What Tokyo Fashion Is To Me: 5 Local Designers Share Their Best Shops & Style Inspiration

Last year, we kicked off our “Local Style Profiles” series in TW magazine. Each month, we interview a Tokyo-based designer or trendsetter to find out what inspires their style, how they define Tokyo fashion, and where they love to shop in the city. Following our previous online roundup of the first five designers we profiled, here are the latest five style-makers to grace our pages…

Oana Ponomarenco Romaneiro

Founder and designer of The Nudist Swimwear

MY CLOTHING BRAND IS… A new lifestyle. Made with comfort and sustainability in mind, my eco-friendly women’s swimwear is giving plastic a second chance without compromising on style. After 12 years of working in the fashion industry, I decided I wanted to make something that looks good not only in photos, but in real life. Something that flatters the body and is easy to wear at the same time. We create versatile pieces, meant to be worn on all kinds of summer adventures. Whether you surf, hike, go on a beach vacation with the kids or just lounge by the pool with your friends, you will find something at The Nudist. Our mission is to be fully sustainable, which extends not only to swimsuits but also to our packaging and beyond.

TOKYO FASHION IS… Unique. The only city in the world where you see everything, from eccentric anime-inspired outfits to vintage dresses to sharp office suits, all walking on the same street. There’s a reason people come from all over the world to get a glimpse of it. Even with the passing of time and changing trends, Tokyo remains the city where everyone comes in search of inspiration. The colors in our current line are inspired by Tokyo fashion, more specifically the neon boom of the 1990s in Shibuya and Harajuku. 

MY FAVORITE SHOPS IN TOKYO ARE… 

Ron Herman: I love their simple Californian style. For anyone living in the concrete jungle, you need a bit of color and effortless chic in your life. ronherman.jp

Bonum: Since I’m interested in sustainable fashion, I’m a big fan of their upcycled jeans and jackets. There’s always a statement piece to be found in there. bonum.jp

Maruzen Marunouchi Bookstore: I could go in there and be lost for hours browsing books and magazines. 1-6-4 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku

woman wearing luminous yellow swimsuit
The Nudist Swimwear

Erika Masuda

Designer of clothing brand Gingerale Tokyo

MY CLOTHING BRAND… Allows independent women to get reacquainted with the joy of styling their clothes when their current closet cannot satisfy their needs. Our brand brings together pieces with design, materials and patterns that don’t require compromise. We pull elements from men’s fashion and women’s feminine attire and join them in a single piece of clothing.

TOKYO FASHION IS… A culture with unique fashion and sense of style inspired by everything we consume.  

MY FAVORITE SHOPS IN TOKYO ARE… 

LUIK: The buyers at this used clothing shop always have a great sense of style.
www.instagram.com/luik0121/

FUGA TOKYO: A florist that offers a mix of great style and art. fuga-tokyo.com

HACHURUI CLUB NAKANO: Not fashion-related, but this pet store has cute critters from around the world. hachikura.com/nakano

woman wearing dress and faux fur coat
Gingerale Tokyo

Emel Amed

Designer of clothing brand Alça

MY CLOTHING BRAND IS… An expression of comfortable and mixed pieces. I make pieces that emerge from my African cultural background as well as the experience of living in Tokyo. I create pieces for Africans back home in parallel to creating something for a wider clientele. Thanks to my background in art, there is a sense of freedom to create a variety of designs. I see fashion as being as free as art, and although there are many rules and politics to follow to “make it” in the market, I trust that my brand is in direct relation with the opportunities for collaborating and creating that I’ve encountered. 

TOKYO FASHION IS… Incredibly inspiring. There is nothing like Tokyo fashion to me. Walking around in Tokyo is like walking around an open-air fashion runway, where everyone dresses in the flow of their creativity and personality. The Japanese as well as the foreigners living here are a source of inspiration to me. Tokyo fashion has definitely had an impact on the way I communicate my passion in art and fashion.   

MY FAVORITE SHOPS IN TOKYO ARE… 

DESPERADO: This Shibuya store is based on the concept of the fusion of fashion and art, products and people. www.desperadoweb.net 

LA FORET: A Harajuku institution. www.laforet.ne.jp/en/ 

THRIFT STORES: Specifically, any of those in Harajuku. 

Alça

Qiqi Chen

Designer of clothing brand …& DEAR

MY CLOTHING BRAND IS… A brand that suits all women and lifestyles. No matter how many items, no matter the time of year, I want women to enjoy and be passionate about fashion. The name …& DEAR was inspired by the feeling of having a piece of clothing that is dear to one’s heart. I make pieces that are easy to wear, functional and fashionable. Because I work with fabrics sourced in Japan, the pieces can be adjusted and combined with others to be worn no matter the season.

TOKYO FASHION IS… Diverse. As people and designers have started to better understand women’s needs, it has become easier for us to mix and match trendy pieces with “real clothes.”

MY FAVORITE SHOPS IN TOKYO ARE…

SACAI AOYAMA: This shop has great clothing lines, full of pieces that are worth seeing.
www.sacai.jp

MINÄ PERHONEN: Amazing variety of textiles. There is leather from the floor to the ceiling. I’m obsessed with the place. www.mina-perhonen.jp

TAKASHIMAYA NIHONBASHI: It includes a lot of popular brands I like and I always find shopping here relaxing. www.takashimaya.co.jp

…&DEAR

Taama & Carrie 

Designers of clothing brand BLXCK TOKYO 

OUR CLOTHING BRAND IS… A monochromatic unisex brand with a heavy focus on human connection. Our aim is to utilize the beauty of everyday “imperfections” to create garments that make the wearer feel confident. 

TOKYO FASHION IS… Expressive and constantly evolving. It’s unapologetically experimental thus never boring. There is always something fresh and unique.

OUR FAVORITE SHOPS IN TOKYO ARE… 

HEY DAY BEER & PIZZA: Located near Sangenjaya Station, this place has an amazing atmosphere. All the pizza is handmade and the staff are great. They even have an old Nintendo system set up to play. www.heyday-beer.com

CRAY TOKYO: A stylish new select shop in Diver City that stocks BLXCK TOKYO (and more). The staff are always really friendly and supported us from the very beginning.
instagram.com/craytokyo_divercity

NEVER MIND X/U: It’s a quirky little shop that stocks both international and domestic designers. You’ll always find something interesting here. www.pressingdog.com/shoplist/xutokyo.html

BLXCK TOKYO

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