Find Tokyos trendiest labels

The spots to shop for the hottest in young Japanese fashion design

Find Tokyo’s trendiest labels

courtesy of Banal Chic Bizarre

While designers like Yohji Yamamoto and street kids like the GothLolis have come to define Tokyo fashion abroad, the style of this ever-changing city is actually a lot harder to pin down. From streetwear to high fashion (and more often than not something that blends the two), a new generation of designers are driving Tokyo fashion in a number of different directions. The shops that promote these young designers are, likewise, not so easy to categorise. Trendy boutiques and classic department stores along with cubby hole lofts run by the designers themselves can all offer choice pieces from the latest local brands— the trick is knowing where to look.

The Contemporary Fix

In an episode of Tokyo lore, creative director and tastemaker Yuichi Yoshii (of Loveless fame) gutted his fashionable Aoyama lunch spot Pariya and installed a no less fashionable concept store. As the name suggests, The Contemporary Fix specializes in of-the-moment items, many of them from domestic labels (like Mastermind Japan, Sasquatchfabrix, and Soe). As if one monumental change wasn’t enough, the shop takes a gallery approach, installing limited-time exhibitions that spotlight individual brands. The result is an excellent primer in Tokyo street fashion. In contrast to the over-the-top Loveless, The Contemporary Fix has a minimalist industrial interior— the better to show off the fashion, of course.

Address: 3-12-14 Kita Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)6418 1460
Open: Mon-Sun 12noon-8pm


Produced by design duo Banal Chic Bizarre— quite possibly the best new brand name around —ADD shares a lofty space with a restaurant commonly referred to as ‘the tree house’. BCB merchandise, a quirky blend of utilitarianism and art school bohemian, is the most prevalent, though one-off (and not available anywhere else) brands make occasional appearances too. The young designers also produce a quarterly publication root, with a mission to depict Harajuku street fashion through the eyes of those actually making it. When available, this diminutive backstreet Harajuku shop is the place to get it.

Address: 3-20-1-201 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3405 5090
Open: Mon-Sun 12noon-8pm


Located just inside Harajuku’s iconic LaForet department store, this colourful, multi-brand, and unisex boutique is run by the influential buying and management firm HP France. In addition to Brazilian brands like Alexandre Herchcovitz and Osklen, Wall has a current fascination with the ragtag creations of Japanese designer Nozomi Ishiguro. The former Comme des Garçons designer turns out elaborately constructed, playful items for adorable urchins (though favoured by art students and hair stylists). Wall’s outer, err, walls function as a gallery space for small works by emerging creators. More HP France approved (and recommended) fashion is available upstairs in the more upscale boutique Mikan and at Cannabis down the street.

Address: LaForet Harajuku 1F, 1-11-16 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5411 2704
Open: Mon-Sun 11am-8pm

Isetan Shinjuku

Isetan has a reputation as the most fashion forward of Tokyo’s department stores, and the 4th floor Re-style Plus boutique has a lot to do with that. Here the latest Japanese brands like Mihara Yasuhiro and Ato adorn racks alongside the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Ann Demeulemeester. Despite being plunked down in the middle of the expansive store, the rock-n-roll vibe and change of décor make Re-style Plus easy to spot. Meanwhile, the excellent second floor International Creators space in the Isetan Men’s wing offers the past, present, and future of Japanese menswear design, from Comme des Garçons to N. Hoolywood to Kolor.

Address: 14-1, Shinjuku 3chome, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3352 1111
Open: Mon-Sun 10am-8pm


As per the name (which means mixed or jumbled, by the way), this shop strives for a mix of high and low, elegant and brash. If the items here look a bit rough and tumble it’s because many are handmade, from recent grads and designers who adhere to the idea of fashion as art. Owner Takashi Aoki, a Vantan design school graduate, also designs his own line and moonlights as a stylist for magazines, musicians, and show collections. Located on a tiny lane near Cat Street in Harajuku, look for the painted face marking the entrance.

Address: Kunieda Bldg. 2F, 6-8-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5466 2295
Open: Mon-Sun 12noon-8pm


Previously known as Metal Burger, Venom is the de facto flagship for local brand Diet Butcher Slim Skin. Created by Hisashi Fukatami, this venerated men’s streetwear label (famous for its high-top sneakers) claims a punk influence— think dark and skinny with heaps of moodiness. It’s hardly all leather and studs though, and the shop’s white-washed walls, impressive bronzed door, and odd agrarian antiquities betray a more complicated design sense. Venom also carries items from Tokyo-based French designer Patrick Stephan and accessory line Garden of Eden. Notoriously hard to locate, check the excellent map on the shop’s website before heading out. Upstairs is the John Lawrence Sullivan boutique, another Tokyo fashion landmark.

Address: MS Bldg. B1, 1-19-7 Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5728 4765
Open: Mon-Sun 12noon-8pm


More collage than concept store, Acycle carries a kaleidoscopic variety of men’s streetwear labels, the majority of them Japanese. Some noteworthy brands include: Anrealage, Takashikondo [cilandasia], Advantage Cycle, and Hiro, though if it is here it is probably hip. This metal and concrete shop is actually produced by the more mainstream chain Ships, responsible for dressing fashionable lads from Hokkaido to Hiroshima. It would be tempting to write off Acycle as clever branding on Ships behalf, if the selection of young local brands here wasn’t already so solid. Visitors are also likely to see collages on the walls, as the shop doubles as an exhibition space, often featuring limited edition collaboration pieces from designers and artists.

Address: 3-28-7 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5785 3795
Open: Mon-Sun 11am-8pm

New Creators Zone, Takashimaya Shinjuku

The womenswear designers featured here read like a who’s who list of Japan Fashion Week. GVGV, Theater Products, Hisui, and Mint Designs (to name a few) are all veterans of the Tokyo catwalks. Takashimaya Shinjuku is in fact an occasional fashion week venue itself, lending its broad front plaza to brands who want to make a public fete of their shows. Located on the 8th floor of this venerable department store, the New Creators Zone makes up for its lack of ambiance (fluorescent lighting, uniform racks) with sheer variety— covering styles from quirky to experimental to seductive (and sometimes a little bit of everything).

Address: 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5361 1111
Open: 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-8:30pm

By Rebecca Milner
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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