W+K Tokyo

Creative Consumption | Vogue Nippon + Comme des Garçons

John’s Blog entry on the NYTIMES BLOG : THE MOMENT…


Media June 9, 2009, 3:05 pm
Creative Consumption | Vogue Nippon + Comme des Garçons
By John Jay

The worlds of publishing and fashion have felt the wrath of the economic storm, with both industries struggling to find relevance for consumers who represent the new normal. Tokyo hasn’t been immune to global shifts in consumption habits and desires, yet it remains the most passionate consumer culture in the world. The desire for new ideas has not diminished, and for this very demanding audience, imaginative design and originality in marketing are more critical than ever.

Tokyo brands have elevated creative collaborations into a modern marketing art form, and now Magazine Alive brings together two of the city’s most innovative forces: Vogue Nippon and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. To celebrate the magazine’s 10th anniversary, each monthly issue of Vogue Nippon over the next six months will come to life at the Comme des Garçons flex retail space on Kotto Dori in the Aoyama neighborhood. This retail and gallery space is the brand’s experimental lab, which recently showcased its unlikely collaboration with Louis Vuitton.

The Magazine Alive shop debuted with Vogue Nippon’s July concept, Manga X Mode. The artist Takashi Murakami was given the top floor, where he presented limited-edition products based on the anime legend Magical Princess. The front window featured a silver Chanel mannequin fantasy by Karl Lagerfeld, while more unique three-dimensional art was provided by Jun Takahashi of Undercover from his Grace collection. Knits by Martin Margiela, silk gowns by Undercover and T-shirts with anime images of fashion icons (including Hedi Slimane, Marc Jacobs and Donatella Versace) gave the shop a diverse view of Japanese pop culture’s relationship with style.

Kawakubo and the editors of Vogue Nippon made sure that fashion reinforced its sense of humor, craft and retail innovation, without the boring attitude. At least someone in the fashion world is having fun.