It took us long enough, but we can finally bring you a tour of the Tokyo Rebel store! Those of you who were following us over the summer saw us do this for a lot of our brands' stores in Japan, but we never did one for our own... until now.
(Make sure you click the 360p button, if the video quality looks bad to you.)
That's Tara, our first shop assistant. We've got a lot of brands for her to remember!
Our store is in New York City's East Village, still the epicenter for New York punk music and counterculture fashion. It's also home to one of the largest concentrations of Japanese residents and businesses in the city. We're intentionally a bit off the beaten path, but it's easy to find us - we're just above Tompkins Square Park and on the same block as the Life Cafe (as made famous in the musical Rent). Our block's still got some of the grit of the old East Village and Alphabet City, and we like it that way. Read our store page for directions on how to get to us.
Our store is a boutique, about average size when compared with Japanese brand stores. Some people are surprised at the size, but this is alternative fashion, not Macy's! We even had people ask us to show "the rest of the store" when we posted our shop tours from Japan - sorry, but what we showed is what there is! Even in Japan, this is alternative fashion - and that's what makes it interesting. Our store is the same size as both SEX POT ReVeNGe and Putumayo stores (which are all about the same), a little smaller than Angelic Pretty's flagship Shinjuku store and bigger than Maxicimam's or Victorian maiden's stores. So right there in the middle.
When you first enter our store, you'll see our accessory cases on the left - roughly organized into classic Lolita, then regular punk and punk Lolita, then gothic and sweet Lolita. One difference between our store and the Japanese brand stores is that we do not leave accessories out around the store. We'd be out of business in a hurry if we did that in New York! So all of our small accessories are kept behind glass - but we're happy to show you anything if you ask.
To the right when you walk in is our photo board (currently being used for our Photo Fridays promotion) and the SEX POT ReVeNGe area, which occupies about the first 1/3 of our store on the right-hand side. The entire rack and shelf above it are SPR merchandise, and most of the shelves next to the rack are filled with SPR t-shirts, tank tops, leggings and more.
Next to our display cases on the left side of the store is a rack stuffed with Putumayo, Algonquins and Hellcat Punks. If you haven't figured it out already, the front of our store is the punk area, while the back is for Lolita. (We've never really told anyone that, but that's the idea, anyway!) Putumayo straddles that line - they are a punk Lolita brand - but we've decided their clothes make more sense in the front of the store.
Continuing through the store you'll find our fitting area on the left - no, it's not behind the curtain in the back of the store! The fitting area is simple but functional, and when not in use it doubles as a simple mirror area if you'd like to hold up clothes to see how they might look on you. (We normally keep the curtains pulled back.) We do have some fitting area rules, which you can read on our store info page here.
If you turned around at this point you'd see that you've already passed our dekoden and sock display on the right side of our store! This is located just past the SPR shelves, and we've got a nice selection of Japanese dekoden to bling out your phone, along with socks from every manufacturer. The colors and styles will vary depending on what we're able to get at any given time - and socks do sell very well, so often the popular colors and styles go first.
Beyond the fitting area is our classic Lolita rack, including Innocent World and Victorian maiden. A little sparse right now but we're working on restocking it at this very moment! We do still have some beautiful dresses from both brands, however, along with a few blouses, cardigans, bags, umbrellas, and the absolutely amazing Victorian maiden parasols that we mentioned previously.
If you were to turn around from here and face the right-hand side of our store, you'd see the Angelic Pretty rack. Angelic Pretty has grown from those tough early days to be a pretty big part of our store - and this is a result of building that relationship over the past year - so like SPR they occupy about 1/3 of the right side wall, in the Lolita section of our store. Here we have dresses, coats, umbrellas, skirts, blouses and more. On the waterfall (that's the fixture facing outward), we normally keep their newest print items once we receive them - so if you see us posting that we've just received an AP print, that's where you should look for it. AP prints never last very long, though, so we usually have other things filling that area.
Turning back to the left side of the store, we have our Maxicimam and Atelier-Pierrot areas. This rack used to be our consignment/vintage rack but we discovered two things:
a) We could never keep enough consignment and vintage items to fill that rack, and...
b) Surprisingly, no matter what's on it, this is the first rack people look at when they enter the store. Probably because it's the furthest from the register (and therefore the furthest from us) - that's some retail psychology for ya! Despite being in the complete back of our store, this is our most heavily-used rack, and a prime spot.
So we wanted to put some good stuff on that rack, and Atelier-Pierrot and Maxicimam definitely fit that bill.
The right side of the back of our store features a set of shelves where we're currently displaying Maxicimam t-shirts and Angelic Pretty bags and cardigans (not pictured, just above this photo). These shelves change a lot - sometimes we have handbags, sometimes we have only t-shirts, sometimes we have cardigans or other items - and at some point we'll have shoes. So keep checking this area! We do routinely restock Maxicimam's t-shirts because they're very popular, so you might see the same shirts here on subsequent visits - that's just because a lot of people like those designs, so we keep ordering them.
We also have an umbrella stand with more parasols in this area.
And if you're planning to bring anybody with you who isn't into this kind of fashion - like a parent or friend - we do have a seating area at the back where people can relax while the people they're here with shop. Eventually we plan to install another rack on the back wall, but for now we have two comfortable chairs. This is the area where Misako Aoki signed autographs when she was here earlier this year.
Yes, we do have a TV back there too, where we run Japanese movies and music videos for ambiance. (Contrary to popular belief, we do actually play things other than Kamikaze Girls and Nana!)