When it comes to denim, Japan is the planet’s leading market. The country’s infatuation with the utilitarian fabric started with an overall obsession with all things Americana in the 1950s, and thanks to the multi-faceted sensibilities innate to its culture, crafting denim and designing denimwear have become an expertise that inspires professionals and consumers anywhere. It’s no surprise that denim brands, especially foreign ones, pull out all the stops to make their mark in Japan as any action is bound to resonate worldwide.
And that’s exactly what Levi’s has done. Opened last week in Tokyo is the brand new Levi’s Shinjuku store, a concept store and prestigious retail statement that dramatically raises the denim brand’s profile. The store is located in Shinjuku, one of the city’s busiest shopping areas, measuring 266 sqm. [2,863 sq.ft.] spread over four floors, including one underground floor.
The store is designed by Len Peltier, the man who leads the global design team of Levi’s in San Francisco, and features many design elements that’ll become standard in Levi’s stores worldwide. But there are also features that have been especially conceptualized for this store, such as specific lighting fixtures with up-and-coming Japanese designers, the special showcase on the first floor of a denim range developed in collab with Nike, and a tailor shop on the third where shoppers can have their denim purchases customized.
The Levi’s Shinjuku store carries all lines: Levi’s Red Tab, Levi’s Made & Crafted and Levi’s Vintage Clothing, and especially for the opening there’s even a limited sale of reproductions of Levi’s oldest denim jackets from the brand’s archive.