Erimaki Sox collars the market
With colder weather settling in for winter, tights and socks are becoming more proliferous than ever. Enter Erimaki Sox — a pair of socks with a buttoned collar that is looking to take the title of the most talked about footwear fashion item of the year. Made for both men and women, the socks are inspired by traditional tabi (split-toe) socks, with the addition of a Western-style collar at the ankle. The design went viral online when it first debuted a year ago, with each subsequent line going a long way to confirming its heavyweight potential. New patterns are produced every few months, with plaid, plain, gingham, dalmatian and “lipstick kiss” available now. About ¥3,000 each. (M.J.)
Anrealage tackles ‘Attack on Titan’
“Attack on Titan,” Hajime Isayama’s breakout anime and manga hit of 2014, is the unlikely sparring partner for fashion technician Kunihiko Morinaga’s brand, Anrealage. Echoing the transformational theme of the source material, Anrealage have designed a series of T-shirts that at first glance appear completely blank, but when exposed to sunlight reveal designs inspired by the titular titans thanks to Anrealage’s photochromic printing technology, which was first unveiled at the label’s most recent fashion show held as part of Paris Fashion Week. This collaboration is the start of an ongoing project between the two creators that seeks to explore Isayama’s world in the medium of fashion, and with the animated adaptation set to return for a much-anticipated second series in 2015, total media saturation is to be expected. (S.T.)
Seasonal gifts from Cool Japan
If you find yourself in Harajuku this month, be sure to drop into the Cool Japan pop-up store for a little gift for yourself or someone else. The cozy shop has assembled an array of unique contemporary items that also offer a decidedly Japanese mystique. There are tights printed with paintings by Japanese artists and tote bags made from repurposed Japanese fabric. Goods run the gamut from T-shirts, stationery and brooches to tools, skin care and bags, with source materials all explained in English. Be sure to check out the fossilized candy accessories by Rotary Parker and the origami coin cases by Ikiji. Online shopping is available for the duration of the pop-up, and a sister store is also open at Odaiba Aquacity until Jan. 4. (M.J.)
Cool Japan: 5-29-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-6450-6190; iroya.jp
The brutalist oeuvre of high-fashion designer Rick Owens does not lend itself well to jewelry or, indeed, any ornamentation corrupting as it does the precisely conceived abstract simplicity that has made the brand the toast of subversive fashion fans worldwide. Now comes news that the American designer has entrusted his wife, celebrated Parisienne creative Michelle Lamy, to curate a line of jewelry with Los Angeles luxury gothic label Loree Rodkin. Entitled “HUNROD”, a combination of Owen’s nickname for Lamy “Hun”, and “Rodkin”, the results are a mangled mix of silver, brass and roughly cut diamonds that are a brilliant counterpoint to the precision usually associated with fine jewelry. The collection is exclusively available in Japan at Rick Owens’ flagship store, but please be warned, prices start at ¥550,000 plus tax. (S.T.)
Rick Owens Tokyo: 6-5-55 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Get lucky during fukubukuro season
One of the best reasons for spending the new year in Japan is the opportunity to buy a fukubukuro (lucky bag) from your favorite shop. Fukubukuro literally translates as “bag of happiness” and it is a tradition for Japanese stores to stuff them full of goods and sell them at a steep discount in the first days of each new year. For clothing stores, prices generally range from ¥5,000 to ¥20,000 but can contain goodies worth 10 times that. A number of stores are targeting tourists this year, with Seibu, Matsuya, Isetan and Mitsukoshi planning on using more English informational displays, and creating “Made in Japan” fukubukuro with traditional Japanese or character goods inside. Be aware that the competition for the bags are fierce and consumers often line up the night before to get them before they’re gone. (M.J.)
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