Translated by Sandy Lau
Loved By Kyary Pamyu Pamyu! Support Harajuku Fashion At TOKYO BOPPER
Written by Haruka Kobayashi
Harajuku fashion has spread throughout the modern world. TOKYO BOPPER is a shoe shop that has supported Harajuku fashion together with its growth. We will introduce this very shoe shop in this article.
Harajuku fashion has spread throughout the modern world, and TOKYO BOPPER is a shoe shop that has supported Harajuku fashion together with its own growth as a brand.
At TOKYO BOPPER, shoes that are simple yet unlike any other, from popular thick-soled ballerina-style shoes to low-heeled shoes, have been created by the dozens. Regulars found on street fashion websites also wear these shoes; this is a brand name that is well known to fashionistas.
Additionally, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who has spread the name of Harajuku to the world, is a regular user of TOKYO BOPPER shoes. Customers from many countries have come to the shop due to her influence. Our writer has also been asked by overseas visitors in front of Harajuku Station, “Where can I find TOKYO BOPPER?”, making her realize just how popular the shop is with international visitors too.
This time, we visited the shop to inquire about TOKYO BOPPER's concept, key points in style, and the reason why the brand is not only loved by Japan, but by international fashion lovers as well.
What Is TOKYO BOPPER?
Please tell us about the shop's concept.
TOKYO BOPPER is the company behind two original brands – BELLY BUTTON and UNBILICAL.
This is where the worlds of both brands can be completely expressed and conveyed. To feel the shoes and to wear them. To have your heart be moved by these objects called shoes and to have your transformation begin from there; we hope that that inner discovery is experienced at TOKYO BOPPER.
Can you please tell us the origin of the shop's name?
"BOPPER" in the name TOKYO BOPPER holds the meaning of being a trendy, ultramodern person.
The streets of Harajuku do not stand still, are not swept away, continue demanding, and continue to change… These sentiments kick away the concepts of greed and stereotypes about fashion and give this district a freedom that is rare even with the rest of the world, was made. Our shop's name is filled with the hopes that we can be a place where that feeling can be embodied and felt by those that come to visit us at TOKYO BOPPER.
The Eternal Conflict of Expression Vs. Comfort
BELLY BUTTON No. 933 Bijou Sandals
There are many customers that say these shoes excel not only in design, but also in comfort and durability; what areas were given particular care?
Comfort is a given, but shoes are not simply decorations; they also have the role of helping to protect your feet and to provide comfort when walking. We made sure to not cut corners in our work as professionals so that we provide customers with shoes that are comfortable to wear without holding themselves back from the styles that they like.
That is why, the battle between expression versus comfort is an eternal topic. Though this work is opposite from that of a fantasy world, we believe that it is connected to the discovery and deep emotions that occur through objects like the aforementioned shoe. “It's fashionable but easy to wear!” These words are the best compliments to us. This is our “fastidiousness” to being made in Japan.
The Streets of Harajuku Where These Shoes Shine
UNBILICAL, from the left No. 250/953/954
UNBILICAL No.254 Bijou Shoes
Is there a specific reason why the only location of the company shop had to be in Harajuku?
I'll be repeating what was previously said when I talked about the origin of the shop's name, but it's because this is Harajuku, a place like no other in the world, that this is the only town where both brands of TOKYO BOPPER can vividly shine. Harajuku is without a doubt the origin of Tokyo fashion. We are situated in the middle of the tides of intense fashion.
That's why, in this town called Harajuku, we must continue to seriously think about the meaning behind why this shop is here or we will end up being overwhelmed by the tide.
TOKYO BOPPER has learned together with the customers the important things taught to us by fashion here in Harajuku. We wish to be a shoes brand that will continuously keep changing and will always continue running straight ahead in time. We chose Harajuku for that reason.
Shoes That Make You Think “I Want to Finish It Myself!”
BELLY BUTTON No.8808 Thick-soled Milk Crown Shoes
BELLY BUTTON No.871 Ballerina Shoes
TOKYO BOPPER has been in business for a long time; it had its 20th anniversary in 2014. What do you believe is the reason it is loved as the center of Harajuku fashion?
As for the reason why we are loved, I believe it is having the right to say, “It's fine to still be here (Harajuku)… to stay here.” We always think about what we want to sell, not what we can sell.
What can be sold are shoes that are in demand and have been selected. Of course, it's necessary for us to continue to think about what future customers want. We are hard at work and want to be the kind of brand that answers those demands with everything that we have here – the shoes that we come out with, our shop staff, and the feel of the shop's atmosphere.
The shoes that we design have a precise concept, including those that are made in Japan, and all our products have that “fastidiousness” to them.
We always release our products with phrases such as “How is this?” to silently challenge customers. We call this create and release, but there are also those who comment, “Shoes that have a final flaw somewhere…” It may be that our shoes make one think, “I want to finish these myself!”
Our customers have brought light onto the designs that we have continued to create for several years from different directions. In contrast, there is also surprise and discovery and it can be as if you are being pushed as well. We think that this kind of inspiration is something like a prize from the fashion gods that we must always believe and wait for.
TOKYO BOPPER's Well-Dressed Staff
TOKYO BOPPER shoes are no doubt well-known, but the staff are also well known figures in Harajuku fashion as well. Ms. Yama and Ms. Okame are regulars on street fashion websites and allowed us to take fashion shots of them. For that reason, TOKYO BOPPER is also a place for information exchange on top of being a messenger of Harajuku fashion. The blog is also updated every day with the outfits worn by staff or customers wearing shoes from the shop.
The Reason Why TOKYO BOPPER Is So Well Loved
In this article, we asked about their stories, the care put into the shoes as professionals, and realized the reason why TOKYO BOPPER is loved in the ever-changing intense location of Harajuku. Those that love shoes, those that are interested in fashion, and those that want to experience Harajuku fashion but don't know what the best place to go is should definitely try visiting at least once. You will be able to experience Harajuku fashion and what kind of place the streets of Harajuku are here.
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingu-mae 4-25-7
Closed: Irregular (shop may have holidays during the summer or winter)
Credit Cards: VISA, Master, JCB, AMEX, UnionPay, UC, DC, Diners', etc.
Languages: English (retail skill level), other languages can be assisted through a translation website
Nearest Station: Meiji Jingu-mae Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line or Fukutoshin Line) or JR Harajuku Station
Website: //www.tokyobopper.info/ / http://jzool.com/en/store/hello_tokyo_bopper
(international online store)