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Stores September, 15 2011

Tokyo Shopping Excursion – Harajuku

Yesterday we reported about our Shibuya visit. Right next to Shibuya you find Harajuku and whatever you have seen in terms of shopping before, you can simply forget when having wondered through the small and narrow streets of the district. One shop stacks up on top of the other, with at least 3 stores placed one on top of each other in each building of the entire shopping area. You simply do not know where to look anymore and where not. Missing one little corner, might mean missing several dope stores.

What that means is, that you have to be selective. We might have to come back to Harajuku later on, but for now we can present some of the stores we visited during the day and we were definitely not disappointed.

Head on after the jump to take a look at the complete listing and review.

HEAD PORTER Harajuku – A very clean looking store that carries the entire Head Porter luggage collection range and accessories. If you are looking for a dope bag, small camera pouch or anything in terms of luggage, this place is an absolute must see.

HEAD PORTER ANNEX Harajuku – Right across the street from the Head Porter flagship store, you find the Annex store by the brand. In there you will find the Head Porter Plus apparel line, as well as Nike Sportswear goods and collaborative items. To be honest, this one did not excite us too much. Next up, Head Porter will be opening a collaborative space with Neighborhood.

A.P.C. Underground Harajuku – The store sits in the basement of the Head Porter Annex store. Great setup and interior design, unlike much we have ever seen before. Otherwise of course the regular A.P.C. mens and womens collections. If you cannot get them in your hometown, we of course suggest a visit.

JAM HOME MADE Harajuku – The Japanese brand sits in a stand-alone box structure in Harajuku. Very small, yet perfect to present their line of jewelry and leather accessories, as well as their collaborations.

STUSSY Harajuku – What can we say about this one… Stussy is just a never ending love affair. The Tokyo store is of course especially interesting, not so much because of the interior, but of course because of the insane amount of collaborative items and specials that the Stussy Japan is presenting. For those items, certainly worth a visit.

NEIGHBORHOOD Harajuku – The Neighborhood store was one of the best executed shops that we came across in Harajuku today. The design perfectly reflected the brand’s aesthetic and principles. Every little detail was right and on point. If you are into the biker inspired clothing line, you cannot leave Tokyo without having seen it. The new season accessories looked fantastic, especially the ceramic skull fragrance stand.

In true Neigborhood style you find some motorcycles parked out the door.

SUPREME Harajuku – Those of you that can buy the brand in the US have no reason to come to the Tokyo Supreme stores, as pricing is of course much higher. In terms of setup and interior the New Yorkers did a great job though. The shop sits on the first floor of the same building that houses Neighborhood. Very simple design, clean, good product presentation. We love the massive window looking down onto the streets of Harajuku.

LAD MUSICIAN Harajuku – Japanese brand Lad Musician had a fantastic flagship store in the area. Have open, have closed, the space reminds of a garage. The high ceiling and overall spacious design give a great shopping feeling. Having been there already for 12 years, their concept has certainly proven to be working and as such, you should give them a visit.

BOUNTY HUNTER Harajuku – A really tiny space that is almost impossible to find, a little higher up. But once you get there you enter the Bounty Hunter world and even if the design still remains very simple, something keeps bringing us back to the brand, maybe in part because they have been around for such a long time. The store stocks the full collection and a nice range of accessories.

ALIFE Harajuku – The outpost of the New York brand in Tokyo looks clean and presents well their range of both clothing and footwear. The store is located a couple of doors down from Bounty Hunter.

X-LARGE Harajuku – Long forgotten in the western world, X-Large Japan is still going strong. The Tokyo flagship carries their full line and also a nice range of collaborations, including sneakers with adidas and tees with w-Base.

SOPH. Harajuku – One of the best stores we have seen all day. As clean as it can get and we have never seen such a tiny store logo placed on the exterior. Inside you find the full season collections of Sophnet, uniform experiment and also F.C.R.B. Simple presentation, great service and just an all around solid experience.

The logo on the left of the entrance is true to size.

UNITED ARROWS Harajuku – We went in to see Mr. Bathing Ape, and came out and had seen a lot more. A great selection of brands and most importantly an insane selection of formal menswear, including made to measure suites, shirts and kimonos. Definitely a must see space in our opinion.

A BATHING APE Harajuku – After Shibuya, we also checked out the brand’s space in Harajuku. Bape built a massive store in the are, spanning over several floors. For our taste the store was a little too much Disneyland, but nevertheless worth checking out. From Bape Womens to the main line, kids lines and of course URSUS Bape, the store carries the full offering.

WHITE MOUNTAINEERING Harajuku – Without any doubt one of the most, if not the most beautiful store we have seen today. The newly opened flagship store of White Mountaineering looked incredible, while being super simple. The wood panelled floor created an incredible atmosphere in the store, which otherwise pretty much only consisted of clothing. White Mountaineering must also be one of the most interesting new brands coming out of Japan, so seeing that store and for once the full line live, was really great.

UNDEFEATED Harajuku – After having been on top of the Stussy store before, they now moved one street up into a street level location. Small space, obviously with a great sneaker selection and their own apparel line.

CARHARTT Harajuku – Nothing much to say about the goods (not because we dont like them, but because we know them so well from Europe), but the store build out is really on point. A rusty metal outer shell and a complete wooden build out inside. Great job guys!

Trading Museum by Comme des Garcons Harajuku – A mid size space inside an exclusive mall on one of the bigger roads of the area. The selection presented is not better (or worse) than in Dover Street Market or any other well equipped Comme des Garcons store, but the presentation and furniture of the space is just fantastic.

GOOD DESIGN SHOP Comme des Garcons Harajuku – One of the latest store concepts by Comme des Garcons in collaboration with D&Department. It sits on the same floor and in the same building with Chanel, Margiela, the Bulgari shop and cafe and the Trading Museum (seen here above). Next to a selection of interior items, they present vintage Comme goods. As usual great to skim through, but if you are not traveling by ship, rather impossible to bring back home, at least the really good stuff!

VISVIM F.I.L. Harajuku – Of course we could not leave Harajuku without having passed by the visvim F.I.L. store in the area. Sitting in the basement of the Tumi flagship store, this was one of the harder ones to find for us. By now most of you should be aware of the extremely clean design that the brand creates in their flagships. No music, no distraction. Simple and effective furniture presents the brand’s range of footwear, accessories and clothing. If it was just not that expensive…. Well, what can you do.

Here a little peak inside the clean space.

So, these are the spaces that we checked out in more detail. We might have to publish a part 2 to Harajuku, the amount of stores we have walked by in simply insane. Here below you find a gallery of other stuff we came across, including The Duffer of St. George, FTC,  Vulture,Studio D’Artisan, Martin Margiela, Chapter, Gettry, Quenchloud, Kinetics, Bape Kids, Challenger, Chrome Hearts, Beams Records, Beams T, Beams, Victim Tokyo, reaMAD Hectic and the Omotesando Hills shopping center.

Having said and presented all that, for us the true magic of Harajuku are the stores that you have never heard of or seen. The architecture of the area, the setup, the people, those brands that you have never heard of before. Every corner a new surprise. A truly inspirational space that nobody should miss out on.

More to come from Tokyo, until then, be well!

Here below the gallery of other stuff we came across in Harajuku….

Photography: Highsnobiety

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