Translated by Hanni T.
ISETAN MEN'S In Shinjuku: Inspiring Your Fashion Sense
Welcome to our series introducing the multicultural city of Shinjuku through the eyes of expats living in Japan.
Written by MATCHA
Business streets filled with skyscrapers, areas filled with young people; the most entertaining red-light district in Japan is also a good shopping spot for tourists.
Welcome to our series introducing the multicultural city of Shinjuku through the eyes of expats living in Japan. Through their views, you can come across new discoveries that even the locals didn't know about before.
Soche, a Taiwanese model, who has a handsome face and eye-catching figure, has been very active on runways in both Japan and worldwide. He was born, and raised in Shinjuku, and still visits here all the time. Shinjuku is not only a place for his childhood memories but also a fashion hot spot related to his career now. He spent two hours with us and introduced us this ''grown-up's playground'', ISETAN MEN'S, covering also the upper floor that he is not familiar with.
His mother being half-Taiwanese, he was born in Taiwan and raised in Shinjuku. He worked as a part-time model when he was a student and then worked in a bar after graduating from college. He was scouted when he was 24. Now his works are range from fashion shows, magazines, advertisements to catalogues. You also can find his face on the runway of many overseas brands such as,''Raf Simons'',''Kenzo'',''Dries Van Noten'',and ''Issay Miyake''
Q：What was your first impression of Shinjuku during your first visit?
I was eight when I came to Japan and lived in Shinjuku. Since then, I spent a lot of time in this area. I feel I was raised here. I was asked all the time if I felt dangerous to pass through the red light district on my way to school. In fact, Shinjuku is so familiar and can be considered as my hometown.
Q：What kind of memory do you have associated with the highly recommended, Isetan Men's?
Isetan is now a popular spot filled with tourists coming from around the world, but for me, it was all about the playground on its roof from my childhood.
Q：What's your impression now, versus your childhood memories?
I am very sensitive to fashion topics due to my job. Isetan Men's is very popular even among fashion experts. From shoes, bags, clothes to life style goods, Isetan just has everything. It is still a very attractive playground even as an adult.
Q：You went straight to the shoe floor. Are you particular about your shoes?
I am wearing Red Wing boots today, but usually I wear sneakers a lot. I have to walk a lot during shoots, so I choose shoes based on their practicality. On this floor, Isetan has collected all kinds of shoes from all over the world. I appreciate that the staff here can help you to pick your own fit.
Q：You are not only interested in shoes with unique designs, but also business shoes?
I don't have many chances to wear business shoes in my daily life but I can't stop checking all these shoes when they are displayed on the whole wall. From what I have heard, they carry over 100 different kinds of brands and over 2000 pairs of shoes. This seems the largest line-up in the world.
Q：Next, we are going to the bag floor. You also like bags?
I love bags from ''Cote&Ciel''. I remember seeing my model friend with it when I traveled to Paris for a runway show. It is made using Nylon so it is light and easy to carry. The minimalist design and modern sense is also why I like it.
Q：Can you tell us who your favorite designer is?
I always stop by''Dries Van Noten'' when I go to designer's floor. I was also in their show in Paris and have wonderful memories about it. I also like ''MIHARA YASUHIRO''.
Q：Did you come across any new discoveries when we were in the life style area on 8th floor？
I haven't explored the 8th floor so much before, but I found many select life style goods only for men are crammed on this floor.
All these attractively designed glasses, multicolored flower arrangements, and cameras that I never seen before are all so interesting.
Q：What do you feel about your revisit to this grown-up playground?
I usually only shop on the second floor but I am deeply impressed by its huge line-up and also pursuit of quality merchandise on the shoe and life style floors. I think it'd be great for my own personal shopping, finding presents for others, or even just wandering around without any special purpose.
You will have new discoveries whenever you visit and see Isetan Men's collection of sophisticated items. Everyone will be satisfied by its rich line-up and hospitality you can only find in Japan. It is definitely a must-go for travelers to Japan.
** This article is a translated adaptation from the ISETAN MEN'S net article: Cruising Shinjuku Vol. 1: Hanging Around In ISETAN, the Adult's playground, with Taiwan-Born Fashion Model.
Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku 3-14-1
Wi-Fi: available on the sixth floor
Credit Cards: Varies by shop
Other Languages: English, Thai, Chinese, Korean
Nearest Station: Shinjuku Sanchome Station
Access：1-min from Shinjuku Sanchome Station
Website: Isetan Shinjuku Store