Store: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites
prosper. Martin Webb casts his eye over the current spectacles scene.
Facial Index New York Tokyo
At the doorstep of Tokyo station, the beleaguered shopping enclave of
Marunouchi has received an enormous boost with the opening of this stunning
store for stylish spectacles. Across from Kate Spade, and rubbing shoulders
with the rock star-style emporium A.P.C., Facial Index is in good company.
Its concrete interior with a recessed floor, meticulously arranged displays
and rich lighting make it one of the city's most visually appealing shopping
destinations. The success of the SoHo branch in New York, a showcase for
many Japanese eyewear brands previously unseen stateside, has allowed
Facial Index to open this second outlet within a year. The made in Japan
styles here are sleek, unfussy and of the highest craftsmanship. Their
practical styling and advanced lens technology, which allows not only
for color gradation but different tints in one lens, have been impressing
Big Apple dwellers since September 2001. Also on display are the store's
own branded sunglasses, built with ultra-lightweight frames made from
aluminum alloys developed in Japan.
Open 11am-8pm. 1F Mitsubishi Denki Bldg, 2-2-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku.
Tel: 03-5288-8220. Nearest stn: Nijubashimae exit B4.
In launching this superlative shop, Obj East has assembled a crew of Tokyo
design wunderkinds, from soundscape artists and color coordinators to
furniture and lighting designers. With an interior resembling an intergalactic
space cruiser, the eerily lit glass cases of Obj East look as though they
might contain samples of alien life. Upon closer inspection you'll
find they contain out-of-this-world spectacles. Alain Mikli's boldly
colored frames and his collaboration project with British design guru
Phillipe Starck, Starck Eyes, stand out with their timeless, rectangular
silhouettes. Of Obj East's three original lines, the standout is
OBJ water 8 special decenter ver, featuring curvaceous, ultra-lightweight
hollow frames. French brand Face a Face's twin-arm look and big-is-beautiful
Onkel from Germany also merit close inspection. By the entrance, an illuminated
wall displays rimless adidas and indestructible Oakley, Rudy Project and
Briko models for every sporty activity from trail running to mountain
Open 11am-8pm. 1F Kobikikan Ginza Bldg, 2-8-9 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3538-3456.
Nearest stn: Ginza exit A13, behind Matsuya Ginza.
Stepping into Cradle induces a very different feeling from that of a hyper-designed,
glass-and-steel store. The tasteful simplicity of the wooden flooring
and displays laid out on four hefty wooden blocks, along with the warm
welcome of the genki staff, will make you feel right at home. Cradle styles
itself as an optical tailor with an in-store, made-to-order service that
allows customers to customize glasses from ¥14,000 or design from
scratch from a remarkably reasonable ¥30,000. If you'd feel
more comfortable in celebrity-designed eyewear, take a look at the selection
of import brands that includes Alain Mikli, Wolfgang Proksch and Selima
Optique. There are also three in-house brands on offer: fashion-following
Cradle Favorite is stylish and competitively priced; 12x12 is handcrafted,
each pair bearing its own serial number; and the new Works brand, is a
collaboration with silver jewelry maker M's Collection that would
perfectly complement an all-leather biker look.
Open 11am-8pm, closed Thu. 5-11-5 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6418-0577.
Nearest stn: Omotesando exit B1, Kotto Dori. www.cradle.ne.jp
Globe Specs is firmly established as Tokyo's premier select shop
for spectacles. For eye-catching items from top designers or a timeless
pair individually made by master craftsmen in Switzerland or Austria,
this is the place to come. Famous names and emerging talents have beaten
a path to this Daikanyama boutique since 1998 to exchange eyewear tips
and stage trunk shows for serious shoppers. The tireless buyers for this
unrivaled boutique don't stop there. Hats, shoes and accessories
are also carefully selected for browsers' benefit. Latest additions
include The Spectacle, a line of antique glasses from the glamorous '20s,
'30s and '40s in the US. Already perched on Hollywood noses,
these retro specs start at ¥48,000. Also new to Globe Specs is Stuttgart-based
Lunor, whose antique, circular rims and twin-wire bridges capture the
spirit of a turn-of-the-century German intellectual. Visit the Web address
below to see profiles (in Japanese) of all the brands available at Globe
Specs and for maps to the two stores.
Open 11am-8pm. 3F Daikanyama Address 17dixsept, Daikanyama-cho, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-5459-3645. www.globespecs.co.jp
Nearest stn: Daikanyama.
Stroll down classy Kotto Dori, and your arrival at Kamuro will be heralded
by the store's Harlequin logo. But don't think there's any jesting when
it comes to the quality here. A made-to-order specialist, Kamuro has expert
in-store technicians who will painstakingly see to the specifications
of your spectacles. Choose from a selection of frames in-house, or submit
a design to get your very own, unique pair of glasses (from ¥30,000).
For this service, head for the basement and inquire (in Japanese) at the
enormous oak counter. Upstairs, see the selection of frames, most of which
are designed in-house. The Big Mouth has arms designed to resemble a shapely
leg, while Link boasts a '30s Marx brothers look and Channel sports round
wire rims and straight arms in primary colors. Alexander McQueen's distinctive
drooping lenses add a touch of high fashion, but even the ultra-conservative
frames carry an air of Parisian sophistication. Before visiting this store,
or the Ginza branch, you can agonize over your preferred pair online,
where most frames are pictured for pre-purchase perusal.
Open 11am-8pm. 1F/B1F 5-13-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 5774-9477.
www.rakuten.co.jp/kamuro/ Nearest stn: Omotesando exit B1, Kotto Dori,
Photo: Anatole Papafilippou (Except Obj East: Nacasa &
|B u y i t o n l i n e !
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Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
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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
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