2018/10/01  #004
The Allure of Select Shops ①The Select Shop Trinity
セレクトショップの魅力 ①3大セレクトショップ

The select shop retail format is a very Japanese system. There are select shop equivalents in the States, like Barneys New York and Ron Herman, but they are exceptions (and technically, the former is a luxury department store, and the later is a lifestyle boutique). You don’t see the format as much as you do in Japan.

A select shop is a retail format where a retailer selects and sells products from various brands and manufacturers centered on an original concept or singular aesthetic. Well-known retailers include Ships, Beams, and United Arrows.

The selecting is done by a buyer, who decides what products to buy from which brands. Whether a select shop will sink or swim often comes down to the buyer’s (or buyers’) sensibilities. And there have been cases where an unknown designer found themselves a champion in a particular buyer, found their audience through that particular select shop, and thus made a name for themselves.

In Japan there are an unprecedented number of select shops, and pretty much all of them have achieved some degree of business success. Compared to fast fashion brands, select shop offerings are somewhat more expensive; compared to luxury brands, they are more affordable. The key to their success is how they bring together items that are easily mixed and matched for Japanese consumers that don’t find much enjoyment in choosing their own clothes.

Many Europeans seem to be good at mixing and matching luxury brands with inexpensive items in a way that is very becoming. Meanwhile, many Americans seem to buy all of their clothes at a single store or from a single brand. Perhaps this is why you don’t see many select shops in these places.

In the mid-70s, having gone through a period of rapid economic growth, young people in Japanese found themselves with money to spend on fashion. (The Japanese magazine publishing company) Magazine House began publishing a men’s fashion magazine—practically unheard of at the time—called Popeye, which became an enormous hit.

It was right around that time that a number of select shops importing mostly West Coast fashions from America opened in Tokyo: Miura & Sons in Ameyoko in Ueno and Dogenzaka in Shibuya (which at the time was a red-light district), as well as Beams in Harajuku.

Photo : ©RendezVous








■SHIPS Ginza / SHIPS Shibuya

In 1975, a store selling imported clothes and zakka (miscellaneous lifestyle goods and trinkets) opened in a five-square-meter space in Ameyoko Shopping Street in Ueno. That store was named Miura Shohin. Later it changed its name to “Miura” and then “Miura & Sons” before ultimately settling on “Ships”.

At the time, Ameyoko was home to U.S. Army/Navy surplus stores and other stores selling products they bought directly from vendors in the U.S.

But the selection of products at Miura & Sons was superior, and its popularity was head and shoulders above its neighbors.

Later, it opened a store in Dogenzaka in Shibuya—a youth-oriented neighborhood—and in 1977, it opened the first Ships store in Ginza.

Its friendly rivalry with Beams in Harajuku proved to be a boon for both, and the two select shops trailblazed the ametora (American trad) fashion scene in Tokyo.

In the 80s and 90s, the retailer expanded nationwide and became the giant it is today. Along the way it launched two in-house sub-labels: Ships Men, which was targeted towards businessmen in their twenties and thirties, and Ships Jet Blue, offering casualwear for men in their teens and into their thirties.

Other than its menswear, it also offers plenty of brand selections for women and children—it caters to a range of demographics.

Personally, I find my attention drawn toward the businesswear floors of their Shibuya store. Their bulk of the suits run for between 100,000 and 150,000 yen; most of their shirting costs between 10,000 and 15,000 yen. In a word, the aesthetic is “refined, and good at what he does”.

Ships does custom Lardini suits and jackets as well—lately the Italian fashion house has caught my eye—so I hope to have something made at this select shop.

■SHIPS 銀座店 / 渋谷店

Photo : ©RendezVous





80〜90年代には、全国展開を経て、現在に至っています。メンズとしては、20〜30歳代のビジネスマンをターゲットとした「SHIPS MEN」、10〜30歳代のカジュアルウェアの「SHIPS JET BLUE」の2つのレーベルを持っています。

メンズだけでなく、女性向け、子供向けのブランド / レーベルも充実しており、幅広い層へのアピールを行っています。



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Ryoshin Ginza Bld. B1-3F 3-4-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座3-4-15 菱進銀座ビル B1-3F
TEL : +81- (0)3-3564-5547
Open 営業時間 :11:00-20:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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Jinnan 1cho-me Bld. B1-4F 1-18-1 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0041
〒150-0041 東京都渋谷区神南1-18-1 神南1丁目ビル B1-4F
TEL : +81- (0)3-3496-0481
Open 営業時間 :11:00-20:30
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

Photo : ©RendezVous


(Beams Harajuku / Beams f Harajuku / Pilgrim Surf+Supply / Beams Japan Shinjuku / Beams Records / Beams T)

Beams has its humble beginnings in a small, roughly 21-square-meter section of floorspace it leased in the building that has since become Beams Harajuku. The shop was run by founder Shitara Yo and manager Shigematsu Osamu, the latter of which would later go on to found United Arrows. Shitara Yo was born in 1951 in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and attended what has since become the Junior and Senior High School at Otsuka, University of Tsukuba, then graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Keio University before joining the advertising agency Dentsu.

The full original name of the store American Life Shop Beams, and the product selection was meant to evoke the college dorm room of a UCLA student. It offered t-shirts and jeans as well as skateboards and the like—it put forth not just a vision for fashion but a vision for a style of life. (I can understand how middle-aged men in their 50s living in Tokyo would be strongly drawn to the fantasy of my alma mater, UCLA.)

The retailer built up its sales through its working with magazine editors such as Ishikawa Jiro from Popeye, and Oguro Kazumi from Brutus. Both of these magazines had just recently been launched by Magazine House.

Then in 1989, Shigematsu Osamu and a number of others left Beams to co-found United Arrows along with major apparel manufacturer World. The shakeup had a major impact on the apparel/fashion industry at the time.

Nevertheless, Beams overcame the setback, and went on to expand with retail locations nationwide and overseas. In 2017, it posted sales of 74.4 billion yen.

Compared to its rivals Ships and United Arrows, Beams targets a wider range of age brackets, and accordingly has many in-house sub-brands/sub-labels.

It runs Ray Beams and Beams Boy, both of which cater to women, the art-oriented International Gallery Beams, t-shirt brand Beams T, record store/record label Beams Records, and the Tokyo concept stores Beams Japan and Tokyo Culture by Beams.

I especially like checking out Beams F in Harajuku, a two-floor store adjacent to Beams Harajuku specializing in tailored suits and shirts. The suits run between 100,000 and 200,000 yen, while shirts are between 10,000 and 40,000 yen. The offerings are high-end, but the selections are on-point and quite enticing.

Someday soon, I plan on ordering Luigi Borrelli and Barba shirts from Beams.

Pilgrim Surf+Supply in Shibuya is also a pretty great store. Their take on the surfing life is one that speaks to me, and I find myself buying zakka (miscellaneous lifestyle items and trinkets) items on offer.

B Jirushi Yoshida, a joint venture between Beams and Yoshida & Co. in Daikanyama, is also worth checking out. It was a pioneer in the type of brand collaborations—what the Japanese call “double name” products—that have since become a common phenomenon.


Photo : ©RendezVous
(ビームス 原宿 / ビームス f 原宿 / ピルグリム サーフ+サプライ / ビームス・ジャパン 新宿 / ビームス・レコード / ビームスT)


当初の正式名称は、『AMERICAN LIFE SHOP BEAMS』で、『UCLA』 の大学生の部屋をイメージし、Tシャツやジーンズ、スケートボードなど、ファッションだけではなく、ライフスタイル全般を提案することをコンセプトとしていました。(僕は、東京で50歳代のオジサンが僕の卒業したUCLAについて強い関心を持つ理由がわかりました。)







いつかは、このビームスで『ルイジ ボレッリ』や『バルバ』のシャツをオーダーしてみたいと思っています。

また、渋谷の「ピルグリム サーフ+サプライ」もお気に入りのショップです。僕の憧れの“サーフィン・ライフ”を提案してくれていて、ついつい雑貨とかを買ってしまいます。


Photo : ©RendezVous
BEAMS Harajuku Store
ビームス 原宿店
1,2F 3-24-7 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-24-7 1F・2F
TEL : +81-(0)3-3470-3947
Open 営業時間: 11:00-20:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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ビームス F
1,2F 3-25-14 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-25-14 1F・2F
TEL : +81-(0)3-3470-3946
Open 営業時間: 11:00-20:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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ビームス ジャパン
B1-5F 3-32-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
〒160-0022 東京都新宿区新宿3-32-6 B1F- 5F
TEL : +81-(0)3-5368-7300
Open 営業時間 : 11:00-20:00(1F-5F)
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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BEAMS T Harajuku
ビームスT 原宿
1F 3-25-15 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-25-15 1F
TEL : +81-(0)3-3470-8601
Open 営業時間: 11:00-20:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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BEAMS Records
ビームス レコーズ
1F 3-25-15 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-25-15 1F
TEL : +81-(0)3-3746-0789
Open 営業時間: 11:00-20:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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Pilgrim Surf+Supply
ピルグリム サーフ+サプライ
1F 1-14-7 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0041
〒150-0041 東京都渋谷区神南1-14-7 1F
TEL : +81-(0)3-5459-1690
Open 営業時間: 11:00-20:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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■United Arrows

(United Arrows Harajuku Flagship / Beauty & Youth Shibuya Koen-dori Store / Green Label Relaxing / The Sovereign House)

United Arrows is a select shop that was founded in 1989 by former Beams Harajuku Store manager Shigematsu Osamu with the financial support of major apparel manufacturer World.

The story goes that he took more than 30 Beams buyers along with him, causing ripples to spread throughout the fashion industry.

From the beginning, United Arrows catered to an older, more high-end clientele than Beams—which catered to a younger demographic. To this day, the Harajuku flagship maintains that vision.

At the same time, the brand succeeded in expanding its offerings to draw in a wide range of customers through sub-brands such as Green Label Relaxing, which carries more casual offerings for men and women in their thirties, and Beauty & Youth United Arrows, which has an even more casual, street bent.

Of all the companies operating select shops in Japan, United Arrows is the only one listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It has retail locations nationwide, and posts more than 100 billion yen in annual sales.

I like to check out the Harajuku flagship often. I’m especially fond of the adjacent UA Bar when I just want to hang out and chat with a friend. And I have to say I’m a little bit intrigued by Chrome Hearts, which sits opposite the flagship.

And someday, I hope to have some tailored suits and shirts made at The Sovereign House in Marunouchi.


Photo : ©RendezVous
(ユナイテッド・アローズ原宿本店 / BEAUTY & YOUTH渋谷公園通り店 / green label relaxing / ザ・ソブリンハウス)




一方、30歳代の男女をターゲットとしたカジュアル路線の「グリーンレーベルリラクシング」や20歳代の男女をターゲットとする、よりカジュアルな、ストリート系の「ビューティ&ユース ユナイテッド・アローズ」など幅広い層を取り込むことで事業を拡大してきました。


僕がよく行くのは、原宿本店です。原宿本店に併設されているUA BARは、友人との語らいに、よく利用させてもらっています。また、原宿店の向かい側にある『クロムハーツ』にもかなり関心を持っています。


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United Arrows Harajuku Flagship
B1F-3F 3-28-1 Jingumae,Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-28-1 B1F-3F
TEL : +81-(0)3-3479-8180
Open 営業時間
12:00-20:00(Weekday/平日) 11:00-20:00(Sat, Sun and holidays/土日祝)
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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Beauty & Youth Shibuya Koen-dori Store
ビューティー アンド ユース 渋谷公園通り店
Parkway square2 B1-2F 1-19-11 jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0041 東京都渋谷区神南1-19-11パークウェースクエア2 B1-2F
TEL : +81-5428-1893(Men’s floor)
Open 営業時間 11:00-21:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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Green Label Relaxing
ユナイテッドアローズ グリーン・レーベル・リラクシング  渋谷マークシティ店
Shibuya Mark City East Mall 1F 1-12-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0043
〒150-0043 東京都渋谷区道玄坂1-12-3 渋谷マークシティ イーストモール1F
TEL : +81-(0)3-6415-8065
Open 営業時間 10:00-21:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

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The Sovereign House
Shin-Tokyo Bld. 1F J3-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒100-0005 東京都千代田区丸の内3-3-1 新東京ビル 1F
TEL : +81-(0)3-6212-2150
Open 営業時間 11:00-20:00
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

When it came to fashion, Big Brother’s teacher was Yagisawa-san, the manager of Harajuku Cassidy.

As a result of the efforts of magazines like Popeye, the American Trad became a full-blown craze in the late 1970s. Select shops like Beams in Harajuku and Miura & Sons (which later became Ships) in Ameyoko and Shibuya were very popular.

Amid the American Trad craze, students attending university-affiliated high schools and the graduates of those schools (in other words, what the Japanese call bot-chan, that is, preps) were drawn to a small store called Midoriya in the neighborhood now known as Ura-hara (the Jingumae 4-chome area on the north side of Omotesando).

The store was a small space—just about the size of an affluent family’s walk-in closet—but there resided a consummate fashion expert by the name of Yagisawa.

Big Brother was first introduced to Midoriya by one of his sempai in rugby club. At the time, it was extremely difficult to find clothes in the kind of large sizes befitting the builds of rugby players, football players, and the like. Basically the only option was to buy clothes on the “supersize” (tall and plus) floor of Isetan, which was really meant for a much older demographic.

However, perhaps due to the fact that the president of Midoriya was himself of sturdy build, the store stocked the latest fashions up to the larger sizes.

It even carried Ralph Lauren products and Harrington jackets from Baracuta (known in Japan as a “swing top” because of the suitability for the golf course)—brands that were at the time without an official retail route in Japan.

Yagisawa-san, the manager, was like an older brother to Big Brotherand the other boys, giving them all manner of fashion advice.

Quality products from the U.S. and the U.K. came into the shop on almost a weekly basis, and so Big Brother would swing by Midoriya on days when he didn’t have rugby practice—or sometimes after games. There, he would soak up Yagisawa-san’s fashion teachings.

Later, in 1981, the store relocated to the southern side of Omotesando and was renamed Harajuku Cassidy; it remains there today. The original Midoriya location has since become a store called Cassidy Home Grown.

Big Brother tells me that Cassidy was where he bought many firsts: his first Sierra Design parka, his first Saint James striped shirt, his first Champion tee, his first Ike Behar button-down, his first John Smedley sweater, his first pair of G.H. Bass loafers, and his first Gloverall duffle coat.

Photo : ©RendezVous

Big Brotherのファッションの先生は、原宿キャシディの店長の八木沢さんだそうです。




Big Brotherは、ラグビー部の先輩に連れられてミドリヤを訪れました。当時は、ラグビー部やアメフト部の部員向けのような大きなサイズは、ほとんど入手できず、オジサン向けの伊勢丹のスーパーサイズのフロアで買うぐらいしかできませんでした。



店長の八木沢さんは、そんなBig Brotherたちの良き兄貴として、様々なファッションのアドバイスをしてくれたそうです。