We’re taking an over-the-top extreme tour of possibly the best store in the world, Dover Street Market Ginza in Tokyo. If you’re looking for something casual, you’re on the wrong continent, bub. But you can get a much easier-to-digest version I’ve written here for ANA, for the uninitiated (in English). You might want to start there first. However, if you wanted a total bottom to top look at what DSM is offering, the artwork, the exclusives, and why it’s the ultimate shopping destination, then settle in and slowly suck on the eye candy.
Loewe remodeled their flagship in Ginza and then reopened it at the beginning of this month. I attended the reopening on Nov. 30 because I wanted to celebrate with the Loewe team that I’ve gotten to know pretty well over the past year. Recently we all went karaoke-ing together when head designer Stuart Vevers and the team came over on their annual visit and they sing hardcore!! The Loewe team was at Amour longer than any of the local Tokyoites they invited..I was totally out of my league, heh. Anyway, it’s a fun, crazy-cool group.
So through them I’ve also come to get to know the Loewe brand much better as well, and yes, it’s a fun brand too. Of course, it has it’s roots steeped in tradition and history, which, for reasons totally understandable, usually conjures up images of nothing but handbags in legacy designs…browns and beiges and blacks in simple shapes.
So I was surprised…when I went to Loewe (to pick up my iPhone that I left at the karaoke box in my champagne-induced stupor. Ehhhhh.) and I was greeted at the entrance to a large collection of bags in bright, vivid, and playful colors. I was thinking legos, fruits and crayons all around! Color!
So at the re-opening of the Ginza store I was on the hunt for color. I found it in spades. And also found a lot of friends!
There were artists drawing manga-type portraits of guests on Loewe leather. Love this!
The Ginza store is 14 years old(!) and Loewe itself has been in business in Japan for 40 years (!!). AND 1/3 of the Loewe customer is Japanese (!!!). Those are some impressive numbahs. Loewe Japan is used to pilot new projects for the brand… does this mean in the future that you will be able to have an artist draw your manga portrait on a bag overseas to?!? Oh, we can only hope!
Stuart Vevers didn’t come for the reopening but I have to say, for a designer who has managed to stay out of the tabloids and gossip rags, he is one very fun guy. I met him for the first time last October on Halloween when I was invited to interview him over dinner for Numero TOKYO. From that interview I still remember he said he loved the Kapybara character, and that before he became a bigshot chief designer, he was earning money for fashion school by working at a sausage factory in the UK during nights. Hearing him explain how the sausages would fall off the conveyor belt and go *plop* on the floor one by one….and how he never can stomach sausage again…was so humanizing! Designers are real people too. Probably.
Here is Stuart at FNO DJing at the Loewe boutique. yeah, he DJs as well!
Stuart: I’m going to DJ at Loewe, you should stop by. I`m going to do trashy wedding party music.
Me: Oh! Trashy as in a super hip, model cousin’s wedding type music?
Stuart: *deadpans* No, trashy as in straight-up trashy.