各ジャンルに精通する個性豊かなエディターたちが、GINZA SIXをぶらぶらと

Experiencing Shopping Offline is a luxury!

倉林 里実


Are there days anymore when you don’t use the Internet? Not me. I get up in the morning. I switch on my smartphone. I get to work and turn my computer on. With every passing year, I spend more time on the Internet.

This may be why I’ve been shopping more online. Especially when I feel stressed, I click-click-click and buy something. It feels good. But then the purchase drops out of mind. When it shows up at my door, I sometimes have the vaguest recollection of having purchased it. There’s an aftertaste of remorse, and a certain sadness.

At just such a time, I was offered this chance to wander about GINZA SIX. What a great idea! To stroll Ginza in such a brilliant space. So I headed out for my first non-virtual shopping tour in some time.

My first stop is quarant’otto, a Japanese jewelry boutique on the second floor. On this journey, I’m seeking a story.

“The elaborate jewelry is simply irresistible!” said a friend in recommendation. It’s how I learned about the brand. I’d been here a number of times and always wondered who created this stunning jewelry. This time, I had the opportunity to meet the designer, who attends to the shop from time to time on the weekends.

This is Aika Fushimi, the designer. She once lived in Florence, Italy. quarant’otto, which means 48 in Italian, refers to her address when she lived there. As she tells me this, her gentle demeanor fills the shop with a warm and pleasant glow.

Many of the designs feature animal motifs. “There’s lots of birds in particular,” Fushimi-san points out. “This swan has a tranquil expression. But it’s also contemplating many things. I created it because I wanted to tell this kind of story.” Il Cigno Dormiente (“The Sleeping Swan”; from 1,200,000 yen; *all prices listed before tax) is fairly substantial. At the same time, it’s remarkably elegant when you put it on and rests gently on your finger. “I make the rings while trying them on, with comfort in mind. That’s why they never turn out just as I designed them,” she says, laughing. Few designers have the ability to single-handedly handle the entire process from design to production.

It’s often said that the essence of a ring is found on its underside. The underside of this swan has the word “Amore” in openwork engraving, plus a heart-shaped ruby! It’s technically superlative; it vividly conveys Fushimi-san’s love for jewelry.

You put this jewelry on and find yourself inspired to smile. One of the new designs is this wolf (!) ring, In bocca al lupo! (“Into the wolf’s mouth!”; 400,000 yen)—a reference to an old Italian saying people use when someone tackles a new challenge. The wolf here looks more affectionate than fierce.

quarant’otto launched a new publishing division in September, releasing a picture book with a jewelry theme, Nelly’s True Journey Chapter 1-Diamond Coast. Both the story and illustrations are by Fushimi-san herself. I ask if it’s difficult to be involved in such genre-spanning work. “In a way, designing jewelry and creating a picture book are the same for me. In both cases, it’s about telling a story.”

That makes sense. This is a place not necessarily for buying things, but for gaining stories. Finding a story that’s perfect for me isn’t so easy when shopping online.

My next journey, at Moynat Maison on the first floor, is a journey of texture and touch.

Moynat creates premium-quality leather collections. The long-established Parisian brand applies exceptional techniques that have won acclaim for some 170 years. Particularly noteworthy is the remarkably soft texture of the leather. When you grasp it, the sensation is extremely smooth, as if it might stick to your skin—it’s hard to resist continuing to touch it. Calling Moynat a leather magician is no exaggeration.

This year’s new versions on the brand’s classic Fleur bag are multi-colored (354,000 yen). The refined color combinations bring out the texture of the leather. The whimsical tags (46,700 yen) attract many fans. If you encounter one, it’s fate. Don’t hesitate. Just get it.

The popular icon items are also colorful. The one to the right is the Gabrielle (486,000 yen). The charming classic cube to the left is the Mini Vanity (445,000 yen). They’re both pictured with hard-to-find straps (right: 75,500 yen; left: 74,500 yen). Everything in the collection is popular. “Some items sell so well, it’s hard to keep them in stock,” a sales associate tells me. “But the fall lineup is extensive.”

I don’t want to let it go! The soft, fluffy feel is irresistible. Holding a bag that’s so nice and accommodating of the individual grasping it makes you want to be nice and accommodating of other people, too. The two-way Limousine (354,000 yen), which also features a strap, would make an excellent choice for either work or a dinner party.

Touch is a human instinct. When touching makes you feel good, how wonderful such a moment can be!… I was reminded of this today.

Lastly, at La Maison VALMONT on the first belowground floor, I set forth on a journey of self-knowledge.

No need to tell you: This Swiss brand is the pinnacle of cosmetics. With a specific focus on aging care, the lineup features the absolute latest in treatment technologies and has adamant boosters all over the world. One is convinced of palpable results with even a single application. The elegant aroma when you apply it reawakens a sense of half-forgotten femininity.

VALMONT has long operated a haute couture-like system in which products are formulated and created specifically for your skin. In 2017, taking the best of this technology, the brand launched a premium collection called L’Elixir des Glaciers Majestic. This collection uses rare natural ingredients sourced from Switzerland, the brand’s home country, along with Essence of Bees. One example is this massage mask, Masque Majestueux Votre Visage (45,000 yen). The sophisticated gold packaging is dazzling. At the boutique, you’re free to try luxurious amounts of skincare products.

Other than skincare lineup, Teint Majestueux (27,000 yen each), a smoothing foundation incorporating abundant beauty essence, caught my eye.

The foundation comes in three colors. You can try each and see for yourself. “Some people prefer a blend of the two colors,” I’m told. This makes sense, although I would never have known had I not visited the boutique. For expensive purchases, it’s important to get an impartial opinion, rather than going it alone and relying entirely on your own judgment.

Knowing oneself is important. But it can be hard to find the time to get there. Out shopping in the real world, you stand face to face with others. Sometimes, this helps you rediscover parts of yourself you thought you knew but don’t, or had forgotten. It sounds obvious, perhaps, but this approach to shopping can be a luxury, in the deepest sense of that word.

Text:Satomi Kurabayashi Photos:Kanako Noguchi Edit:Yuka Okada


倉林 里実

CREA WEB編集長。証券会社国際金融部を経て、米ハーバード大学へ短期留学。2004年より出版業界に転身、ライフスタイル誌に携わる。2008年よりデスクとしてCREA編集部に所属し、2010年CREA編集長へ。2013年8月からCREA Traveller編集長。2019年7月よりCREAとCREA TravellerのWEBを統括する現職に。








2019.09.12 UP