As they say, “There’s no place like Tokyo.” And when you’re in Tokyo, there’s really no place like Ginza. This is where the world’s most exquisite artisan brands congregate, surrounded by a sartorial flair that is unmistakably and undeniably “Ginza”. Instead of the done-to-death big brands in flashy locations, we go off the beaten track to discover custom made gems in this sophisticated area.
In the world of Japanese fashion, BEAMS is a household name, boasting a vast product range that once extended from furniture in its early years of conception, to groceries and beyond. It’s evident that BEAMS is not your typical lifestyle brand, especially in terms of exclusivity and quality. As winter beckons, the Ginza store’s Jacket & Coat Order Fair lets you personalize your desired outerwear, where you can choose your favourite design, material and shade to complement your Autumn/Winter wardrobe. Exquisite fabrics, woven from wool or nylon, allow respite from the freezing Tokyo weather, while the colour schemes are heavily-influenced by the understated elegance often seen in European styles (the material is, after all, imported from Italy). Rich, deep shades of burnt orange and bordeaux make a significant appearance, adding a touch of warmth to a dreary, cold day.
Passing by Union Work’s black-and-gold-trimmed storefront, you’d think you were walking down Savile Row in London. With “shoe repair & sundries” emblazoned on the sign, it can’t get any more British than this. Step into the store, and the first thing that welcomes you is the lingering scent of leather, with hundreds of pairs of top-notch footwear waiting to be claimed by loving owners. Rows upon rows of shoes and boots, crafted based on classic Italian and British designs, gaze up adoringly at the discerning customer, as if they’re trying to send a message: “Strolling along Tokyo’s most prestigious streets of Ginza, how could you not covet a pair as glossy and striking as us, to match your dapper suit?” We’ve never once doubted the meticulous art of Japanese shoemaking, and Union Work puts its skill on full display, not just in the creation of brand-new leather footwear, but also in its incomparable repairwork. This year, the upper floor of the Ginza store opened its doors as “The Upper Gallery”, showcasing an impressive collection of fine leather goods to strike any collector’s fancy.
If a bespoke blazer is what you’re looking for, World’s Bespoke is definitely the place to be. As the name aptly suggests, the brand aims to be known for what it does best, offering three main designs to strike your fancy: W06 Milano, W08 Tokyo and W09 Napoli. The Milano stays true to the sleek, subtle cut preferred by Italian and English men, while the Tokyo brings an added touch of formal flair with the addition of shoulder pads to accompany fabrics that offer more flexibility. The Napoli, on the other hand, places emphasis on accentuating the wearer’s physique for a naturally lived-in look that’s simply effortless. It’s also worth noting that World’s Bespoke celebrates its 100th anniversary next year, which comes as no surprise judging by their sophisticated tailoring and one-of-a-kind service, currently helmed by its third-generation proprietor. Indeed, this bespoke tailor has become one of the most significant icons of Ginza.
BZ BARBER SHOP
What else is left to transform oneself into the quintessential gentleman, if not for a haircut that speaks volumes about your personal style? While barber shops are a dime a dozen along the bustling streets of Tokyo, BZ Barber Shop stands apart from its competitors with its almost-hidden underground location. To find it, you’ll need to pay a visit to the basement floor of the Ginza Narita building. Decorated in opulent tones of mahogany, the interior is reminiscent of the Corleone residence in the iconic Godfather movie franchise. Owner Keikawa-san wanted a space for clients to feel completely at home while enjoying first-rate services, ranging from haircuts to scalp treatments, brow trimming and shaving. While one might not emerge from BZ Barber Shop a celebrity, you’ll definitely look and feel like one.
KEF MUSIC GALLERY
There’s an English saying: “A true gentleman understands the pursuit of perfection.” Impressive workmanship isn’t just used to describe a suit; in audio manufacturer KEF’s case, each and every product has been carefully crafted for excellence. The moment you step into the KEF Music Gallery in Ginza, prepare to be awed by crystal-clear renditions of music, unlike anything you’ve heard before. Here, you’ll be able to appreciate how the exact same song can sound so distinctly different when played from sound systems of different quality. Industry insiders will be familiar with KEF’s reputation, but the brand is also reaching out to music lovers who appreciate the beauty of quality sound. When you’re surrounded by the lifelike proximity of David Bowie’s Space Oddity in the audio lounge, you’ll truly begin to understand the transformative power of good music.
IMAGE: C.L / KEFWhat