Sacai wins Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix

In the Japan, the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix is the most esteemed of fashion-industry awards, and with nominations coming from the country’s top fashion editors, journalists and buyers, it’s also a barometer of worldwide success.

The 33rd edition held in late 2015 crowned Sacai designer Chitose Abe for a second time (she also won in 2007). This doesn’t come as a surprise, as Sacai has been on everybody’s lips, garnering praise from editors and buyers, while Abe was name-dropped last year as a possible candidate to fill the empty designer seat at luxury fashion house Balenciaga.

Abe is currently pumping out five-star collections at Paris Fashion Week as well as high-profile ones with the likes of Nike and jewelry designer Sophie Bille Brahe. The new jewelry line, which is feminine but bold with pearls and wispy gold chains, was released Feb. 5 at Dover Street Market in Ginza where the Nike and Sacai lines are also sold.


Gentlemanly salad days

Yuichi Yoshii already has his plate full as owner of the popular The Contemporary Fix and Pariya restaurants in the backstreets of Omotesando, but his new venture, called CityShop, takes the best of those worlds — and then bests them. The two-story building has a glass facade and houses Delicatessen, a restaurant, on the first floor and a clothing and lifestyle goods store upstairs.

Delicatessen is the answer to salad lovers’ prayers, offering 15 selections a day to be eaten at a big community, table surrounded by natural light. Upstairs, you’ll find a hefty selection of pieces from Mr. Gentleman, the menswear collaboration between Yoshii and menswear designer Takeshi Osumi. The rest of the lineup is male-centric or unisex and aimed at those on the hunt for a gift, with limited-edition men’s sneakers and hoodies next to high-end shampoo line Grown Alchemist and a vintage Chanel basketball.

CityShop: 5-4-41 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; 03-5778-3953. cityshop.tokyo

AllSaints come marching in

AllSaints, the British mens and womens retailer, famous for its iconic leather motorcycle jackets for comparably affordable prices, is finally setting up shop in Tokyo.

Advertised as a “concept store,” AllSaints opened on Cat Street in Harajuku on Feb. 6 and will have a shelf life of six months (doors will close on July 31).

The brand rose to prominence in the early 2000s for its classic British cuts mixed with the edgy London street-style flair of patchworked denim, fishnet tops and artistic collage prints. The leather, however, is where the brand excels, and with prices ranging from ¥60,000 to ¥70,000 for its basic looks for both men and women, it’s a veritable bargain.

The Cat Street store is split evenly between the mens- and womenswear, with pieces from the new spring collection filling up the rack space. AllSaints has been expanding rapidly over the past few years, and it’s popularity is soaring in Asia. Neighboring South Korea already has 11 stores to boast, and we’re about to find out if the brand has sticking power in Japan as well.

AllSaints: 5-17-24 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-5766-3011. www.allsaints.com

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