Made in Japan – 日本製

22nd April 2014
It’s been a long while since I had the opportunity to have a proper vacation, quarter visits to Singapore just don’t count as I live in a country where the season only changes from summer to rainy. Experiencing a spring season with trees bursting into bright pink colours is just sublime to have the novelty to enjoy such an experience at the heart of Japan.
The Osaka and Kyoto trip has been partially fruitful, no doubt the vacation was at the right time as we’ve catch the last shower of falling cherry blossom petals outside the Osaka Castle in Chūō-ku. There is also the never ending dynamic consumerism experience, Japan is known to be the most pro-materialism and pro-consumerism countries on earth. You can buy anything you can imagine in the menswear specialty. In Osaka’s case – Shinsaibashi district and  Hankyu (阪急) Men’s departmental store is quite fulfilling, of course this can’t be compared with the Tokyo counterparts as they have amassed an array of high-end luxury category.
If you are going to Japan, especially big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, make sure you plan a shopping strategy to make good decisions where your money should be spent, since we are all limited by the measurement of how deep our pockets are. If you an impulsive shopper, you could easily spend over the initial budget, because there is just so much to buy with so little time and money spare. Even reasonably priced items, like Japanese designer Comme Ça Store (コムサイズム) could slowly consume your expenditure, one piece at a time.
I started figuring out the goals, what would I like to see and what do I want? In this case, i’ve budget to spend all out on any rare Balmain or Givenchy that I could find. The destination to find these goods are at Rinku Premium Outlet (りんくうプレミアム・アウトレット), Amerikamura and Shinsaibashi district where there are clusters of independent designer luxury trades. Truthfully, I was greedy enough to expect something extraordinary, such as a Japan exclusive collections and at least a Givenchy Stars & Diamond Beads Shirt that I was foolish enough not buy back in Fall Winter 2012. After walking a thousand kilometers later, I realized that Osaka was not quite a luxury destination as compared to Tokyo that i’ve visited two years ago.
The Givenchy collection in Hankyu Men’s departmental store is small, just a mere pop-up store located at level 1. Though there were a few eye opening pieces such as a variety of Givenchy Star-Neckline Camouflage Cuban-Fit T-Shirts which i’ve not seen elsewhere yet, and the latest release of the Givenchy Robot Computer Graphic Print Sweatshirt spotted on the main mannequin dressed along with the Givenchy Race Print Apron that were only available for pre-order. My expectation was let down once again as I was looking forward to try the Givenchy Richelieu Metal Buckle Shoes in person! Too bad as they are almost sold out buy now.
At the Balmain Homme section, there were three rows of Spring Summer 2014 collection goodness in a multi-brand store, I couldn’t recall the store name but it also stock some fancy runway KENZO wear and generous range Giuseppe Zanotti Design sneakers. There was the Balmain 18cm Black Washed Silver Waxed Biker Denim Jeans which was the most attractive biker that looked absolutely gorgeous, I had to try it, the silver waxed effect and random distressed styling makes it equally unique and relevant towards the designers ultimate signature. Besides this, there was also the Balmain Navy Quilted White Patent Velcro High-Top Sneaker, personally I felt that this is the one of best looking Balmain footwear you can buy, do check them out at SSENSE as they will be immensely popular by the end of this season. The contrast colours are redefined with the cross-stitched quilted pattern, characterizing Parisian design at it’s best. I have also paid a visit at the Balenciaga store, not to far away from Balmain at the same level, … to be continued.
Post holidays makes me lazy, more photos will be updated here daily till the end of this week. Story starts here.

Click here to see much more photos!

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  • Anonymous

    Great Post Maurice.
    That CL pik pik matches the outfit greatly.
    Keep it up.
    Glad you enjoyed your vacation.
    All the best

    • Those sneakers are pretty versatile, I still love them till today.

      Thank you, more updates here.

  • Anonymous

    It is out on Barneys now.
    If you or your friends or your followers here are interested.
    I believe it is almost sold out everywhere.
    I ordered my true size dunno if it will fit (US 10 EU 43).

    • Hey, thanks for letting me know.

      I'm not quite a big fan about those sneakers, but they are definitely worth buying now. The resell value has doubled since it was sold out. Good on you! :)

  • Anonymous

    enjoy the japan Maurice!! nice pics

  • Ben

    Nice photos Maurice. Which season are the biker jeans from?

    • Hi Ben :)

      They are from the Balmain Spring Summer 2013 collection, buy you can find a similar version this season here

      It has already been sold out at Luisa Via Roma, be quick!

  • Anonymous

    Dear Maurice,
    Maybe my question is off topic but i am quite sure that you can give me a definite answer.
    Many guys are wearing Chanel sneakers currently.
    Are they designed for mens or?
    Can i find my size in 43 or nearly impossible and do you know the price range for such sneakers.
    To my knowledge the Chanel serves women collections only,
    Thank you.

    • Hi there, yes there are mens but its very rare only a few boutique has them in the US. Most of the men bought the womens version instead. I saw these sandals in Osaka, wanted to get them for my gf but it was so popular that the entire Osaka only had one in which wasn't her size, in black.

      The price is $525 USD, price is very reasonable for such a brand that is why it was sold out :(