International sportswear giants are staking their
claims on the fashion-conscious streets of Shibuya. Martin Webb slips
on his sneakers to bring us up to speed.
New Balance flexes its shoemaking muscles with this mighty store in Harajuku,
towering over neighboring buildings and proclaiming its presence with
an enormous poster. This is the first, official store in Japan for New
Balance, the brand marketed as footwear for the serious athlete complete
with trend-defying styling and appropriately technical-sounding names.
The Athlete section, in the basement, is home to the Big Size corner,
professional athlete's shoes and lots of screaming logo apparel. The Contemporary
department, at ground level, displays new models, the "Commuter"
and "Mode Comfort" lines and Dunham, New Balance's walking boot
offshoot. Aside from more sneakers and accessories, the second floor,
labeled "Classic," accommodates the kids' section and the Goodie
Bear café, which has access to a spacious veranda. High price tags
accompany displays boldly labeled "Made in USA/UK," making Japan-designed
items not available overseas a better buy for foreign customers. Whether
you commute, trail run, cross-train or hike, make your way to this retail
monster when your soles start to come away from their uppers.
Open 11am-8pm. Harajuku Takara Estate Bldg, 1-8-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-5785-3366. Nearest stn: Meijijingumae.
The craze for vintage clothing has been hitting some fashion retailers
pretty hard, especially those whose business is street casual wear. Few
brands are as prized as adidas when it comes to vintage, and the guys
at head office have come up with a scheme to cash in on the cachet of
the company's illustrious history: adidas Originals. Opened on Cat Street
last month, the store is laid out much like a flea market with low trestle
tables and haphazard stacks of cardboard boxes. The stock consists chiefly
of remakes of classic adidas items from 1972-1996, allowing shoppers to
get the retro look without having to traipse around swap meets or trawl
through vintage stores. You may need to wear in the 83-C training top
and 1976 Stan Smiths yourself, but at least the smells and stains will
be your own. Some newly designed items on offer include the affordable
Levi's collaboration denim sneakers and not-so-affordable Swarovski collaboration,
a rhinestone-encrusted fantasy shoe available only in this store.
Open 11am-8pm. Cat Street, 6-14-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5464-5580.
Nearest stn: Meijijingumae.
Bitter rivals of adidas for 54 years, having been established by Adolf
Dassler's disgruntled brother Rudi, Puma is still battling it out with
the three stripes for dominance of the retro sneaker market. Puma's latest
move in the war is the unveiling of the world's second Puma concept store
(the first is in Santa Monica, Calif.) late last year in Harajuku. As
might be expected from a "concept store," this one boasts a
smart, clean interior and is sparsely stocked with high-end Puma products.
The Italian-designed revival line, "Platinum Collection," is
the mainstay of this sneaker freak's paradise, but specially selected
accessories, bags and clothes from other lines do make their way into
the store. If you need to get kitted out for the gym, get down to Kanda,
where "concept" means high-brow, high-fashion, high prices.
Those who care about what message their footwear communicates won't want
to miss the hot releases due in store this season. With the resounding
success of the Puma/Sparco boxing boots behind them, more dual name sneakers
are in the cards, including a new Jil Sander design. This store is the
only place to be seen buying that dinky gym bag, a styling T-shirt or
a good ol' pair of Clydes.
Open 11am-8pm. Harajuku Quest Bldg 1F, 1-13-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel:
03-3401-6100. Nearest stn: Harajuku.
Nike at 01one
The undisputed heavyweight champ of the sportswear world, Nike lands
another blow to its envious rivals by grabbing two whole floors of Shibuya's
Marui One. The reconfiguration of the Marui triumvirate has seen the fashion
departments of One's third and fourth floor shifted to Marui City down
the street to make way for Nike and transform the building into a hip
hop/streetwear megaplex. All the Nike lines are here, from Jordan to All
Conditions Gear, swimming to tennis, baseball, basketball and golf. The
brand's sponsorship deals with top soccer stars like Ruis Figo, Ronaldo
and Nakata will ensure healthy interest through the World Cup season,
but if soccer isn't your sport of choice, try paying a visit just to marvel
at the impressive sneaker wall on the fourth floor. With more new designs,
more lines, and more colors than any other brand, Nike remains streets
ahead. Sportsters who like to show off a swoosh should streak down to
Open 11am-8pm. 1-12-13 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3464-0101. Nearest
Converse, K-Swiss, adidas, Dunlop, a couple of Japan-based labels and
the company's own brand are just some of the names that can be found at
this whiter-than-box-fresh-Reeboks store. The models that make it into
this new branch have been specially selected to appeal to the more fashion-conscious,
funky footwear fetishist, and the company's own brand tracks high fashion
trends with alarming precision. ASBee has exclusive distribution rights
to the new line of Ecko sneakers for women, all but sold out so don't
spare the shoe leather: hurry down and snap up a pair. Other nice finds
are the new adidas Stan Smiths replete with Stan's smiling image on the
tongue and the pre-stained Dunlop Green Flash. The genteel atmosphere
of Omotesando seems to have rubbed off on the sales assistants, who wear
smart uniforms and have much less of the bad attitude that one has to
be prepared for when entering similar stores. A great spot for sneakers
to strut your stuff in, pay it a visit in between espressos along this
Open 11am-8pm. Minagawa Bldg 1F, 6-2-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5774-1192.
Nearest stn: Meijijingumae.
Photos: Brooke Wheeler
New Page 1
New Page 1
Club Boy Beau
Dr. Allen Leroy Robinson
Hair Dressers Archecal 03-0449-6106
Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Natural Therapy Center
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
Takagi Skin Clinic
Tokyo Skin Clinic
Watanabe Hair Dressing 03-3405-1188
Who Ga 03-5570-1773
IN STORE ARCHIVE:
535: Anything goes
Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna
Kite visits five of the best.
531: To a tee
Tokyos hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japans
top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.
527: Treasure chests
Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting
for your next shopping excursion.
523: Arts and crafts movement
Trina OHara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie
stores. Hanna Kite reports.
515: Bowled over
Trina O'Hara tracks down the latest tableware to suit any time of day.
511: East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets and shrine sales suit all types
of personalities and interests.
503: The write stuff
Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.
499: Blasts from the past
Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer
Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.
495: In the bag
From haute to mass-market, designer to dowdy, Tokyo has a tote to suit every
taste and budget. Jennifer Au tracks down the best.
491: Paper chase
Steve Trautlein goes on a search for Tokyo's best English booksellers.
487: Happy trails
A love affair with the great outdoors is easily consummated at these Tokyo
retailers. Steve Trautlein gears up.
483: Top hats
Whether its a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon
stroll, there will be times this summer when youll want to keep the sun
off your face. Martin Webb hunts down Tokyos best headwear suppliers
so you can stay shady in style.
479: Oriental express
This summer, all things Asian are hot stuff. Martin Webb finds out how to
get the look without breaking the bank.
474: Haute haven
Forget Roppongi Hills aspirations to be the citys cultural hub.
This is the consumer capital of the world, and its all about shopping.
Martin Webb reports.
468: New kit on the block
Backed by street-wise fashion chain store Beams, these seven new stores
are upping the style quotient in Daikanyama. Martin Webb sizes up this brand
new shopping experience.
463: Can buy me love
Stuck for ideas about how to make Valentines Day extra memorable this
year? Martin Webb shops around for some great gift ideas for lucky ladies.
452: Perfect timing
For the rushed residents of our fair metropolis, keeping an eye on time is one
of life's little necessities.
448: House of style
The newly open Marunouchi Building is drawing legions of eager shoppers from
all over Japan
445: Present perfect
Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free?
441: Toy story
Martin Webb tackles every parent's annual ennui and finds playthings that could
earn you more peace and quiet than you bargained for
437: Natural selection
Seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea
429: Jet, set, go!
With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in
hot pursuit of packing accessories
425: Loud and clear
No home is complete without a sound system, and for audiophiles, time at home
revolves around those little black boxes
421: Red brick revival
Once at the heart of Yokohama's bustling port industry, Akarenga Soko has a
new lease of life as an exclusive entertainment and retail complex
417: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites prosper
413: Sporting goodies
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
New Page 1