Five creative outlets
Shibuya's famed Cat Street welcomes the first-ever flagship for Tokyo-based brand Ambush. The space stretches across 140 square metres and its design remains true to the gender-neutral vibes of the brand’s collections. Situated in the former site of American Apparel’s Shibuya Men’s store, the store houses the brand’s conceptual jewellery alongside a growing number of its original apparel range. Also carrying an extensive range of store exclusives and books for daily inspiration, it’s so full of variety you’re bound to stumble upon something new each time you visit.
Founded by design duo Verbal and Yoon, key influencers in the Japanese fashion/music scene, the brand is noted for its designs that capture the essence of Tokyo street, merged with traditional Japanese techniques and craftsmanship. So far, the brand has participated in various collaborations, listing Louis Vuitton (Kim Jones), Maison Kitsune, Sacai and Undercover as some of their clients. While you’re here, make sure to check out their latest Surplus Sound System collection, which ‘channels a late ’70s reggae- and military-infused cultural clash’.
Ever seen clothes with sound-wave changing prints or built-in ‘augmented reality receptors’? Now’s your chance. Inspired by designer Kunihiko Morinaga’s exploration of fashion and technology, the Anrealage flagship, which opened in August 2016, takes the shopping experience to a whole new level. Located inside the By Parco shopping complex in Aoyama, the space combines high-tech gimmicks with traditional Japanese aesthetics – and the best part is that every single item in here is super-exclusive.
Designed to reflect the transitions that occur from season to season, the space features special sounds created by Ichiro Yamaguchi of electro-rockers Sakanaction. Programmed by Qosmo’s Toru Urakawa, UMU switchable light control glasses alternate between transparent and translucent to support the ever-changing feel. A peaceful Zen-like appeal comes from the central room featuring carefully groomed white gravel and photosensitive white flowers, which react to the flashlights of mobile phones. Here, you will also find many of Anrealage’s signature pieces from the previous collections, including the custom-made patchwork series and innovative technology series, updated especially for the store.
Step inside Mintdesigns’ very first stand-alone flagship store, where you’ll find a line-up of modern, minimalistic designs with exquisite attention to detail. Garments are simplistic in silhouette, but there is a commitment to textile innovation and quality materials. Having opened its doors in August in the backstreets of Aoyama, the new shop is designed by Jo Nagasaka from Schemata Architects. A contemporary gallery-like feel comes from the bare concrete walls and exposed ceilings. The store houses the full lineup, from the brand’s upmarket ready-to-wear gear to the more casual Sketch line, along with a homeware line and other products produced by Mintdesigns designers Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi. Limited-edition items will also be available in store, making for great gifts and Tokyo souvenirs. It’s full of print-tastic inspiration and charming adornments – you can’t help but smile when you step inside the shop.