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.
http://www.laforet.ne.jp/floor_guide/floor_1f_e.html Harajuku Laforet
http://info.keionet.com/foreign/index.html Keio Department Store
http://109guide.com/top_f.html Shibuya 109
http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/ Omotesando Hills Shopping Mall
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.dokidoki6.com/ (6%DOKIDOKI website)
http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/ (Sebastian Masuda)
Images of fashion in Tokyo
http://moderntokyotimes.com PLEASE VIST