Tucked away in an alley in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood (a very fashionable part of town I might add) is the newish Levi’s Vintage Clothing store — one of the few places in the world that you can get all eight archival variations of the Levi’s 501 and a huge selection of the other normally reclusive LVC goods. This Levi’s Vintage Clothing store in Tokyo closely resembles the Cinch store I checked out in London this past spring, though the store in Japan is much much bigger. It has been a little more than a year since Maurizio Donadi was brought in to help reorganize the Levi’s premium business and these new LVC retail outposts are a clear reflection of Maurizio’s vision. Before Donadi was in the picture, LVC was sort of stuck in limbo between the Levi’s labyrinth of different offerings and retail stores. These days the collection is much more accessible (in terms of consumers being able to find the product), but the goods still carry a significant price tag. Though, I should say it is an understandable price structure given all that goes into the development and production (made in USA, etc) of the product.
The Levi’s Vintage Clothing store in Tokyo is simple and cool. It feels homey and isn’t trying to hard. It is sort of if Levi’s is saying: “Here’s our stuff, we hope you like it. We take this very seriously, but we aren’t too serious.” The shop incorporates artificially distressed materials, but it doesn’t seem contrived. Not to me anyway. The shop just sets the stage for the product — the real star of the show. When my friend and I visited the store we were fortunate to meet up with Yosuke Otsubo, the head of XX (the division that includes all of the Levi’s premium collections) in Japan, and he spoke to us about the space and what the product means to people in Japan. Yosuke couldn’t have been more welcoming and he insisted on taking us to his favorite Yakitori place in Harajuku, which gave us all a chance to talk more about denim and retail and of course talk all about Tokyo. Between Maurizio Donadi and Yosuke I don’t think I have ever met two more intelligent or kind people in my life. At the end of the day, I want to buy good things from good people — that’s my personal mission. With LVC, it’s pretty much mission accomplished.
Levi’s Vintage Clothing | 5-5-4 Minami Aoyama, Minato-Ku | +81 3 6419 1699