Fashion, jewelry & watch, lifestyle, beauty, food…
Unique editors familiar with each genre swing GINZA SIX.
I will spell out how to enjoy walking.

Playing Favorites on the Third Floor

Mana Sasamori


When I think of Japan’s department stores, I always think of places that promote, in their conservative way, the elegance of so-called proper young ladies. This might be because when I was a kid, my parents made me dress up that way whenever we went to a department store. For me, a fan of the casual and particular, the results didn’t exactly fit me to a T.

Going to GINZA SIX for the first time two years ago changed that perception. The place was full of edgy brands. I felt rising excitement, even though I’m very particular about what I like. GINZA SIX is like the mixed label boutiques I’m used to—plus, you get the experience de luxe typical of department stores. (When the doors open at 10:30, the sales attendants in the shops all greet you by bowing, as they do in traditional department stores.)

I’d heard that forte_forte, a favorite Italian brand, had opened a new boutique in GINZA SIX, so I promptly made my way there today.

If you love fashion, you’ll find the third floor, which features boutiques like Maison Margiela, Marni, and 3.1 Phillip Lim, nothing short of inspirational. The third floor is where my beloved forte_forte has its boutique.

Designed and produced by the brother-and-sister duo Paolo Forte and Giada Forte, both of whom have a passion for fabrics, the clothes are characterized by light, soft fabrics and simply remarkable comfort. And the colors are superb. Stepping inside, I’m drawn first to the warm autumn hues.

Caftan dresses, boho style dresses—I have such dresses aplenty, but, even so, I pick one right away and try it on. I have a rounded baby face, which means I tend to look unsophisticated when I wear long, loose dresses—but this one (89,000 yen; all prices listed before tax) features multi-colored lamé thread, which confers a cool, stylish feel.

The mood is relaxed, but the colors and design with punch send tingles up my spine. This is what’s so appealing about forte_forte’s clothes. It’s no wonder the brand counts more than a few discerning stylists among its fans.

To recreate the atmosphere of the brand’s home boutique in Milan, I’m told, the interior fixtures and furniture were shipped in by air (!). Even the individual poles on the racks feature organic curves that remind me of natural tree limbs. At every turn you see design considerations like this.

The displays suspend the clothing like art pieces. The presentation is very sophisticated. It feels like an art gallery.

Here I’m looking at a shaggy fur coat (95,000 yen) for the upcoming season. The pale wintry blue is lovely. The piece is also lightweight and looks easy to wear.

When I’ve had my fill of the world of forte_forte, I go check out more of the third floor.

Here, the check tote bags displayed up front catch my eye; the shop is UK-based Mulberry. This fall, I’ve found myself drawn to classic British plaid, but the color schemes on these bags aren’t staid. They’re even a bit punk. And they’re incredibly cute! Mulberry is known for its leather goods, but these are cotton canvas, so the price (59,000 yen) is reasonable. Blue or red? I seriously don’t know which to pick.

As I’m considering this, I see this knit plaid vest (66,000 yen). It would go well with a bowtie blouse, a fashion article trending up this fall, or a white shirt with a ruffled collar.

Finally, I try on a trench coat (147,000 yen). Three flavors of plaid: I’m delighted! When I like something, I tend to take a look at everything similar. I have the beautiful, stylish store manager help me try it on.

For my feet, to go with the classic plaid look, I choose these slightly punk combat boots (116,000 yen). The rounded toes and soft leather—softer than it looks—make them really, really comfortable. Since having children, I’ve put away all the shoes that are a pain to put on. Despite the lace-up design, these slip on and off with side zippers, which I find reassuring.

The small leather goods section features an iPhone case (17,000 yen) offered with customizable monograms. From the burgundy case to the bicolor alphabet stickers (4,000 yen each), the color schemes are distinctly fashionable. I instantly put this on my wish list, along with the clothes and bags.

Johnny Coca joined Mulberry as its new creative director in 2015. I particularly like his work over the past several seasons, including apparel. There’s so much here I want! I feel the clothing displayed in the front of the store tug at the hair on the back of my head—but put it behind me.

One more store to go! I rush to ADEAM. The designer, Hanako Maeda, introduced her collection of work at New York Fashion Week. I remember seeing and liking her designs when attending the event.

Raised in New York, Ms. Maeda is especially good with chic feminine styles that work well for working women.

I often wear ADEAM clothing to events at my children’s school, like class observation days or parent-teacher conferences. The clothes aren’t too conservative, which is something I like.

This navy blue mini bag (140,000 yen) catches my eye; it makes such gorgeous use of mink. You can detach the mink fur from the top handle.

The mink cape (960,000 yen) is also adorable. I’m ready this winter to take on the challenge of a cape, one of my favorite pieces of outerwear.

I came here thinking I’d get some clothes for visiting kindergartens but, ultimately, of course, I’m drawn to casual. These slip-ons (64,000 yen), which you can wear like slippers, feature grosgrain ribbons that would tickle any woman’s heart.

I loved my venture out today to see the brands shown at Fashion Weeks in Milan, London and New York. I looked mostly at similar items and things I already have, I noticed. It took two hours to realize, once again, that I tend to play favorites.

Anyone who loves fashion can easily spend an entire day on GINZA SIX’s third floor.

Text:Mana Sasamori Photos:Akemi Kurosaka Edit:Yuka Okada(edit81)


Mana Sasamori

Editor at the women’s magazine FIGARO japon. Responsible primarily for fashion and travel features. Everyone around her finds her passion for all-in-ones difficult to deny; her closet is packed with an ever proliferating population of items of this kind. A fan of Thailand, she achieved intermediate Thai language proficiency in college.


2019.10.16 Up