Sometimes, I wonder how people formulate an entire lifestyle around shopping, but then I come to places like Tokyo and it all makes sense. When the streets and neighborhoods are lined with personalized shopping experiences and spectacular buildouts stocked with hyper-limited product, it’s a no-brainer. Spend spend spend.
Out in the Aoyama district, the Comme des Garcons store had a nice, healthy queue a few mornings back for the release of their Oswald the Lucky Rabbit collection.
There’s a couple things to point out here. First, it’s pretty sick that the outside of the store’s wave-like construction seems to complement/anticipate early-morning lineups. And second, ..they got the license for OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT!!!! For the Disney-illiterate, Oswald was Mickey before Mickey was Mickey. He’s like Mickey’s gimpy inbred cousin that Walt likes to keep hidden in the basement,..but now he’s on $75 uber-cool t-shirts?!
Down the same path is the store for some streetwear brand called Prada that sells full-zip purses. I feel weird calling these behemoths “stores.” They’re more like “space-pods” or “alternate universes.”
See what I mean? Do these look like “stores” to you?
So for the past year, industry know-it-alls have been quick to profess that A Bathing Ape is dead in Japan. But take a look for yourself… the First Family of Bape:
And judging by the morning’s crowd at Aoyama’s Bape Exclusive location, I don’t think Bape’s wheezing any last gasps. But I have noticed that not nearly as many Japanese kids on the streets wear it as a few years back, and the majority of the people in the shops are foreigners from mainland China and Hong Kong.
Another favorite. Hysteric Glamour kills.
Gotta stop by the BlackFlag shop. Sal holds it down in the States, but this is the ultimate MAN store in the East. Neighborhood, Wtaps, oodles of black and zippers.
Digit’s crying right now.
No trip to Aoyama is complete without stopping by Loveless. Some of the most phenomenal designers, crazed Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-ride-at-Disneyland layout, and free cupcakes. Free. Cupcakes.