Where to Shop: Tech
There is no other city in the world that has the same relationship with technology and fashion as Tokyo. They just seem to go hand-in-hand here. It’s no surprise, considering both of these concepts are at the heart of Japanese pop culture. As we walk through Tokyo, everywhere we turn, we’re met with clothing stores and tech stores. But how does Tokyo unite these two ideas? We’ve chosen some Tokyo-based shops to highlight the innovative world of fashion technology!
Image courtesy of Psychicshop and Waodepart
Do you remember the noise that your router made when your parents connected to the internet called “dial-up”? Dial-up is how I would describe what stepping into WAGADO, the “24-hour internet shop” is like. A few years ago, 90s internet culture—also known as “Vaporwave”—became retro. Enough time has passed for the likes of dial-up, Microsoft clip art, and MySpace to be considered nostalgic. In fact, it’s become ａｅｓｔｈｅｔｉｃ (fun fact—this “font” is derived from Japanese keyboards).
WAGADO celebrates everything that made the 90s iconic: aliens, cartoons, and iridescent plastic. The 90s was the beginning of expressing yourself through the internet. The clothes featured at WAGADO comprise of pastels, lace, and (intentionally) badly Photoshopped designs on T-shirts. One of my favourites is a T with a print of a Tamagotchi. On the screen is a dog, and underneath it says: かわいい (kawaii).
There seems to be something inherently “Japanese” in internet aesthetic. Just as 1960s America visualised how the future would look with silver miniskirts and ball chairs, Japan went through a similar phase in the 1990s. This is why a lot of Vaporwave imagery features backdrops of a neon-lit Tokyo on a rainy night, or makes use of Katakana—the Japanese alphabet for foreign words.
If you’re in the mood to take a trip down the weird and wonderful memory lane of 90s internet culture, definitely check out this little gem of a time capsule in Koenji!
Image courtesy of Kay Knofi
Tokyo is often seen as the city where tradition meets high-tech, where traditional tea houses neighbour robot cafés. Domicile is a clothing store in Harajuku that has dedicated its architectural aesthetic to this concept. Even before you enter, you’ll notice a sand pit reminiscent of a zen garden, but with a twist—there’s a steel shishi-odoshi fountain (usually made of bamboo) bathed in neon light. Step inside and you’ll be met with sleek minimalist design: modern yet quintessentially Japanese. There’s even a floating bonsai tree!
The clothing is streetwear with a vast range of brands including AWGE, lead by A$AP Rocky. Here you will find crewnecks ‘til your heart’s content, tie-dye tees, statement socks, and even records. Despite Japan being known for its innovative technology, records are a testament that sometimes nostalgia overcomes the obsolete. CNY, a brand that Domicile stocks, further plays on this retro vibe (much like WAGADO does)—their most famous designs are reminiscent of the DVD logo. The fashions showcased at Domicile are simple yet effective, and adored by the hypebeasts of Harajuku.
Be sure to check out this understated streetwear store—even if it’s just to marvel at the next level interior design!
Image courtesy of Casetify
Tokyo is all about self-expression through fashion—and we’re not just talking about clothes. You can also convey your personality through your technology!
Last on our list is Casetify, a shop that offers the most protective yet stylish phone case covers. There is no physical store, only an online store which means it’s accessible to everyone all over the world! As well as covers for all iPhones, they offer super cute covers for your iPad and Macbook. They do stock some Samsung phone covers, but this store caters mostly to Apple users.
Their most popular phone case is transparent, filled with glitter, AND can be engraved with your name! Our very own Choom has one and it’s so pretty! Also in their line of customisable cases is a handy mirror case and bold neon-coloured variants.
Casetify’s latest collection is a collab with Tokyo designer Hikari Mori. We love the horoscope ones—they’re so eye-catching (ahem, SPARKLY!) and fun, yet powerful (the Taurus one declares “WOMEN DEMAND EQUALITY!”).
Head over to their online store to browse for your perfect phone cover. Protection for your technology has never been so fashionable!
Written by Kay Knofi.