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A Place to Find Something Special

Kyoko Tanaka

Ginza Six Editors Vol.17 (Women' s Fashion)

GINZA SIX has been in the spotlight recently. A good number of the brands Numéro TOKYO regularly interacts with operate boutiques here. My wanderings today take me to three of them, each with its own distinct style and sensibility.

My first stop is the mixed-label boutique PARIGOT. Previously, I was invited to a public discussion with stylist Tomoki Sukezane at the Marunouchi PARIGOT. On that occasion, I got the strong sense that the boutique is very grounded—that it doesn’t simply collect trendy brands but draws a clear line between itself and other mixed-label boutiques. That’s because PARIGOT got its start in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, biding its time, expanding in Fukuyama and Hiroshima and in Okayama and Matsuyama, before venturing into the Tokyo market a few years ago. At a boutique like this, one that’s made steady progress while working to meet the real needs of its customers, you’re almost certain to find something you want.

Incidentally, captivated by the vivid colors, I bought a pleated skirt, an original PARIGOT item. As I tried it on, I went back and forth on the color—red or pink, pink or red—but ultimately chose pink. When I asked for the price, I learned it cost only 13,000 yen! Even buying two wouldn’t set you back all that much.

Perhaps it takes a bit of courage to buy a high-priced luxury brand in such vivid colors. But I don’t go by the brand name alone. I like to include items that accentuate my style in the more casual price range.

Also offered here are earrings and other accessories starting in the 2,000 yen range. They make delightful gifts for your women friends and colleagues. (I bought some earrings that can be worn on one or both ears.) The GINZA SIX boutique has a special denim area, too, where I found pleated-front jeans from AALTO (39,000 yen; all prices given are before tax), another pair denim lovers like me would love to have.

Next, I visit Ebure, a new brand whose full-scale launch was in spring of 2017. The GINZA SIX boutique is its first store. When I visited the brand’s exhibition the first time a few days ago, I was struck by the high-quality materials and the excellence of the patterns.

When I try something on, as you can see, while fundamentally basic, it turns out it fits an adult woman’s body beautifully. The forms have a three-dimensional quality. Almost all the items are like this. When I inquire, I’m told the designer is a woman, which I could certainly have guessed. Moreover, despite the meticulous tailoring, the prices are reasonable. For example, a plaid jacket is 95,000 yen. A skirt is 32,000 yen. You can tell the company is working hard.

The unobtrusive photographs placed here and there inside the boutique were personally taken by the in-house art coordinator to match the brand’s image. I think this mature, toned-down stance is also shared with the brand’s customer profile and its approach to making clothes.

My last stop today is KENZO. Its GINZA SIX store is its flagship, and it makes the most of the large scale of the complex. The opening event was a joint effort with Numéro TOKYO.

I check the limited Christmas season capsule collection, children’s clothing (not displayed, but available in the rear—ask a store staff member) and kids-size backpacks (23,000 yen). All feature a sparkling tiger motif, the symbol of the KENZO brand. My 10-year-old daughter loves KENZO’s tiger trainer. If I were a little younger, I might want to try one, too!

Incidentally, the current KENZO, the product of its two creative directors, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, inherits the archive of Kenzo Takada and his take on Japan. But I feel like they’re crafting a new relationship with contemporary trends and moods. For example, at Paris Fashion Week this past September, the runway venue became the stage for an Eight-Headed Dragon performance by a Kagura theater group from Hiroshima, providing a little added fun not just for the Japan contingent but also for editors from all over the world.

GINZA SIX is full of brands that capture the heart beyond the three boutiques I visited today. It offers everything from dishware and hair accessories to home décor. For adults like me, who know all the trends and the standards, it’s a place where we can once again experience the excitement of coming across a great find in clothing or something else.

Text:Ako Tanaka Photos:Wataru Fukaya Edit:Yuka Okada

editors_ATanaka

Kyoko Tanaka

"Numéro TOKYO" chief editor. Fashion stylist. Traveled on her own to Milan, Italy, in 1985 after graduating from high school. Studied design, pattern, and other aspects of fashion at a design school there; after serving as an assistant to a local stylist and fashion editor, returned to Japan in 1991. After working as a contract stylist for Ryuko Tsushin and ELLE JAPON, worked as fashion editor for VOGUE NIPPON (now VOGUE JAPAN) since its inaugural issue. Founded Numéro TOKYO in 2007. In addition to her duties as editor-in-chief, she provides styling for the magazine’s fashion pages and advice and direction for fashion brands. Author of “AKO’S FASHION BOOK” (published by KK Bestsellers).
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2017.12.13 improves