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Tokyo fashion and the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku: the vibes of Omohara

Tokyo fashion and the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku: the vibes of Omohara

Sarah Deschamps, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku which is being dubbed “Omohara” opened last month on the location of the former Gap store which was iconic because of the prime location. This is good news for fashion in this vibrant and internationally famous part of Tokyo. Therefore, along with other famous fashion stores including Laforet Harajuku and Omotesando Hills, this new entity will enhance the already buzzing fashion scene of both districts.

Also, while the new original name of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku is a little long the name itself does hit an important theme. This applies to fusing the powerful names of Harajuku and Omotesando and having a place which meets both. Given this, the Omohara dubbed name is fitting because it highlights the interconnection and vibrancy of both amazing districts.

The architecture of the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku is iconic in itself from the inside and this applies to layout, space, angles, views, and so forth. Similarly, the Omotesando Hills shopping mall is also extremely stunning when it comes to architecture, the angles being used within the design, the lighting while shopping, and this is matched by the amazing boutiques inside. The designs and space of both are extremely different but collectively they are showing the buzzing nature of Tokyo fashion whereby the environmental angle and architecture is equally important.

Hiroshi Nakamura designed the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku and clearly he had a hefty burden weighing on him because of the prime location and expectations. However, while the outside may not look visually sparkling the same can’t be said for the layout and style within the complex. Therefore, the new Omohara will not disappoint once individuals delve within this stylish complex because you have many gems which highlight the skills of the architect.

The name Omohara fits well with many Tokyoites who adore this trendy part of Tokyo. After all, from the kawaii culture of Harajuku and alternative fashion styles, to the backstreets of both districts where the casual scene is powerful, it is clear that both districts interact well. The other angle of high end fashion and internationally famous boutiques in Omotesando means that the entire area is a hotbed of different fashion vibes. This in itself means that Omohara can blend the best of all these different fashion worlds by incorporating not only the name, but a feeling that all co-exist and for this reason the name is a winner – albeit, in its newly dubbed name of Omohara.

The Jingumae crossing, just like the crossing in Shibuya, is a place which opens up the amazing fashion and cultural vibes of this part of Tokyo. Therefore, the Jingumae crossing is where the districts of Harajuku and Omotesando intersect and clearly this was a powerful motive behind the name.

Fashion companies within Omohara include The Shel’tter Tokyo, Charms, American Eagle Outfitters, Amo’s Style by Triumph, Tommy Hilfiger, Cheek by Archives, Choosy Chu, Glam Baby, Flag, Goa, Humor Shop by A-net, Minnetonka, Laboratory Work ReCurrent, Pink Trick, Rady, Rione Doras, Juge ETTA, Loaves, Phoebe, Roomy’s, and Jewelna Rose. You also have  lifestyle stores and places to relax and enjoy a snack. On top of this, the rooftop observatory is a gem and will attract people because of the style and layout within such a vibrant part of Tokyo.

The green angle which can be found in the Omohara Forest part of the shopping complex is a lovely idea. Therefore, the roof terrace will entice individuals to enjoy the views on show and alternatively this will enhance the shopping experience to another level. Trees dot the area and with ample places to sit down it is clear that this will become a thriving place to relax with friends or for individuals to refresh themselves.

Another nice theme to Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku is that a special event will take place at the start of each month on the first Friday. This applies to highlighting the vibrant nature of art, fashion, and other aspects, of both Harajuku and Omotesando. Music and other areas will enhance these events and clearly each month will witness new themes and this will keep the new complex fresh.

It must be stated that “the old guard” will be divided on the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku because the same happened when the Omotesando Hills shopping mall was developed. This applies to individuals fearing the commercialism of fashion in this vibrant part of Tokyo. After all, Harajuku is internationally famous for kawaii culture and other interesting areas related to Lolita and so forth. Therefore, traditionalists worry that the “heart is being ripped out” of the area.

However, the Omohara street name is but one factor within the vibrant districts of Harajuku and Omotesando. Providing the area adapts to the current trends within the Tokyo fashion scene and maintains a real freshness, based on architecture and other important features, the entire district will preserve its energy. Given this, the Omohara is not a threat to the street vibes of Harajuku because this applies to internal factors related to the vibrancy of independent designers.

After all, providing the street vibes and independent designers of the area remain fresh and relate to their client base and entice newcomers, then they have nothing to fear. In this sense, the street vibes along with mainstream fashion must always remain fresh. Also, the area of Harajuku and Omotesando is sizeable for many trends to enhance each other and the backstreets, which link up with Shibuya, are areas which are awash with different styles.

Staleness is the real threat to any fashion district therefore the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, just like Omotesando Hills, will provide a new angle to the delightful fashion vibes of both districts. In this sense, the Omohara is part of the ongoing freshness of fashion in this buzzing part of Tokyo. Therefore, the Omohara is a great concept which highlights the vibrancy of both fashion districts which refuse to remain static and stale.

 

http://omohara.tokyu-plaza.com/en/ 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com 

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion vibes in Harajuku and Omotesando: Tokyo females 18-24

Tokyo fashion vibes in Harajuku and Omotesando: Tokyo females 18-24

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Fashion lovers all over the world know the power of Tokyo because this sector is ultra-competitive and vast sums are spent every year in order to get a piece of the “Tokyo apple pie.” The purpose of all the surveys done by Modern Tokyo Times is to get behind the hype of companies who dominate the international press and media in Tokyo in order to find “the real trends” of this buzzing fashion city. Of course, the surveys are based on individuals who adore fashion and the focus on the third survey remains within the female market.

This survey was based on 100 females who visit the fashion districts of Harajuku and Omotesando. The age group who answered this survey was between 18 and 24 years of age and the common theme was that all adore fashion. Harajuku and Omotesando were selected because both fashion districts are linked together and share this vibrant fashion area of Tokyo.  Also, Harajuku and Omotesando are internationally famous throughout the world and the back streets are awash with trendy boutiques and this fact compliments the extravagant main street which links both districts.

In an earlier survey related to females in the age group of 18 and 26 which was based on fashion throughout Tokyo and not limited to two fashion districts. Then when it came to favorite department stores and shopping malls it is clear that the findings from this survey highlight clear differences.

Therefore, the last survey highlighted that Lumine just came out on top from Marui and Shibuya 109. Laforet Harajuku just came behind these and Isetan was also selected favorably. However, when it came to this survey then only Laforet Harajuku of all the above is based in the districts covered in this survey. Not surprisingly, therefore, the findings for the favorite department store or shopping mall was different.

This applies to Laforet Harajuku dominating and being followed by Parco and Lumine. Lumine was still selected highly and this bodes well for this elegant department store and it was good to see Parco doing well in this survey. After all, it shows that different fashion districts will have certain bias towards individual companies and department stores. After all, everybody that took part in this survey loves the fashion districts of Harajuku and Omotesando. Given this reality then Laforet Harajuku held a distinctive advantage but it was noticeable that nobody highlighted Shibuya 109. This may hint at the rivalry between Harajuku and Shibuya?

Like in the previous two surveys the choice for favorite shops and brands was extremely varied but clearly some companies have been highlighted highly in all three surveys. In the survey based on the 18-26 year old age group throughout Tokyo then last time it was stated by Modern Tokyo Times that “Overall, the most popular fashion companies selected were Zara, Topshop, Emoda, Snidel, Sly, and H & M. This group was closely followed by Mercury Duo, Egoist, American Apparel, Forever 21, Moussy, Jouetie, and Laguna Moon. Likewise, the following tier which was just below the last group applies to Chanel, Tsumori Chisato, Marua, Rose Bud, Risel, Chloe, Dazzlin, Otoe, Comme des Garcons, Gucci, Lowry’s Farm, Miu Miu, G.V.G.V., Spick and Span, Unsqueaky, Earth Music & Ecology, Beams, SmackyGlam (Smacky Glam), Jill Stuart, Free’s Shop, Chelsea, Liz Lisa, and Lip Service.”

 

Also, in the survey before this based on the fashion vibes of Daikanyama and Jiyugaoka in the female age group of 18-30 the survey stated that “Mercury Duo, Zara, Snidel, Topshop, Beams, Laguna Moon, Spick and Span, Ingni, Lowry’s Farm and G.V.G.V., were selected several times with regards to favorite shop and favorite brand. Overall, Mercury Duo was mentioned the most but it was very close and many other companies were selected. This applies to Forever 21, H & M, Gucci, Deicy, Louis Vuitton, Ships, Egoist, Jupiter, Polo Ralph Lauren, United Arrows, John Lawrence Sullivan, Liz Lisa, Sly, Free’s Shop, Stella McCartney, Osmosis, Journal Standard, Adam et Rope, Loungedress, Earth Music & Ecology, Lip Service, Smacky Glam (SmackyGlam), D’issy, Urban Research, Sister, Dazzlin, Miu Miu, Ryza, Jill Stuart, Jeffrey Campbell, Vivienne Westwood, A.P.C., Toga, Frayi D, Rosso, and a few others.”

 

Interestingly, when it came to favorite department stores for females shopping in Daikanyama and Jiyugaoka, it was apparent that Marui, Lumine, and Isetan, were selected the most. After these three then Shibuya 109 and Laforet Harajuku also did well. Therefore, in this survey Parco showed its strongest showing and the findings are very interesting.

Turning back to the favorite brands and shops selected in Harajuku and Omotesando then like previously mentioned you did have a few companies who also showed up well in all three surveys. This notably applies to Topshop, Snidel, H & M, Zara, and Sly.

In this survey the companies that did extremely well applies to Topshop, American Apparel, H & M, Comme des Garcons, Beams, Zara, Togo, Tsumori Chisato, Chelsea, I am I, Bubbles, and Vivien Westwood. The next tier applies to KBF, Opening Ceremony, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Forever 21, Journal Standard, Barbie, Dual, Snidel, PoPo, Jouetie, Sly, Wall, and Mina Perhonen. Overall, it is clear from the boutiques selected that the mix highlights the diversity of the survey and this applies to the fact that some internationally famous boutiques were selected alongside some lesser known brands.

The most interesting finding was that many of the boutiques which are highlighted in the international media when it comes to Harajuku fashion weren’t selected. Occasionally individuals did have certain items on that they bought from companies related to “kawaii fashion” but none were selected when it came to favorite shop and brand. Of the trendy companies which do get favorable mentions because of their unique styles then Grimoire and Candy Stripper were selected but overall the profile of major quaint styles weren’t highlighted in this survey.

When it came to the “favorite hair salon” question then Bloc and Shima once more did very well and Shima in every survey keeps on being highlighted favorably. Velo hair saloon also did remarkably well in this survey and other companies like YY, Ultra C, Rosso, and Lili were selected several times.

With each new survey then important findings are being made and clearly certain patterns are emerging. Also, each survey is highlighting the importance of each specific fashion district and the overall strength of department stores is clearly informative. Of course the surveys are limited because of the numbers involved but each new survey is helping to strengthen the collective findings.

In every survey many companies were selected in the third tier and fourth tier and amongst the boutiques which came out near the top it is clear that some common themes are happening. Also, in this survey major international brands like Prada, Issey Miyake, Miu Miu, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and others, were also selected in the third tier and given the age group belonging to 18 and 24 then this showing is powerful.

Also, the diversity of boutiques selected is highlighting the vibrancy of fashion in Tokyo and that the market is ultra-competitive. All females selected in this survey value fashion highly and the fashion styles of women selected applies to mainstream elegant styles, student based fashion, and youth orientated fashion.

http://www.style-arena.jp

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

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion vibes: views from young ladies in Tokyo aged between 18-26

Tokyo fashion vibes: views from young ladies in Tokyo aged between 18-26

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo fashion is internationally famous and this survey was done online by Modern Tokyo Times. It relates to young ladies aged between 18 and 26 and key questions were asked about favorite places for fashion. All females who took part in the survey were selected once it became known that they regularly shop in trendy parts of Tokyo and that they adore fashion. In total, one hundred females took part and the findings are very interesting because it is fascinating to know the favorite brands and stores in this vibrant city. After all, the fashion market in Tokyo is huge and ultra-competitive.

Every female who took part in the survey resides in Tokyo or the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama. However, each female either studies or works in Tokyo and every single lady does her major shopping in trendy parts of this stylish and ultra-modern city.

Also, according to the survey it is clear that the major fashion districts were the most popular. This applies to Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Omotesando, and Ginza. Despite this, other areas were also chosen and this includes Jiyugaoka, Aoyama, Daikanyama, Ebisu, Shimokitazawa, Ueno, and other fashion districts in Tokyo.

Another important factor is location because Ikebukuro was especially selected by young ladies who reside in Saitama prefecture and similarly, Ueno was picked by a few individuals who reside in Chiba prefecture. Of course, this wasn’t exclusive to all individuals who reside in these prefectures. However, you did have a noticeable common denominator when it came to young ladies living in Saitama prefecture because Ikebukuro gained from its strategic location.

This isn’t undermining the importance of fashion in Ikebukuro because in recent years this part of Tokyo continues to prosper and expand. Therefore, while the traditional department stores of Seibu Department Store and Tobu Department Store have always been the backbone of Ikebukuro. In recent times Lumine and Esola have given a boost to the younger fashion market. Given this growing angle, Lumine, Esola, Marui, Parko, and other famous stores catering for younger people, have galvanized the buzzing nature of modern Ikebukuro and people from all over Greater Tokyo shop in this fashionable district.

When it came to the question of the most popular fashion stores picked by individuals in the survey, then this part wasn’t so unpredictable. Of course, some of the ladies replied that they prefer individual fashion companies and not major department stores or famous shopping malls. However, for young Japanese, Korean, and Chinese ladies, who reside in the Greater Tokyo region, then Lumine just came out on top from Marui, Shibuya 109, and Laforet Harajuku. Isetan wasn’t far behind and a minor split occurred with the youngest ladies in the 18 to 22 years old bracket especially focusing on the first three places mentioned.

The question related to favorite shop and brand was extremely varied. However, while the majority of ladies selected a single favorite shop others mentioned their number one department store. Overall, the most popular fashion companies selected were Zara, Topshop, Emoda, Snidel, Sly, and H & M. This group was closely followed by Mercury Duo, Egoist, American Apparel, Forever 21, Moussy, Jouetie, and Laguna Moon. Likewise, the following tier which was just below the last group applies to Chanel, Tsumori Chisato, Marua, Rose Bud, Risel, Chloe, Dazzlin, Otoe, Comme des Garcons, Gucci, Lowry’s Farm, Miu Miu, G.V.G.V., Spick and Span, Unsqueaky, Earth Music & Ecology, Beams, SmackyGlam (Smacky Glam), Jill Stuart, Free’s Shop, Chelsea, Liz Lisa, and Lip Service.

In the final tier were many companies and in truth you have too many to mention. However, the list includes Osmosis, Grimoire, Heather, Louis Vuitton, Jeanasis, Journal Standard, Adam et Rope, Kaka Vaka, Opening Ceremony, Celine, Loungedress, D’issy, Urban Research, Frayi D, Rosso, Martin Margiela, Barak, Qosmos, Theory, Theatre Products, Alexander Wang, Ann Demeulemeester, Ingni, Another Edition, Miel Crishunant, and several others. Therefore, the complex nature of the list also highlighted the importance of places like Laforet Harajuku because several companies are located in this shopping mall and the same applies to Lumine and other department stores.

When it came to the “favorite hair salon” then Bloc, D & B, Shima, Za/Za, and Minx were the most popular. After this top selected group you have countless others but it is noticeable that in two surveys done by Modern Tokyo Times that Shima did well in both.

The findings will have limitations but clearly during the second survey related to fashion in Tokyo, it is clear that some similarities applied. This notably applies to favorite department stores, favorite hair salon, and many fashion companies were selected in both surveys but with slightly different results at the top.

Overall, it is clear that the survey highlights the buzzing nature of Tokyo fashion and clearly individuals picked both Japanese boutiques and international boutiques.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Japan

 

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