Not just for youngsters

- Tokyo’s Harajuku area opens stores for older generations -

Tokyo’s Harajuku, known as the center of Japanese youth culture, is about to see a change with the increasing number of stores that target an older age group. These fashion stores can be found nestled in the quieter streets right off of Omotesando or Meiji-dori. One example is AllSaints, the British brand popular among men and women in their 20’s to 40’s. On February 6th, the brand opened a pop-up store along Harajuku Cat Street. The store’s floor space is approximately 100 square meters, and is open for a six-month period until July 31st. AllSaints Japan was established just last year and already has an online store put in place for Japanese consumers. According to the company, “Retail stores will increase from fiscal year 2016, opening mainly in major cities.” The brand was established in 1994, headquartered in east London and currently boasts 130 retail locations in 11 countries. In addition, 15 countries have a dedicated website for online shopping. In 2011, British equity firm Lion Capital acquired the brand and made plans to expand into Asian territories. One aspect that makes the company different is their capability to take control of designs and the creative process, with the 40 member in-house design team led by chief creative director, Wil Beedle. AllSaints retail stores offer a variety of casual items which include the brand’s top-selling leather biker jacket. Current sales figures are nearly equally divided between the men’s and women’s category.

Another store that recently opened after renovation is ICON, the boutique located just off of Omotesando. Although the area is full of dessert shops catering to the younger generation, the boutique attracts a more sophisticated group of fashionistas and influencers. The building also gained attention for its unusual concept with the opening of an ANN DEMEULEMEESTER retail store on the first floor. The brand features a limited-edition ICON line, as well as a collection of recreated archive pieces. The space in the back is used to showcase installations. The first installation since renovation was by designer Yoshikazu Yamagata called “Inspiration Bathroom”, where eerie-looking alien objects and written by knitwear were sold. The space will be used to promote various artists moving forward. Valentino, Balmain, Facetasm are other brands that the boutique currently carries. According to the store’s sales staff, “Our customers are mainly men and women in their 30’s and 40’s, which is exactly on-target as our products are more sophisticated.”

1~3 ICON
4~6 AllSaints