In Store: Jet, set, go!

With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in hot pursuit of packing accessories. Globe-trotter Martin Webb goes in search of the superlative suitcase.


Coach

For the girl-about-town who looks stateside for her inspiration, Coach's functional and classic bags are an obvious choice. The New Yorker's brand of choice was once a somewhat fusty leather-goods brand, but the recent arrival of former Tommy Hilfiger designer Reed Krakoff as creative director has seen it soar to the height of fashion. Ever keen to keep up with trends in the Big Apple, stylish-yet-sensible ladies across Japan have been snapping up everything from Coach cell-phone cases to carry-ons. With the opening of an elegant new flagship in Ginza, adjacent to the glass-tiled Hermes building, the brand looks set to go from strength to strength. An astounding range of products, including tasteful hats, sunglasses and agendas are available alongside the mainstay of beautifully crafted bags. Coach's travel goods are also of the finest quality, with the variety of shapes and sizes ensuring there is something for every journey. For trendier numbers, check the Hamptons collection or the smaller "limited edition" line.

Open 11am-8pm daily. 5-4-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5537-5145. Nearest stn: Ginza, exit B6.

 


Dunhill
Once a dealer in exotic tobacco, Dunhill has long since divorced itself from peddling the wicked weed. These days, in its reincarnation as a luxury men's lifestyle brand, the game is marketing the image of the classic English gentleman and it's putting on a jolly good show. Dunhill suited and booted filmmaker Guy Ritchie for his marriage to Madonna and is also behind the official suit of the Japan national soccer squad. Last month,

Dunhill's first stand-alone store in Japan was unveiled in Ginza, with the grimacing profile of a British bulldog plastered across one wall and the brand's maroon color scheme set off with bamboo flooring. Inside, the bespoke tailoring service, smoker's paraphernalia and business bags are all highly desirable for the dashing and dapper executive. Launched alongside the new store was a Dunhill luggage line, made to order by none other than England's Globe-Trotter.

Incorporating this year's sports theme, the cases are finished with basketball rubber, and make a fitting accompaniment for the gentleman on a Mediterranean island hop, safari or city break.

Open 11am-8pm daily. 6-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3289-0511. Nearest stn: Ginza, exit X9.

 


Globe-Trotter

"Ropey" print-lined bags from Globe-Trotters

While Fendi and Louis Vuitton have the market fairly well cornered when it comes to the baggage des arrivistes at the arrival lounge, there's only one option for the traveler with impeccable taste. From modest workshops in Hertfordshire, England, Globe-Trotter's century-old tradition of painstaking craftsmanship is alive and well. These classic and refined cases are so robust that they can be passed down to your grandchildren and even beyond. Having gained something of a cult following in Japan, Globe-Trotter is moving full steam ahead with two new projects. The Safari series, a sand-colored line suitable for the most intrepid of journeys, features a trolley case (D17 x W39 x H55cm) for ¥128,000. The other is a collaboration with English/Japanese husband-and-wife fashion design team Eley Kishimoto whose "ocean view" and "ropey" prints now line Globe-Trotter's distinguished trunks and cases. Reel in the trolley case (D23 x W43 x H75cm) for ¥118,000 and let your chest swell with pride as the most elegant and stylish luggage on the planet slips onto the carousel to gasps of envy from all your fellow voyagers.

Globe-Trotter suitcases are available at United Arrows Changes, 5-17-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku.

Tel: 03-5464-2711. Nearest stn: Meijijingumae. Dressterior Daikanyama, 2-7 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5428-8330. Nearest stn: Daikanyama.

 


Mandarina Duck

For the traveler who seeks to combine sleek design with practicality, a Mandarina Duck suitcase holds the answer. Frog, a semi-rigid model, is the current hot seller. Its ergonomic shape and fetching colors are suitably stylish to drag to any point of the compass, and the lightweight polypropylene/aluminum construction allows for a good degree of expansion, which is great when trying to stuff in that bottle of port you couldn't resist at duty free. But Frog comes with a conundrum—a choice of wheels—forcing you to opt for "daring" yellow or cop out and choose the conservative alternative to match the lining. Dune, Frog's nylon, trolley-type sister, makes for a slightly less emphatic trundle, yet by virtue of its smooth Italian lines seems somehow sexier than the standard soft-side. The pictured model, 53V02 (W40xH55xD20cm), costs a reasonable ¥45,000. These cases, plus an abundance of Italian minimalist postmodern, high-tech industrial design items, including clothing for men and women, are available at the Mandarina Duck concession in Shinjuku's Odakyu department store. Put it on the itinerary of your next epic adventure.

Open 11am-8pm daily. 1F Odakyu Dept Store, 1-1-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku. Tel: 03-3342-1111. Nearest stn: Shinjuku, south exit. www.mandarinaduck.com

 


Agnes b Voyage

Situated just across from Moschino on a quiet Minami-Aoyama intersection is this tidy little store dedicated to smart travel. Anti-fashion label agnes b has long since appealed to the craving for neatness and order in the Japanese aesthetic. With the three-story flagship shop just a stone's throw away, this offshoot is devoted entirely to the brand's bright and bubbly bags. The bare marble floor, narrow windows and unfussy layout make for a cool atmosphere in which to handle the vast collection of nondescript nylon bags and leather accessories on display. Almost everything is stamped with the brand's agnes b, b, or salamander logos, and CD and MD cases come with a vive la musique-inscribed guitar pick. Among the many stark black numbers are several stand-outs, such as a white-leather bucket bag with square cut-outs, and a blurry geometric print tote. The luggage corner holds few surprises, except in the price department. A clever holdall-cum-trolley type in charcoal (H55 x W36 x D32cm) rolls in at just ¥29,800. A standard black nylon case with telescopic handle (H61 x W46 x D19.5cm), comes in at ¥31,800. A calm space with easy-to-like products, agnes b Voyage is worth a layover before your next journey.

Open 11am-8pm daily. 4-22-5 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3405-5793. Nearest stn: Omotesando, exit A4.

Photo by Anatole Papfilippou, courtesy of Mandarina Duck and Globe-Trotter Japan

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523: Arts and crafts movement
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515: Bowled over
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511: East meets nest
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503: The write stuff
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499: Blasts from the past
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495: In the bag
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491: Paper chase
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487: Happy trails
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483: Top hats
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479: Oriental express
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474: Haute haven
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468: New kit on the block
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463: Can buy me love
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452: Perfect timing
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448: House of style
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445: Present perfect
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441: Toy story
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437: Natural selection
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433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea Aoyama
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
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409: Go Figure
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405: Puff 'n' Stuff
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