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 photos http://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://hoyhoy.shop-pro.jp/ Hoy-Hoy Station
http://yaplog.jp/clobenz/ Kuro Benz
http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/ Mad Tea Party
http://usedclothingnowornever.blogspot.com/ Now Or Never
http://www.peepcheep.com/ Peep Cheep
http://uk-extra.com/ UK Extra