japan: kapital

among the various fabrics produced in japan, denim is high up there on the list, in terms of having a huge/fanatical following. and kapital is one of the finer denim makers around. i'm no denim expert, nor part of their cult following, but i do appreciate fun design when i see it.

so here's a quick look at their cluster of three shops just south of ebisu station in tokyo. fun "shop cards" and bikes and merchandising. since we ended up at kapital past sundown, our pictures didn't come out all that great. so i've supplemented with daytime pictures from their site.

first off, each location has a different shop card, printed on thick chipboard, about the size of a poker chip. on the back of each is a little map showing the location of the shop, printed on the raw chipboard. shown here, we visited the legs, ebisu and duffle shops.

ok, so let's go in order of the shop cards. first up, legs. this location focuses on carrying a ton of the styles of denim kapital makes. there are stacks and stacks of jeans all over the store. and every single stack is not just a stack of one style in different sizes, but rather a stack of all different styles. on top of that, there are shirts and jackets and socks and hats and scarves and bandanas hanging all over the place.

next is the ebisu store, with a whitewashed wood exterior studded with horseshoes and a plastic curtain as the front door. there's also a little teddy bear to great you at the door. and again, you'll see a bike outside. this one has two floors, more or less the same feel in terms of merchandising. but then again, there's no way to tell what's what since there doesn't seem to be any order in how stuff is stocked. but i guess they're trying to recreate the feeling of rummaging for vintage goods at a flea market. it's definitely not for everyone.

the third of the kapital trifecta: duffle. this one is set up like a house, in that all customers have to take off their shoes before entering the tiny door. and most of the floors are covered in tatami mats. the entrance is a converted garage made to look like, well i'm not sure what it's supposed to look like, but it kind of reminds me of the prop room i had back in high school. except this one had a cluster of birdcages as lighting fixtures. and the merchandising in this store was a little more organized that the other two shops, with goodies spread out among three floors.