kimono, princess fashion, casual styles, fantasy fashion, Visual kei, Lolita, Gothic, and dreamy fashion. Therefore, Mauri One is a great shopping experience and Isetan also understands the pulse of Tokyo and Japan and both stores are creative and exquisite.
Tokyoites will understand the fashion scene and people from all over Japan and throughout the world visit this amazing fashionable city. The international reputation of Tokyo in the fashion field continues to grow and the countless number of areas to visit is what makes Tokyo fashion so unique and special.
http://www.dokidoki6.com/ (6%DOKIDOKI website)
http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/ (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project)
http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience/ (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI)
http://sanyo-i.jp – Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)