Though Japan has an undying love for western culture right now, the island nation is in almost all ways, pleasantly insular. Though the fashion industry is riding the globalization wave and taking the world by storm, Japan has weathered the storm with little outside influence – another byproduct of its insularity – but all hope is not lost, for in the Madoguchi lie a secret way behind Japan's barred gates that will open new markets to those fashion labels able to find them.
All it takes is 24 mindboggling hours in Tokyo’s retail jungle before the penny drops. As seen through the eyes of an eager international shopper, the city certainly surpasses itself as a spellbinding, delightfully bonkers and cutting-edge consumer paradise. But fashion insiders with an eye for opportunity know that it can be as frustratingly inaccessible as it is inspirational and indulgent.
For years, landmark shopping centres like Parco, Marui, Laforet and Ichi-maru-kyu 109 have been full to the brim with unheard-of domestic brands while large tracts of the city’s cool new fashion districts seem untouched by the relentless march of global trade. (Read More)