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Four Can’t-Miss Men’s Fashion Accessory Stores

高橋 一史

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.46

We’re all so busy these days. There’s only so much time to go shopping to fill out one’s wardrobe. Even a fashion editor like me, with lots of free time (?), knows most people don’t have the time to leisurely make the rounds browsing in store after store.
Given this state of affairs, wouldn’t it be a good idea for me to do the preliminary work for you and introduce stores where I can say, with great confidence, if you go, you’ll find something worth finding? My focus today is fashion accessories: shoes, bags, hats, and more. I’m imagining a businessman who likes casual attire. Follow my lead to these great stores and check out a few items that are enjoyable to use, that draw admiration and compliments, and come with reasonable price tags.

First let’s look at some shoes. We definitely have to visit Paraboot.

Why is Paraboot so popular right now? (They’re worn by just about every magazine editor and stylist.) It’s because they’re high-end leather shoes fashioned to make you feel as if you’re in work shoes. They suit the casual trad look that’s long been a favorite of Japanese men. They’re perfect for people who think sneakers are too informal. They’re versatile, ideal even for workplace business casual.
One look and you immediately know it’s a pair of Paraboot, a rare characteristics of footwear. The shoes are made primarily by traditional French construction methods. The leather materials are tough, and they’re touted, with some pride, as resistant to rainwater. The resistance of the rubber soles to wear-and-tear is world-leading, the cushioning is great, and they effectively fight the fatigue of being on your feet all day.

Of the various models, the u-tip Chambord is especially popular. For people who say “I already own a pair,” how about this new and more stylish standard? (photo below)

The Avignon has a clean, sharp form that goes perfectly with a suit. The opening is narrow. The collar maintains a firm clasp on your feet. Walking in a pair feels great.

The three shoes to the left are the traditional Chambord; the three on the right are the Avignon (65,000 yen; all prices are listed before tax).

And for the days off in midsummer…

…these leather sandals (34,000 yen) are a must!
“These sandals are selling really well this year, too,” I’m told by Satoshi Ikoma of Paraboot PR.

Ikoma-san is the person wearing the JUNYA WATANABE COMME des GARÇONS jacket with enviable style in the photo on the right. The guy on the left wearing the showy stripes is, I’m sorry to say, me. What I have on my right hand isn’t a glove, but a mitten for polishing leather (4,000 yen).
The two directly managed Paraboot stores in Tokyo are the Aoyama store in Omotesando and the Ginza store here at GINZA SIX. The Ginza store offers an especially generous selection of women’s items. If you happen to arrive as a couple, you’ll both come across exciting finds in the store.

The next store I’d like to introduce, also located on the fifth floor, offers products of comparable durability and functionality. It’s BRIEFING, a boutique that features original bags.

BRIEFING is one of the few bag brands to bring into the business world the outdoorsy paramilitary feel beloved of men since boyhood. The brand uses heavy-duty materials and emphasizes functionality down to the details. But the overall look is urban.
The bags are made with care, down to the finest details. They offer a sense of quality well beyond price. The great designs are also worth noting. It’s no wonder the bags are carried by many mixed-label boutiques known for their keen fashion sense.

Popular among fans who come to the store is the series produced with Made in USA ballistic nylon.

This collection of bags of slightly different sizes and details is very much in the spirit of BRIEFING and clearly expresses their commitment. They can all be carried by hand, shoulder strap, or on your back. They provide unusual flexibility in how they can be used.

Of the business bags, this one is especially popular right now (middle of the upper shelf in the previous photo; 56,000 yen). It’s been designed with a width of 42 cm so that it won’t bump the person beside you when you’re on the train and holding it in your lap. It’s a product that incorporates ideas whose quality you come to appreciate with use.

One has to admire the beauty of this ballistic nylon helmet bag (42,000 yen)! It gives off a grown-up luster that’s as far from childish as one could imagine.

While not part of the Made in USA series, this multicase with belt (9,000 yen) lets you insert your hand to get a grip. It’s ideal for business people as a bag-in-a-bag for carrying computers or smaller items when going, for example, to a business lunch. Doesn’t it seem worth a look?

What to do? Should I buy this sacoche (8,500 yen after tax)? It’s roomy enough to hold notebooks, pens, a smartphone, and a mirrorless system camera. And sacoches are quite the trendy thing this season. Let me think… The decision hurts, but I decide to pass, at least for today.

The next store I’d like to show you is Theatre H.P. FRANCE on the fourth floor, a mixed-label boutique featuring, primarily, ladies accessories—but it’s worth a visit for men as well.

H.P. FRANCE mainly imports accessories and small fashion items and develops boutiques in various styles. Most of its stores are geared towards women, so it may be unfamiliar for men. But you’d be remiss in your due diligence if you didn’t give its bags a proper look—they’re well-known among those in the know.
This is the French brand Jacques le Corre. The designer’s unisex bags are simple and premium grade. They’d make the ultimate accessory and a clear statement of personal style for a business person dressed in a high-quality suit.

It’s a hard-to-find brand, one that rarely appears in men’s magazines. And that’s despite the unmistakeable style as a man’s bag and astonishing good looks! (I admit to owning 10… Yes, I’m a fool.) (Camouflage bag on the left, 125,000 yen; the other three, 130,000 yen).

This model, the Lisbon, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It’s the flagship of the Jacques le Corre brand. New versions in different materials and colors come out each season. The pocket’s positioning is superb; it’s remarkably easy to use. It stands up on its own when placed on the floor, something a man can appreciate. The price isn’t insignificant, but the bag is a standard. If you’re thinking you want one luxury bag, why not make the Lisbon a candidate?

This slim backpack (130,000 yen), made of a diving-suit material, incorporates leather straps. The backpack has right and left shoulder straps, but clip them together in the middle with a fastener, and the whole thing becomes a sling shoulder bag.

Of the four stores at GINZA SIX I’ve rigorously selected as a man choosing for men, I have one last store to show you. It’s CA4LA on the fourth floor, an establishment that offers a selection of great hats that instantly add style to your presentation.

CA4LA is the name of the store and the name of the original hat brand. How is it pronounced? It’s “Kashira”—not CA-4-LA.
Like shoes and bags, hats are articles of convenience and function. They shield you from the sun and drizzle. They let you go about your business on really windy days without worrying about your hair. They boost your style quotient. Once you grow accustomed to wearing a hat, you really can’t do without them.
CA4LA is a Japanese brand that’s made a name for itself in the hat world. Now I’d like to impart some inside knowledge: The letters in the serial number on the hat’s name indicate the name of the person who designed the hat.

The name here ONM. That would be Tomoko Onuma, one of CA4LA’s in-house designers.

The three hats to the right are designed by Onuma-san (three hats on the right, 7,200 yen; two hats on the left, 5,800 yen), whose design specialty is knits.

CA4LA is a collection of individual articles from multiple in-house designers. If you happen to own any of the brand’s hats, check the name. If several of the hats have the same letter code, you’re probably a fan of that designer.

The GINZA SIX store’s major selling point is that it’s the exclusive place for custom orders. Select a base from among the hats, add a ribbon or other materials, and create a great hat just for you. The photo above is an order sample; the material is premium sisal. (Order prices start at 20,000 yen, with a feather.)

What’s extra special about custom orders is that there’s a production atelier right in the store. A full-time designer will quickly make your hat. At the fastest possible turnaround, if you order by 3:00 p.m., you can pick up your hat that same day. It’s especially handy for people who come from far away. The store can also deliver the order at a later date. Ordering is worry-free because you get to consult with the atelier designer, Suzuki-san, or another dedicated staff member and ask their advice.

Finally, for all you men who are getting sick of seeing my picture over and over, I offer you a dose of visual refreshment: the lovely assistant store manager, Mio Tatsuoka. The sisal hat looks great on her.

Everyone, come and meet Tatsuoka-san…no, what I mean to say is, come visit GINZA SIX to find the perfect item made just for you!

Text:Kazushi Takahashi Photos:Kanako Noguchi Edit:Yuka Okada

editors_Ktakahashi

高橋 一史

明治大学&文化服装学院卒業。文化出版局に入社し、『MRハイファッション』『装苑』の編集者に。担当ジャンルは、ファッション&音楽。退社後はフリーランスとして、原稿書き・編集・広告制作などを行う。現在、雑誌『Pen』を中心に活動中。『フィガロ ジャポン』のウェブサイトでのブログも随時更新中。 https://madamefigaro.jp/blog/kazushi-takahashi/list.html
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2018.06.29 UP