Tokyo Fashion News: Diversity, Elegance and Amazing Fashion Districts

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Tokyo Fashion News: Diversity, Elegance and Amazing Fashion Districts

Kanako Itamae and  Michel Lebon

Modern Tokyo Times


Throughout the world you have amazing cities where fashion is flourishing. Notable cities apply to Milan, Paris, New York, London, Moscow, Seattle, Prague, and a host of other major cities where the finest boutiques in the world can be found. In Japan the fashion scene is also buzzing in cities like Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, Hiroshima and in other cities like Sendai. These cities have a wealth of amazing Japanese and international boutiques and clearly the fashion scene in Osaka is enormous. This is based on the size of the population and purchasing power of this vibrant city.


However, from an international point of view then Tokyo stands out because of the amazing fashion districts throughout this ultra-modern city. Of course, Osaka can’t be ignored but sadly this city doesn’t appear to be selling itself internationally. Therefore, Osaka can never be underestimated and with Kobe and Kyoto being so near, then Kansai is certainly a flourishing area for fashion. Given this reality,  it is hoped that Osaka will obtain more international media coverage when it comes to fashion in the near future because this city is truly dynamic.


Tokyo is rightly viewed positively when it comes to the lifestyle of this amazing city and the fashion angle is a real treasure. This especially applies to the diverse nature of the fashion districts in this fabulous city. It is difficult to mention all the special districts because you have so many. Also, in many parts of Tokyo you have enormous hubs of fashion which link neighboring districts. For example, the fashion districts of Aoyama, Harajuku, Omotesando, and Shibuya, are linked within one amazing hub of fashion which would enhance any major city in the world. Yet the beauty of Tokyo is that you have other powerful districts which are linked together, for example Ginza, Yurakucho, Tokyo central and the district of Nihonbashi.


It is impossible to state which city is the most fashionable in the world because people will always have personal tastes. Also, unless you are a real jet-setter then most individuals will never have the opportunity to visit the top thirty to forty fashion cities in the world. Even then, you will always have special cities which appeal to individuals for different reasons.  However, it is fair to say that it is difficult to surpass the Tokyo fashion scene when it comes to the amount of buzzing districts within this mega city. Therefore, while Tokyo may not be the number one fashion city for all individuals who have visited this amazing city – it surely will always rank highly irrespective if deemed number one or among the elite fashion cities in the world.


The charm of Tokyo is the wealth of fashion districts to visit and the unique nature of each area which is blessed with fashion in abundance. These districts include Aoyama, Harajuku, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Yurakucho, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Omotesando, Roppongi Hills, Jiyugaoka, Daikanyama, Ebisu, Ueno, Shimokitazawa, Kichijoji, Nakameguro (Naka Meguro), Koenji, Nakano, and a few other districts. Obviously, the above extensive list highlights the amazing reality of fashion in Tokyo.


Districts like Aoyama, Omotesando, Ginza, Yurakucho, and a few others, highlight sophistication, elegance, and haute couture. Without a shadow of a doubt you will find the crème de la crème of boutiques in these chic and adorable places for fashion.  Ikebukuro also shouldn’t be underestimated because this district is blessed with a wealth of fashion which caters for both exquisite fashion to the street angle. Also, the richness of architecture in these amazing districts is a real treasure because it highlights the power of these parts of Tokyo and provides another adorable angle to this vibrant city.


Aoyama is blessed with so many exquisite boutiques that the names just run of the tongue naturally. A partial list applies to Prada, Comme des Garcons, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, 10 Corso Como, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, L’eclaireur, Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, A Bathing Ape, Jil Sander, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Stella McCartney, Red Valentino, Paul Smith, Helmut Lang, Hanae Mori, Mark Jacobs, Tsumori Chisato, Costume National, Carbane de Zucca, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Frapbois, Design Works, Deuxieme Classe, and many other adorable boutiques like Cynthia Rowley. On top of this, you have lovely malls to visit which include Boutique W, Dress Camp, Flair Aoyama, and Loveless.


Harajuku and Shibuya are internationally famous because of the various fashion subcultures which exist. Also, both districts are extremely diverse and while fashion subcultures are represented within Harajuku and Shibuya along with independent fashion styles, this isn’t the whole picture. After all, mainstream fashion and a mixture of Japanese and international boutiques can be found throughout both amazing fashion zones. Not only this, in the backstreets of Harajuku and not so far from Shibuya, you also have a vibrant casual scene where the influence of America can be felt. This casual area also caters for boutiques which are extremely independent and creative.


In Harajuku the fashion scene is blessed by Sebastian Masuda and the brand called 6%DOKIDOKI. This applies to the “chaotic punk” theme and the richness of kawaii culture which is represented by this amazing company. It is companies like 6%DOKIDOKI which manage to breakdown cultural boundaries and help to bridge youth culture. After all, Harajuku is one of the most famous fashion districts in the world. Therefore, because of individuals like Sebastian Masuda the Harajuku fashion angle remains unique and vibrant – and this in turn highlights the creativity of Japanese fashion.


In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Kawaii culture in Tokyo goes back several decades but this unique style which belongs to Japan continues to develop and modify.  6%DOKIDOKI is part and parcel of kawaii culture and the ongoing vibrancy of this unique style. However, Sebastian Masuda does not pertain to any single style because he is a creator and styles created by 6%DOKIDOKI then hit the fashion scene internationally.  Therefore, Sebastian Masuda is not a follower of fashion but he is a rare creator of fashion and styles.”


During several surveys by Modern Tokyo Times which were aimed at young ladies throughout Tokyo, then many boutiques were selected favorably. This partial list applies to Zara, Topshop, Emoda, Snidel, Sly, H & M, Mercury Duo, Egoist, American Apparel, Forever 21, Moussy, Jouetie, and Laguna Moon, 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, Lip Service, Osmosis, Grimoire, Heather, Louis Vuitton, Jeanasis, Tracy Reese, 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 many others.


Meanwhile department stores including Lumine, Shibuya 109, Marui, Isetan, Laforet Harajuku, Parco, and others, were picked time and again and you also had location favorites. For example, in Ikebukuro the department stores comprising of Esola, Seibu Department Store and Tobu Department Store appeal to various different age groups.  At the same time, the pull of Lumine, Marui, and Parco, means that the Ikebukuro fashion scene continues to grow from strength to strength. This notably applies to the younger generation which flock to Esola, Lumine, Marui and Parco respectively in Ikebukuro. Likewise, the variables alter in Harajuku and Omotesando because Laforet Harajuku, Omotesando Hills and the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara) are highly valued by fashion lovers.


Indeed, the department store angle is another amazing feature of fashion in Tokyo. The most famous three stores internationally apply to Shibuya 109, Marui One, and Laforet Harajuku; however, new stores like Omohara will continue to alter the fashion landscape. The unique vibes of each area is really special and for individuals who adore Shinjuku you have a wealth of amazing department stores to visit. This applies to Isetan, Keio, Lumine, Marui, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord. Also, Marui and Lumine have several stores in Shinjuku and Lumine 2 is extremely fashionable. Likewise, the fashion angle at Marui One is a real treasure and is a must place to visit for fashion lovers. After all, a visit to Mauri One is really special because so many fashion trends are catered for including modern kimono, princess fashion, casual styles, fantasy fashion, Visual kei, Lolita, Gothic, and dreamy fashion.


Therefore, Tokyo fashion caters for a wealth of many different angles and companies like 6%DOKIDOKI and Grimoire highlight the individualism of this buzzing city. Grimoire is famous for Dolly-kei and other styles which are so individualistic. The elegant looking Hitomi Nomura manages Grimoire. Individuals like herself and Sebastian Masuda at 6%DOKIDOKI, show that Tokyo is blessed with a free and stylish spirit which can’t be crushed by convention.


Overall, it is abundantly clear that the Tokyo fashion scene is blessed with many amazing and diverse fashion districts. Therefore, Tokyo is one of the most fashionable cities in the world and with up and coming designers in Koenji waiting to fill the need of new trends, then the future looks bright for this buzzing and stylish mega city. 

Lee Jay Walker provided support to both main writers (6%DOKIDOKI website) (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project) (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI) – Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)

All images belong to Modern Tokyo Times apart from 6% DOKIDOKI image which comes from this company

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