Posts tagged ‘fashion in tokyo’

September 6, 2012

Tokyo Fashion and Kimoken: Vintage and Independent Styles in Koenji

Tokyo Fashion and Kimoken: Vintage and Independent Styles in Koenji

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Images of fashion in Tokyo conjures up exquisite luxury fashion in Ginza to the unique fashion scene of Harajuku and the various fashion trends which enlighten this amazing part of Tokyo. Refined and elegant fashion can be found throughout many parts of this buzzing city and clearly the fashion districts of Aoyama, Ginza, Ebisu and Omotesando spring to mind quickly. Likewise Daikanyama, Ikebukuro, Jiyugaoka, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Yurakucho and many other districts are awash with amazing brands. However, like all powerful fashion cities in the world you also have a vibrant vintage scene and this notably applies to Koenji and other districts like Shimokitazawa.

Shibuya 109, Laforet Harajuku and Marui One are famous department stores for fashion in Tokyo. Recently, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara) opened up for business and this new vibrant shopping plaza will enhance Omotesando Hills which is blessed with amazing boutiques throughout the entire shopping mall. However, Koenji is a million miles away from these iconic stores and recent developments which are altering the fashion landscape in places like Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya.

One amazing expert who knows about the vibrant vintage fashion scene and other aspects of Koenji is Kimoken (Kenta Kimoto). Kimoken (http://kimoken.exblog.jp/) is an individual who adores fashion and understands the importance of creativity, individualism and the need to discover the “real self.” Therefore, he is constantly updating his websites in order to show “real fashion” connected with the independent vibes of Koenji.

Kimoken (http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/) provides “real street images” whereby the viewer can really understand the unique fashion angles of this part of Tokyo. He also recommends Lactose Intoler-Art (http://lactoseintolerart.tumblr.com/) which is a very interesting website to visit. Obviously, with Kimoken highlighting this creative website then you know immediately that it will have many unique angles.

In a past article about Kimoken by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “The reason why Koenji appeals to Kimoken so much is based on the vintage scene, individualism, creativity, fresh designers, the fusion of the past with the vibrancy of youth, the special feel of the place, acceptance of diversity, and because you have no boundaries. Therefore, if you want to visit a fashion district with a unique vibe then Koenji is a must place to visit. Also, the Kita-Kore building in this district is gaining in awareness because of the fashion buzz inside.

A partial list of fashion companies to visit in Koenji applies to the Mad Tea Party, Spank!, Safari, Yuri, Kiki, Jinjer, dai-dai, Chiruru, Peep Cheep, Zool, Yakusoku, Kuro Benz, Bernet, Sokkyou, Hoy-Hoy Station, Now Or Never, UK Extra, Re’all, Hikari, Mouse, , Vivid, Cord, and Pheb. This is only a partial list. Therefore, it is important to take your time in Koenji in order to seek out other companies which enrich this unique fashion district.

The beauty of the fashion scene in Tokyo is that it is so diverse. Also, individuals are literally spoilt for choice because you have so many vibrant districts to visit. Likewise, the contrasting reality of Aoyama and Koenji are a million miles apart. After all, Koenji highlights the raw edge of Tokyo fashion compared with Aoyama which focuses on the crème de la crème of fashion. Despite this, it is this collective diversity which really makes Tokyo tick and for vintage lovers and people who adore independent fashion vibes, then Koenji provides this.

The powerful favorite phrase of Kimoken also works perfectly with Koenji. He states that he loves the phraseWara e ba wara e. Ware ga nasu koto ha ware nomi zo shiru” (If you want to laugh at me, then do it. What I do is known only by myself). This extremely poignant comment says much about the real vibes of Koenji. After all, in Koenji it is clear that for fashion lovers who flock to this part of Tokyo, that the fashion angle is a way of life. Therefore, the favorite phrase of Kimoken fits in perfectly with the vintage and independent angle of this fashion district.

ALL  IMAGES BELONG TO KIMOKEN 

https://twitter.com/kimoken1979 – Follow Kimoken on twitter 

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://bernet.shop-pro.jp/ Bernet

http://chiruru.net/ Chiruru

http://ameblo.jp/cord1006/ Cord

http://daidaikoenji.blog56.fc2.com/ dai-dai

http://hoyhoy.shop-pro.jp/ Hoy-Hoy Station

http://ameblo.jp/greenlight-shoes/ Jinjer

http://kiki-kiki.ocnk.net/ Kiki

http://yaplog.jp/clobenz/ Kuro Benz

http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/ Mad Tea Party

http://ameblo.jp/mikamithemouse Mouse

http://usedclothingnowornever.blogspot.com/ Now Or Never

http://www.peepcheep.com/ Peep Cheep

http://ameblo.jp/realstep2/ Re’all

http://e-safari.co.jp/ Safari

http://www.sokkyou.net/ Sokkyou

http://spankworld.jp/ Spank!

http://uk-extra.com/ UK Extra

http://www.vivid-web.jp/ Vivid

http://www.e-yuri.jp/Page/TOP Yuri

http://zool.jp/ Zool

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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July 13, 2012

Tokyo fashion and tourism in Harajuku and Omotesando: Meiji Jingu to fashion

Tokyo fashion and tourism in Harajuku and Omotesando: Meiji Jingu to fashion

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

In 2012 the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara) opened for business and this vibrant new shopping complex which caters for fashion highlights the dynamics of Harajuku and Omotesando. This applies to new fashion styles, major changes related to architecture, fresh thinking, and other powerful dynamics. Therefore, Omohara, just like Omotesando Hills, is continuing with this fresh approach but the beauty of the entire area is that Harajuku and Omotesando remain to be distinctive.

Fashion tourism is increasingly growing in Tokyo and this applies to both individuals who reside in other parts of Japan and to international tourists. Powerful fashion areas like Aoyama, Harajuku, Ginza, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, are internationally famous to individuals who adore fashion. The reasons behind this are various and extremely dramatic because this applies to refined boutiques to kawaii culture and a host of other fashion trends.

However, for first time visitors to Harajuku then clearly you have many dimensions to this stunning part of Tokyo which flows naturally into Omotesando. One major attraction is the Meiji Jingu shrine which is a stunning Shinto religious place of worship. The grounds are enormous and the natural flow of nature and Shinto is enshrined by the beautiful design and landscape which works magically together.

Therefore, the Meiji Jingu is a must place to visit in Tokyo because individuals can contemplate in the spacious surroundings and enjoy the adorable garden. Also, the freedom of the Shinto faith is a rich blessing because you don’t have any restrictions on dress sensibilities, no overt missionary work, and of course Shinto and nature are embedded together. Given this, the stunning architecture of the main religious area blends naturally with the environment. The various walks within the grounds are also very therapeutic and it is easy to forget that you are in central Tokyo. If you are lucky, then you may witness a wedding, special event or see Shinto holy people walking around in unique dress styles related to their faith.

Another amazing aspect of the Meiji Jingu is that just outside the main gate you will often see young adults dressed in amazing outfits. This applies to Lolita fashion, cosplay and other unique trends which can be found in this part of Tokyo. Therefore, within seconds people pass from the world of new fashion vibes and daring styles to the uniqueness of the Shinto faith. However, because of the laidback nature of Shintoism everything seems natural.

Within minutes of leaving the main Harajuku Yamanote train station you either enter the world of religion or the world of fashion. Of course, for tourists, they will enter both worlds and enjoy a nice walk in Yoyogi Park. Turning to the fashion angle, then the Takeshita-dori is extremely busy because so many youngsters who adore fashion and the subcultures of Harajuku visit this place. Indeed, for young Tokyoites it is “a rite of passage” and the same applies to young people visiting Harajuku from surrounding prefectures which include Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama.

The beauty of Harajuku and Omotesando is that the Takeshita-dori is a million miles away from the fashion vibes of the main street which connects these two amazing fashion districts. Therefore, the youthful nature of the Takeshita-dori, kawaii culture, Lolita fashion, mainstream fashion, casual fashion, exquisite styles, and so much more, can be found within the same environment. Given this, within minutes you enter different fashion zones and styles and the same applies to the architecture. Also, the backstreets of Harajuku going towards Shibuya and similar backstreets in Omotesando are laden with casual fashion companies and independent and daring boutiques.

Omotesando Hills on the main street which connects Harajuku and Omotesando is blessed with fantastic boutiques. The architecture of this shopping mall is also very stylish and inside you have a mystical feel about the place because of the layout and lighting. Exquisite boutiques follow naturally inside and this applies to Adore, Anterpima, Apartment Department, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, iliann leob, Kiwa Sylphy, Martinique Le Conte, Milly, Tiara, Oriental News, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro) Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Tracy Reese, Yves Saint Laurent, and Zara.

If you visit (http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/ ) the website of Omotesando Hills then you will note that you have many companies inside which cater for lifestyle and beauty. A partial list of companies related to this angle includes Createur Reveal (nail salon), hair make Pas de deux (hair salon), le bois (spa and beauty treatment), M.A.C. (cosmetics), and shu uemura beauty boutique (cosmetics).

Another recent angle to Harajuku and Omotesando is the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku complex which highlights fashion and other angles related to the area. The nickname of this place is Omohara and not only is this mall blessed with sophisticated boutiques but also you have a nice garden and places to sit outside. Omohara links both Harajuku and Omotesando together therefore the name Omohara is most suitable.

Inside this elegant building you have many exquisite boutiques and various different fashion trends. Fashion companies located within Omohara applies to The Shel’tter Tokyo, Charms, American Eagle Outfitters, Minnetonka, Laboratory Work ReCurrent, Pink Trick, Rady, Rione Doras, Juge ETTA, Loaves, Phoebe, Roomy’s, Amo’s Style by Triumph, Tommy Hilfiger, Cheek by Archives, Choosy Chu, Glam Baby, Flag, Goa, Humor Shop by A-net, and Jewelna Rose.

Also, within Omohara you have lifestyle stores and places to relax and enjoy your shopping experience. The rooftop observatory is also a real delight and clearly this attraction is extremely appealing. Therefore, Omohara, Omotesando Hills and Laforet Harajuku are collectively creating a real buzz and vibe. This buzz and vibe continues within independent boutiques like 6%DOKIDOKI throughout both fashion districts and this is what is so special about Harajuku and Omotesando. Simply put, the amazing diversity and creativity of both districts is not only a gem for Tokyo but it is also “an international fashion gem” for all fashion lovers.

Laforet Harajuku (http://www.laforet.ne.jp/is an iconic store alongside Shibuya 109 and Marui One in Shinjuku. Within Laforet Harajuku you have a plethora of diverse boutiques which cater for many different styles. Laforet Harajuku just like Shibuya 109 is “a rite of passage” for fashion lovers in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures. Boutiques like Deicy, Topshop, Nomine, Lowrys Farm, and so many other amazing boutiques can be found in this fantastic fashion zone.

Harajuku and Omotesando are must places to visit if you adore Japanese and international fashion. The independent spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI to the buzzing casual scene in the backstreets is a real treasure. Similarly, mainstream fashion and exquisite styles can be found in so many stores and fantastic shopping malls. At the same time, the Meiji Jingu is a reminder of “the spiritual dimension” to this lovely part of Tokyo providing individuals seek solace. Overall, both districts are extremely special and collectively they provide a fantastic destination to visit.

 

http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/ Meiji Jingu Shrine

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3006.html Meiji Jingu and other tourist information

http://omohara.tokyu-plaza.com/en/  Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara)

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

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

http://www.dokidoki6.com/    (Please visit this fashion website of 6%Dokidoki) 

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

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

Partial list of stores in Omotesando Hills

http://www.laforet.ne.jp/en/harajuku.html Laforet Harajuku 

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/ 

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

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/ 

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

http://www.erikonail.com/ 

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.iliannloeb.com/ 

http://eu.jimmychoo.com/en/restofworld/page/home?notify=yes

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/ 

http://www.lebois.jp/

http://www.maccosmetics.co.jp/ 

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

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

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

http://www.incontro.co.jp/ 

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

http://www.pasdedeux.co.jp  

http://www.ysl.com/d/

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

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

June 25, 2012

Tokyo lifestyle and Ikebukuro: fashion, place to reside, and prime location

Tokyo lifestyle and Ikebukuro: fashion, place to reside, and prime location

Sarah Deschamps, Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo lifestyle is extremely rich and choosing an ideal location to reside depends greatly on the demands of the individual. However, if you like the hustle and bustle of a very powerful area in Tokyo then Ikebukuro is a great choice. Also, the great thing about Ikebukuro is that the price mechanism varies accordingly and in the backstreets you will also find a more tranquil way of life.

The fashion angle of Ikebukuro is extremely powerful and this applies to department stores which include Lumine, Esola, Tobu Department Store, Seibu Department Store, Marui, Parco, and others. This means that Ikebukuro feels extremely young and vibrant in the main shopping areas of East Ikebukuro and West Ikebukuro. The central theme is the huge train station which links so many department stores.

Ikebukuro is blessed with several universities and you also have several other institutions which are nearby. This once more means that this vibrant part of Tokyo is blessed with an enormous pulling power. The same applies to Ikebukuro being the “gateway” which links Saitama with this powerful commercial area in Tokyo. Therefore, many individuals who reside in Saitama will pick Ikebukuro being their first major shopping destination in Tokyo. Similarly, many Tokyoites will also pick Ikebukuro because of the fashion angle and the vibrancy of the nightlife.

West Ikebukuro provides a different angle because it is more cosmopolitan and the abundance of fashion is amazing. This applies to utilizing the adorable Tobu Department Store which caters for amazing fashion brands, crafts, delicious food, and so much more. Also, for expats you have a fine selection of international cheese, wine, beer, and other products to make you feel like “home from home.”

Tobu Department Store also connects with Lumine Department Store in several places and both entities enrich each other. After all, both department stores have unique features and for young ladies who adore fashion then Lumine is one of the most popular department stores in Tokyo. Of course Tobu Department Store provides adorable boutiques for people of both sexes and different age groups. However, the price mechanism and nature of boutiques are different with Tobu Department Store having many exclusive boutiques and being more conservative. Meanwhile the trendy buzz and vibe of Lumine appeals greatly to younger ladies (also caters for male fashion) because this company understands the latest trends. Therefore, Lumine selects powerful shops-in-shop companies to be based in their department stores in order to meet the demands of the younger generation.

Esola is another lovely department store for ladies and Marui is also based in West Ikebukuro. Marui like Lumine is also in high demand for fashion lovers throughout Tokyo because both stores are extremely trendy. Meanwhile Esola provides a lovely elegant feel because despite have many exquisite boutiques, it isn’t too sizeable and this provides a lovely shopping experience. Also, within each department store they cater for other products and you have so many places to eat in the same buildings. This is an added bonus because people can unwind with friends and so forth by relaxing in stylish restaurants where the food is scrumptious.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space will re-open this autumn in 2012 and once the new design is on view then people will be able to relax in a stylish arena which caters to the cultural angle of Ikebukuro. Japan Traditional Craft Center in Ikebukuro is also a must place to visit for adorable Japanese crafts. This building is connected to Tobu Department Store and opposite Lumine. The Japan Traditional Craft Center provides a wealth of amazing products and this lovely shopping experience is richly rewarding.

In East Ikebukuro you have Parco Department Store and Seibu Department Store along with a host of other fashion companies in the streets of this side of Ikebukuro. Parco is another vibrant fashion zone for the younger generation meanwhile Seibu Department Store caters for a wealth of diverse products. Also, Seibu Department Store is blessed with stunning boutiques and clearly it is a great place to shop.

Also, on this side of Ikebukuro is Sunshine City which caters for shopping, entertainment, an aquarium, museums, observation deck, and hotel facilities. Sunshine City is an enormous attraction and the streets nearby provide a vibrant atmosphere. This applies to anime stores, entertainment, restaurants, nightlife, independent boutiques, and so much more.

Overall, the lifestyle of Ikebukuro is richly rewarding because this part of Tokyo provides so many options to enjoy. Not only this, the housing areas are relatively quiet and relaxing despite being very close to the buzzing central area. Ikebukuro is also very close to Shinjuku, Ueno, Shibuya, Harajuku, and other major parts of Tokyo. The price mechanism of the housing also means that this part of Tokyo is more affordable than most but of course you can also find places which are extremely expensive. Much depends on your purchasing power. Yet when it comes to being a desirable place to reside in Tokyo then Ikebukuro provides a wealth of options.

 

All photo images taken by Modern Tokyo Times 

www.smackyglam.com  –  Smacky Glam

http://www.esola-ikebukuro.com/ 

http://orizzonti.co.jp/category/actuel/ 

http://www.barbie-stores.com/ 

http://www.bluebellmarket.net/index.html 

http://www.palgroup.co.jp/brands/doudou/ 

http://www.turnojeana.jp/ 

http://www.frees-mart.com/index.html 

http://m-muriel.jp/index.html 

http://www.elleva.jp/ 

http://www.frame-works.co.jp/index_n.html 

http://blog-s.frame-works.co.jp/  Spick and Span official blog

http://www.jolly-boutique.com/ 

http://www.world.co.jp/opaqueclip/ 

http://royalflash-jp.com/pc/home.html 

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

http://www.parco.co.jp/customer/ikebukuro/IkebukuroPARCO_FloorGuide.pdf

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

February 4, 2012

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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January 10, 2012

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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November 30, 2011

Tokyo fashion and gardens: Rikugien, Kyu-Furukawa and fashion in Omotesando

Tokyo fashion and gardens: Rikugien, Kyu-Furukawa and fashion in Omotesando

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The beauty of Tokyo is that this mega-modern city caters for various lifestyles and areas change quickly. If you adore fashion then Tokyo is an amazing city because you have a plethora of choices. Therefore, each fashion district is buzzing for different reasons and on the opposite side of the coin you have many lovely gardens to relax and enjoy stunning nature.

Omotesando is famous for high-end fashion because you have so many fabulous companies to visit.  This applies to international boutiques and Japanese boutiques. Also, the closeness to Aoyama, Harajuku and Shibuya means that this fashion area is one of the most dynamic in the world. This isn’t an overstatement, it is based on facts and the same applies to the diversity of fashion.

Therefore, in Omotesando you are on the edge of so many different styles. This applies to exquisite and elegant fashion, kawaii trends, street styles, Lolita fashion, Dolly Kei, Vintage fashion, mainstream, and a host of other styles. Also, the age range changes quickly and this all adds to a fantastic buzz and natural energy.

Grimoire is on the border of Harajuku and Shibuya and this company is extremely unique and vibrant. The same applies to many other companies like 6% DOKIDOKI and the talented designer Sebastian Masuda. Therefore, with companies like Grimoire, Candy, and 6%DOKIDOKI (Harajuku), you can feel a lovely individualistic style and other amazing boutiques have created a lovely buzz and vibrant spirit.

If you love more mainstream fashion and elegant designs by top notch boutiques then a visit to Omotesando Hills is a real treat. Inside this building of stunning architecture you have countless international and Japanese boutiques which are sublime.

This applies to stunning boutiques in Omotesando Hills which include Adore, Anterpima, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Yves Saint Laurent, Zara, Tracy Reese, Kiwa Sylphy, iliann loeb, Milly, Tiara, Apartment Department, Martinique Le Conte, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro), Oriental News and so many others. In truth, every single boutique is a wonder to behold and the design and architecture of Omotesando Hills is a real treasure.

Therefore, if you love fashion then “think” Omotesando, Harajuku, Aoyama and Shibuya. Of course you have many fantastic fashion districts in Tokyo but this collective area is difficult to beat in any nation. After all, you can travel between each area on foot and the different trends and styles are amazing.

On the opposite side of the fashion coin in Tokyo are the many gardens which grace this amazing city. If you want a lovely contrast between vibrant and buzzing Tokyo with a more sedate and tranquil area, then Komagome is well worth visiting. This applies to lovely gardens and many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines to visit alongside shops which focus on antiques and other products.

It is difficult to imagine than Komagome is so close to Ikebukuro with all its trendy fashion in yet another fashion district in Tokyo. Alternatively, it is also difficult to believe that Komagome is so close to Ueno which is blessed with so many museums and tourist places to visit. Also, fashion in Ueno is electric but in its own distinctive style and you have a more Northeast Asia feel about Ueno than the usual Tokyo vibe.

Yet in Komagome you can enjoy the stunning gardens of Rikugien and Kyu-Furukawa which is in the same area. Both gardens are kept beautiful all year round and the main walkways provide glimpses into the ethics of Japanese gardens.  Therefore, space, time, views, emotions, minimalism, and other elements, fuse naturally with aspects of Confucianism, Buddhism and Shintoism.

A real added bonus in Rikugien is that you can sit down and drink traditional Japanese tea and eat delicious Japanese sweets. At the same time, the view is amazing and you can look out and gaze at the stunning pond and see nature in all its beauty.

The pond in both gardens is the central theme but if you desire you can walk around more secluded areas. Komagome is extremely rewarding because of the therapeutic nature of both gardens. Therefore, if you want to escape the buzzing fashion districts of Tokyo or to enjoy the best of both worlds, then a visit to Komagome is essential.

The shopping district in Komagome is only small but you will find folk art stores, antiques, traditional Japanese sweets, Japanese dyed garments, ceramics, independent shops and so much more. Also, if you search around you will feel the sedate and tranquil nature of this part of Tokyo and another world will open up to you.

Kyu-Furukawa Garden is a little more natural despite the garden being well kept and while Rikugien Garden is the more famous garden, both gardens enrich each other. Not only this, the architecture of the Josiah Condor (1852-1920) Western-style residence in the Kyu-Furukawa Garden is a lovely bonus. Therefore, this building alongside the rose garden provides a lovely British and Japanese theme.  

Overall, Omotesando and Komagome may seem like chalk and cheese however, this is what makes Tokyo so special. Therefore, a visit to both places will make Tokyo come alive and Tokyoites and tourists gain from both amazing places.

Please visit the  links  below for more information about both gardens

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/rikugien/index.html

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-furukawa/

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

Individual fashion companies

http://www.dokidoki6.com/

http://www.grimoire.jp/

http://candy-nippon.com/

Omotesando Hills

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/  

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

http://www.ap-dp.com/  

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

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

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://eu.jimmychoo.com/en/restofworld/page/home?notify=yes

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.ysl.com/d/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

ALL FASHION IMAGES BY MODERN TOKYO TIMES

November 28, 2011

Tokyo fashion: four essential websites for fashion and consumer news

Tokyo fashion: four essential websites for fashion and consumer news

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Information about the vibrant nature of fashion in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and other major cities in Japan, is in huge demand. This applies to mainstream fashion, business factors, Japanese subculture and fashion, buzzing districts, new fashion movements, high range fashion, and a host of other factors. Therefore, this article is aimed at highlighting essential websites about the fashion scene and consumer news in Japan but with an emphasis on Tokyo.

Of course, you have amazing fashion in cities like Osaka and this notably applies to Namba and Umeda. In truth, Osaka is a “hidden global gem” because the sheer vibrancy of fashion in places like Namba and Umeda is amazing and these two districts would bless any major city in the world. However, sadly it is difficult to find a website which regularly updates about the fantastic fashion scene in Osaka. Therefore, the stunning style of Namba ladies remains hidden unlike the fashion scene in Harajuku in Tokyo which is internationally famous.

However, the JapanConsuming http://www.japanconsuming.com website focuses on the entire sector throughout Japan. Therefore, this highly recommended website is aimed at companies based in Japan, companies that are thinking about entering the Japanese market, and for all individuals who are focused on the consumer market in Japan.  The client base tells the story about the influence of JapanConsuming because the list includes L’Oreal, Max Factor, Giorgio Armani, KPMG, Estee Lauder, Godiva, Tiffany, Celine, and a host of others.

Information applies to many factors including market entry, current trends, industry data analysis, and a host of essential areas related to the complex nature of business in Japan. Therefore, if consumer news in Japan is needed alongside a company which is focused on providing detailed information, then JapanConsuming is a must. After all, many companies like Nokia, Tesco, and many others, have found the market in Japan to be either too complex, inflexible, unable to adapt to different demands or have entered a market which is either saturated or not open to change based on various factors.

Tokyo Fashion http://tokyofashion.com/ is a very different type of website because this online magazine is focused on fashion trends in Tokyo, clothing, accessories, the changing scene, trendy districts, up to date news, and various other areas like kawaii culture. Tokyo Fashion website is interactive and this applies to new fashion images of street fashion and using Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, if you want to see visual images of individuals who adore fashion in Tokyo, alongside great information about ongoing events and new in vogue companies, then Tokyo Fashion online magazine will open up the vibrant scene of this mega city.

If you are an individual, company or media source who wants to understand the vibrant alternative scene of Tokyo then La Carmina is the lady to do this. This is based on her first-hand knowledge of the subcultures of Tokyo and the alternative fashion scene. Also, La Carmina is extremely elegant and stylish and this talented individual is clearly passionate about the areas she covers and Gothic Lolita and other fashion styles are highlighted.

Therefore, La Carmina http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/ is in huge demand and this applies to powerful international networks. La Carmina also opens up a new world and digs deep in order to highlight the latest alternative fashion trends, which are hitting and shaping the vibrant Tokyo scene. Her connections also enable La Carmina to stay one step ahead and in the world of alternative fashion and subcultures this is essential.

Style Arena http://www.style-arena.jp is an amazing website for regular news and lovely images of trendy Tokyoites. Therefore, if you want to know about fantastic suburbs to visit, latest fashion news and an abundance of amazing images which enable people to connect with trendy Tokyo – then Style Arena is a place to visit and see Tokyo up close.

Style Arena is administered by the Japan Fashion Association and Modern Tokyo Times certainly checks this fantastic website for news about “Tokyo Street Fashion.” Clearly, the Japan Fashion Association is showing the vibrancy of Tokyo fashion and aspects of culture in this amazing city. This website is a must for people who adore fashion and Tokyo because the contents and images are truly enlightening.

The websites highlighted were not mentioned by ranking but were based on a natural flow and this applies to JapanConsuming being based on the Japanese market unlike the other three websites being focused on Tokyo. Also, La Carmina’s website focuses on the alternative fashion scene and subcultures of Tokyo and this split the other two websites which have more in common, despite the style and layout being different.

Modern Tokyo Times is also aimed at being interactive and if individuals believe that other fashion and consumer websites should be highlighted, then please forward the appropriate website. Overall, these four websites provide many different angles and collectively they provide a powerful picture of the fashion scene in Tokyo.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

November 9, 2011

Tokyo fashion: Lumine 2 and department stores in Shinjuku

Tokyo fashion: Lumine 2 and department stores in Shinjuku

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

All Images MODERN TOKYO TIMES

Lumine is a lovely company which caters for high quality fashion and certainly this company understands the market in Japan. Time after time when you visit different Lumine stores you are guaranteed to find exquisite boutiques, a lovely layout, nice ambience and sophistication. Therefore, amidst the hustle and bustle of dynamic Shinjuku you have Lumine 2 and other Lumine stores. However, this article is just focused on Lumine 2 and giving details about other famous fashion department stores in Shinjuku.

Shinjuku itself is blessed with so many fantastic department stores and stylish boutiques which cater for many different styles of fashion. At all times Shinjuku is awash with people and the atmosphere is electric for fashion lovers but at times it can be too hectic for others. Despite this, if you are a lover of fashion then the choice is amazing and Tokyoites and tourists flock to Shinjuku in vast numbers every day.

Major department stores in Shinjuku and Nishi Shinjuku include Lumine, Isetan, Marui, Keio, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord. Each quality department store provides exquisite fashion and visiting Takashimaya is a real eye opener to the elegance of fashion in Tokyo. However, for younger ladies then Lumine and other department stores like Isetan and Marui One are also extremely popular.

Mylord is part of the Odakyu group and provides a nice contrast with the main Odakyu store. Meanwhile Mitsukoshi ALCOTT and Keio have their own strong powerbase and collectively the fashion stores all add to a vibrant fashion zone. Therefore, fashion is clearly potent in Shinjuku and you can feel the raw energy of this famous part of Tokyo.

Also, if you want to feel the vibe of unique styles which makes the alternative fashion scene tick in Tokyo, then Marui One is a must. This department store took a more risky approach by focusing on “underground fashion” and the “unique vibes of Tokyo and Osaka.” Therefore, for fashion lovers who want to see unique styles and feel the buzz of Tokyo, then Marui One provides many lovely styles.

This applies to fantasy fashion, romantic designs, modern kimono, Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, dreamy fashion, casual styles, visual kei, and other amazing trends. Therefore, Marui One is like “a mirror” of parts of Harajuku and this store is internationally famous. Marui have many different stores in Shinjuku but Mauri One stands out because of its individualism.  

Turning back to Lumine 2 then this elegant department store is blessed with exquisite boutiques and the atmosphere is always refined. Lumine 2 like all Lumine stores is based on providing boutiques which highlight elegance, current trends, gracefulness and extremely high quality products.

In Lumine 2 you have so many exquisite boutiques and on the second floor alone you have many fabulous fashion stores catering for ladies. This applies to Snidel, Banner Barrett, Jewel Changes, Samantha Thavasa, Grappe Bannister (Abahouse), United Arrows, Spick and Span (FRAMeWORK), Adam et Rope, Aquagirl, LANVIN en Bleu, Moroko Bar, Anteprima/Misto, Jill Stuart, Stunning Lure, KariAng Park, Fray I.D, Borny, Blondy, Peach John The Store (lingerie), RYZA, and several other lovely boutiques and cosmetic stores.

Spick and Span (FRAMeWORK) sums up the second floor well because this lovely boutique gives you a taste of the sheer quality provided within Lumine 2. Also, exquisite designs of bags by Samantha Thavasa and Anteprima/Misto are extremely appealing and the contrasting styles highlight the richness of the entire floor.

The second floor is the largest area for fashion but you also have stylish boutiques on other floors and it is important to look around and take your time. Therefore, on the third floor you will find a nice mix of ladies and men fashion and this applies to Urban Research, Nano Universe, Alfredo Bannister, and a few more boutiques.

The fourth floor is also mixed fashion for men and women and you have lovely boutiques which include Nombre Impair, Casbah, Beaver, Liptional, Journal Standard Relume, and Par ICI Klassisk. Also, you have other stores selling different products or a mixture of goods like Sunday Brunch Zakka (ladies fashion accessories), Raguel (ladies fashion accessories) and several other stores.

Overall, Lumine 2 is a fantastic shopping experience and if you want to see exquisite fashion in the heart of Shinjuku then you can’t go wrong by visiting this amazing department store.

ALL IMAGES MODERN TOKYO TIMES

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

SELECTION OF STORES IN LUMINE 2

http://www.anteprima.com/

http://www.jillstuart.com/

http://www.bannerbarrett.biz/

http://www.jewelchanges.jp/

http://www.samantha.co.jp/

http://abahouse.co.jp/english/accessory/grappe-bannister/

http://www.united-arrows.co.jp/index.html

http://www.frame-works.co.jp/index_n.html

http://blog-s.frame-works.co.jp/  Spick and Span official blog

http://www.adametrope.com/

http://www.lanvin-en-bleu.com/

http://stun-l.com/brand/index.html

http://www.kariangpark.jp/

http://fray-id.com/

http://www.peachjohn.co.jp/pj/english/about/

http://www.nanouniverse.jp/

http://www.rolladex.co.jp/nombreimpair/

http://www.liptional.com/

http://www.baycrews.co.jp/index.html

http://parici-ambidex.jp/?eid=114

http://www.raguel.co.jp/shop.html

DEPARTMENT STORES

http://maruione.jp/en/  Marui Online Shop

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

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

http://www.odakyu.jp/english/sightsee/shinjuku/index.html  Odakyu Department Store and Tourist Information

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

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

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

FASHION PHOTOS

http://www.chictopia.com/snidel/fashion

http://tokyofashion.com/photos/?location=Shinjuku   

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

November 5, 2011

Tokyo fashion: Elegant fashion from Switzerland adding to Ginza renaissance

Tokyo fashion: Elegant fashion from Switzerland adding to Ginza renaissance

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In Tokyo the district of Ginza means style, sophistication and the crème de la crème of Japanese and international boutiques. Recently, a new vibe is emerging once more in Ginza and Yurakucho because of the opening of new department stores and fabulous international boutiques.

Luxury companies from Switzerland have opened three new stores in the last few months and this is adding to a new vibe in Ginza. Akris is a company which is famous for exquisite fashion and accessories and clearly Ginza was the ideal choice.

The rich history of Akris fits in well with Ginza because sophistication and crème de la crème fashion companies, is the reality of this plush and refined district in Tokyo. Akris was created in 1922 by Alice Kriemler-Schoch and just like images of Switzerland which applies to stunning beauty, refinement and a nation which is confident and sophisticated. Then Akris and other refined fashion companies from Switzerland are creating a lovely and elegant vibe and adding to the renaissance of Ginza.

The fashion house Akris is based on Haute Couture craftsmanship, minimalism, elegance and the finest material. Other impeccable facts about this company apply to sheer innovation, understanding the complexity of fashion in the modern world and providing a look which is chic and elegant.

Bally just like Akris have opened a new stunning boutique in Ginza and this magnificent fashion company is extremely rich in history. Carl Franz Bally and Fritz his brother founded this company in 1851. However, Fritz would soon leave but Carl Franz Bally was undeterred and by the 1860s this innovative company employed over 500 individuals and expansion would continue because the quality shoes were in high demand.

The reputation of Bally speaks for itself because sophistication and amazing merchandize is all rolled into one. In 1976 Bally reached out to new markets because now this sublime company also focused on handbags, clothing and leather accessories.

However, 1977 would witness a major event because the Bally family now sold all their interests in this exquisite company but the foundation stone of Carl Franz Bally remained in spirit and name.

Not surprisingly, teething problems began to emerge because the global market was changing and developing nations were flooding the market. Despite this, it is clear that this wasn’t the real issue because Bally stands for refinement, exquisite quality and their client base is very different.

Therefore, a negative period began to unfold but the rich history of Bally and remaining loyal to high quality merchandise, meant that a new renaissance for this company would once more emerge. This renaissance can be seen by recent bold moves and the opening of Bally in Ginza was certainly well planned because this part of Tokyo is a fitting place for such a stylish and graceful company.

Freitag, unlike Bally and Akris, isn’t based on such a rich history but just like the founder of Bally this company had a firm direction and responded to the environment that shaped their thinking. Feitag have firmly established themselves internationally and in Japan this hip and stylish company is certainly in demand.

In an article by Regula Brechbuhl called “Freitag – The Designer Bag With a Conscience” the author comments in 2008 that “It was 1993 when the brothers Daniel and Markus Freitag introduced their first Freitag bag with its distinctive, unisex design. The bag caught on fast with young people in Zurich, and soon became a must-have item, mainly because they were colorful, original and carried a message about environmental friendliness, as they were pieced together from bits of recycled truck tarps. That year, the brothers produced just 40 bags – by 1994, it was five times as many. The brothers’ timing was just right: This was the period when people, students especially, were getting into heated arguments about the destruction of the forests, the importance of recycling and the detriments of environmental pollution. So the two designers were suddenly hailed as visionaries.”

Further down the article by Regula Brechbuhl it is stated that “…the Freitag credo: loving attention to detail. For example, a photograph is taken of every bag produced, then attached to it with a description of how that particular model came about…..This is just the sort of detail that appeals to Japanese consumers…. Freitag products are now on sale in 36 Japanese city center shops (applies to 2008). “What’s currently happening in Japan, is just what happened in Switzerland between 2000 and 2003,” says CEO Streuli. “We are now concentrating on markets with a similar growth curve, and in which the product is well understood, including urban centers in Japan, Germany, Benelux, Italy and Scandinavia. The potential for growth is gigantic.”

Akris, Bally, and Freitag, have their own individual history and this also applies to their respective relationship with Japanese consumers. However, to have such exquisite companies opening up in Ginza in 2011 speaks volumes about the current renaissance in Ginza and Yurakucho which go into each other.

Switzerland is famous for stunning beauty, highly advanced economy, sophistication and a nation which is confident. These three companies will bring their own style and innovation to the heart of Ginza. Therefore, Japanese consumers of luxury products alongside tourists who visit fashionable Ginza will all benefit.

Indeed, Ginza and these three sublime companies is a perfect match!

http://moderntokyotimes.com

October 25, 2011

Harajuku: trendy fashion, Meiji Jingu shrine, Yoyogi Park and Omotesando

Harajuku: trendy fashion, Meiji Jingu shrine, Yoyogi Park and Omotesando

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Harajuku is internationally famous because of fashion and the electrifying buzz of the main street which connects Harajuku and Omotesando. Trendy youngsters flock to the Takeshita-dori and this is what makes Tokyo fashion so special because the main street is so different and this applies to style, age group and the ambient feel. However, the distance between both places is so short and this is why Tokyo fashion is so special.

Harajuku and the area adjacent is not only focused on fashion because the Meiji Jingu shrine is the most opulent and sophisticated in Tokyo.  This stunning shrine is very symbolic and rich in grandeur and you have a lovely garden and many walkways in this spacious area. Also, it is a living shrine but because of the open nature of Shintoism you don’t have the overtly pious nature of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

Therefore, the Meiji Jingu shrine encompasses all the positives of the indigenous faith of Japan. The entire complex is about nature, prayer, relaxation, beauty in simplicity, space, and connecting with what you deem to be special. It can be a religious experience, a casual visit, a place for tourists to view, a place to escape the stresses of life, a picnic in the garden area and just a fluke visit based on having free time.  However, whichever it may be you won’t have any religious restrictions put on you unlike some other faiths which divide women and men and have restrictions on clothing.

Meiji Jingu and Yoyogi Park are very close and this park also provides a spacious place to relax and enjoy a pleasant walk. Often you will see students rehearsing and relaxing with friends, local people walking their dogs, lovers holding hands, friends relaxing, individuals out for a stroll and many joggers keeping fit. Mixed in this environment will be tourists and Tokyoites from different areas who are out for a casual walk or taking a break from the fashion district and unwinding in nice surroundings.

However, for the lovers of fashion then Harajuku is all about stylish boutiques, the latest trends, daring fashion, and iconic companies like 6%Dokidoki which was created by the fashion designer Sebastian Masuda. Therefore, when leaving the main train station in Harajuku you can enter the world of fashion, Shintoism or escape by relaxing in spacious grounds in either Yoyogi Park or the Meiji Jingu shrine.

The magnet area for trendy teenagers and young adults is the Takeshita-dori which is a very narrow street but packed with vibrancy. Fashion boutiques are in abundance and you have several places to eat and drink but if you like tranquility then this isn’t the place for you. However, if you are new to Harajuku and want to feel the energy of teenage fashion and young adults, then a visit to Takeshita-dori is a must.

Yet true to the nature of the entire area the fashion scene changes rapidly. Therefore, from walking down from the top of the main street from the Harajuku Yamanote train side and all the way to Omotesando which is connected with Harajuku by the same long street, then another fashion world will open.

This applies to famous international and Japanese boutiques and you have so many elegant and exquisite fashion companies to visit. The further you walk down and meet the Omotesando area then virtually every single boutique will be plush, exquisite and extremely sophisticated. Also, the elegant and enchanting Aoyama area is only around the corner.

However, just like the Takeshita-dori area and the main street which connects Harajuku and Omotesando are different worlds of fashion, the same also applies to the back streets of Harajuku and Omotesando. Therefore, it is vital to browse around the backstreets of both areas and the district which you need to walk through in order to reach Shibuya is awash with lovely fashion.

Boutiques in the backstreets cater for different styles and you also have sophisticated companies mixed together with independent boutiques. However, in the back streets you can relax and visit fashion companies which cater for street fashion, kawaii culture, Lolita fashion, and a plethora of styles.  Also, because of the nature of the backstreets then often you will see a new company by chance and this makes the entire area so fascinating.

Ometesando Hills shopping complex is certainly worth a visit because the fashion boutiques inside are stunning and this applies to Japanese and international fashion. A partial list of exquisite boutiques inside Omotesando Hills includes Adore, Anterpima, Apartment Department, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, iliann leob, Kiwa Sylphy, Martinique Le Conte, Milly, Tiara, Oriental News, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro) Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Tracy Reese, Yves Saint Laurent, and Zara.

However, please visit the http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/ Omotesando Hills website because you have so many other stylish and elegant boutiques in this stunning shopping mall.  Also, the architecture and lighting inside the building creates a lovely feel and you have many other types of stores like Createur Reveal (nail salon), hair make Pas de deux (hair salon), le bois (spa and beauty treatment), M.A.C. (cosmetics), and shu uemura beauty boutique (cosmetics).

Inside Omotesando Hills you also have many places to wine and dine and throughout Harajuku and Omotesando you will find many restaurants, bars, and café shops to enjoy and compliment your visit.

Turning back to the Meiji Jingu shrine this Shinto place of worship reminds you of the real nature of life. Also, the enormous Torii gate is a reminder of your own individual mortality because of its strength and size compared with mere mortals. Also, unlike people who share fleeting moments, this tower of strength will remain.

In this sense, the fashion area and the most grandeur Shinto shrine in Tokyo make perfect sense, with regards to sharing the same environment. This applies to the spiritual nature of people and the power of nature within our world. At the same time, exquisite fashion and new trends is a reminder of vitality, creativity, freedom, joy, escapism, feel good factor, love of fashion and other aspects which will apply to individuals differently.

Harajuku and the surrounding area which encompasses Aoyama, Omotesando Hills and Shibuya is a clear indicator of the richness of Japanese culture and the power of Tokyo. The Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine and fashion districts of Harajuku and Omotesando work perfectly alongside relaxing in Yoyogi Park. This is because each area is a jigsaw piece which collectively creates a special and exclusive environment.

http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/ Meiji Jingu Shrine

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3006.html Meiji Jingu and other tourist information

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

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

http://www.dokidoki6.com/    (Please visit this fashion website of 6%Dokidoki)

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

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

Partial list of stores in Omotesando Hills

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

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

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

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

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://eu.jimmychoo.com/en/restofworld/page/home?notify=yes

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.ysl.com/d/

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

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com