GSIX

Instagram

GINZA SIX EDITORS

Fashion, jewelry & watch, lifestyle, beauty, foods…
Unique editors who are familiar with each genre GINZA SIX aimlessly
We spell way of enjoying that we found on foot.

Making New Discoveries at GINZA SIX!

Kanae Hirasawa

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.67

I visited GINZA SIX when it first opened, and I’ve come back a number of times to research individual stores. But I’d never simply walked around the complex. I’d wanted to take the time to wander as I please. With some free time in Ginza toward the end of the year, I finally did.

I arrived at GINZA SIX that day right at lunchtime. I was pretty hungry, I realized—so, why not eat before walking around? I strode into il Cardinale, a restaurant with a great trattoria atmosphere like those in Florence, where I go every year for Pitti Uomo. The chef, who trained in Florence, conjures up Tuscan cuisine and other Italian flavors, so even before beginning to eat, I’m pretty excited.

OK, here we go. I look at the menu and…Stracciatella and Roasted Tomato Caprese (1,800 yen; all prices listed before tax)—what’s that? I love caprese. It’s something I eat all the time, even when I’m in Japan. But roasted tomatoes is a first. I ask the waiter. I’m told, “It’s exactly what the name suggests. The tomatoes are lightly roasted, which brings out their sweetness, like dried tomatoes.” Just hearing this persuades me it must be delicious. Now, to take a bite…

…ooh, buonissimo! Roasting the tomatoes certainly highlights the sweetness. And it goes wonderfully with the stracciatella cheese. I recommend spreading a fair amount of the cheese on the large tomato slices before every bite of the dish.

Picking up the pace, I order two more dishes. The Seafood Salad and Spelt (2,500 yen) makes abundant use of spelt, a grain gaining attention lately as a superfood. First, I simply try it as presented. After eating a little, I squeeze the lemon generously over it, which alters the flavor somewhat and lets me enjoy a new taste. This marriage of seafood and spelt is another new discovery for me.

Next is ‘Nduja Sauce and Stracciatella Cheese Vermicelli (1,800 yen), a pasta dish that combines cheese with a spicy sauce. The presentation is simple, but the combination of spiciness of the sauce and mellowness of the cheese turns out to be unusually delightful! There’s more on the menu that intrigues me as well. The next time, I plan to come back at night.

Pleasantly full after my three-course lunch, I go to the fifth floor, the Men’s Floor, where MARK & LONA store is located. I have a golf tournament at the end of the year, and I want to check out some cold-weather golf wear.

The brand’s slogan is “GOLF OR DIE.” The brand icon is a charming skull; it’s a popular brand among fashion-conscious golfers. Offering both men’s and ladies’ lines, the store is filled with distinctive golf wear certain to turn heads out on the course.

Winter golf wear has three requirements: it has to be stylish; it has to keep you warm; and it has to be easy to move around in. My eyes first alight on the Reversible Knit Parka (43,000 yen).

The outer side is a woven blend of Outlast, a temperature-regulating material, and comeback wool. It looks like a solid-color fabric from a distance, but it actually features the iconic Jacquard logo.

The reverse side, as you can see in the photo, is a combination of different fabrics with sporty details. Both sides are plain and simple, but wearing it as a two-way coat, reversing it or not, depending the color of my pants, would be great fun. The wool feels soft to the touch. It’s pleasing and comfortable. Since it features Outlast, I’m sure the coat will easily stave off even biting winter cold. I put it at the top of my list of candidates to wear during my upcoming tournament.

This Knit Down Outer (58,000 yen) would also work well in January and February, the really cold months. The main portion of the body is a lambswool and nylon knit. The patched collar and hem down parts feature an original camouflage pattern—very stylish! The cut is fitted and snug, but it’s lined with high-stretch, windbreaker nylon—easy to swing a club in, I think.

The simple unisex cold-weather accessories are appealing. This knit cap and neck-warmer set (16,000 yen) is a Wholegarment seamless rib-knit, so there’s no stress on the skin. It’s very warm. This would make a great Christmas gift for any man in your life who loves golf. Various caddy bags, golf shoes, and other items are available by special order. You can check out an entire set of golfing goods at one time, which is nice. I linger long and lose track of time.

When I finally leave MARK & LONA, a familiar logo not far ahead catches my eye. It’s WFG (for “World Footwear Gallery”). There’s a store in GINZA SIX! I have to duck in to take a look.

Established in 1979, World Footwear Gallery is a long-standing shoe store with street-level locations in Jingumae and Ginza. It’s a familiar presence in men’s magazine fashion and shoe features; editors refer to it by its initials, simply WFG.

Based on the concept of an elegance capable of transcending time, the GINZA SIX store focuses not just on ready-to-wear products, but bespoke shoes and bags made in Japan. Unlike other WFG stores, the GINZA SIX location also sells one-of-a-kind artwork.

My reaction when I see these boots (74,000 yen) from the Italian brand Hice: I’ve never seen shoes like this! Finding rare shoe brands you don’t normally find at other stores is one of the great things about WFG. All products from this brand are made of sealskin leather, which offers excellent durability and water resistance, sourced from seals hunted for food by indigenous peoples living in Greenland inside the Arctic Circle. As you would expect, quantities are limited. The mouton fur lining provides comfortable insulation.

One surprise is the creative sole design. Using patented technology from the Italian company ALPI called the OCsystem, the boots offer an innovative feature: a reversible frame embedded in the sole, which can be turned out to expose small spikes to prevent slipping on snow or in other foul weather conditions. For normal weather, the spikes can be turned back over and the rubber side turned out. For the last several years, it’s snowed heavily in Tokyo several times between January and March. You could set out in the morning, when it’s clear, with the normal soles. If it starts snowing, you could simply reverse the sole to the spiked side, like studded tires. Having a pair of these boots on hand would be great! There’s a ladies’ version as well. I want a pair now for snowboarding trips to Hokkaido.

If you visit WFG, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the made-to-order shoes. The store is currently promoting TORU SAITO Bespoke shoemaker, whose pairs I’m discovering for the first time. Toru Saito studied under renowned Japanese craftsperson Hiro Yanagimachi and began making shoes in his own name in 2014. His original bespoke shoes (starting at 188,000 yen) are made to fit Japanese feet, which tend to be wide, high in the instep, and narrow at the heel, in contrast to Western feet. As Saito-san says, “My shoes are wide and thick for a solid purchase on the ground.”

Compared to British and Italian bespoke shoes, the widths are wider and the toes are somewhat squared, design choices that together create a strong impression. The sidewall edges are pronounced, a handsome feature rarely found in ready-to-wear shoes. Another delightful feature—the heel cup is smaller to better fit Japanese feet. If you’re someone who wants to try a new pair of bespoke shoes worn by few others, I recommend coming here to try a pair.

The original plan was to wander around visiting many stores—but here I am, lingering once more in one store after discovering something new, trying things on, looking at how things are put together. It’s an occupational hazard. I’m already out of time, even though I’ve only made it to three establishments. Where should I go my next time out? The store I walked past today? That boutique and… I’m already looking forward to my next chance to wander Ginza.

Text : Kanae Hirasawa Photos : Natsuko Okada Edit:Yuka Okada

editors_hirasawa

Kanae Hirasawa

Joined SEKAI BUNKA PUBLISHING INC. in 2000 and has been involved with men’s publications ever since. Served in the editorial department of Begin until 2007 and joined the editorial department of MEN’S EX in 2008. Appointed the magazine’s deputy editor-in-chief in 2013 and editor of MEN’S EX ONLINE (https://www.mens-ex.jp) in October 2017. During Pitti Uomo, a biannual men’s fashion event in Italy, she posts her popular news reports to the magazine’s official Instagram account (@mens_ex) and to her personal account (@kanae727pitti), which has some 7,000 followers.
GINZASIX_OFFICIAL Instagram

il Cardinale

Store Information

MARK & LONA

Store Information

World footwear gallery

Store Information

2018.12.07 improves