Retail Refugees

Is Harajuku becoming too commercialized?
November 28, 2008, 11:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

When I founded Retail Refugees, it was with the intention to boost business for retailers but it was also to showcase the unique, dynamic, and progressive retail concepts around the world.  Those that stand in the face of uber mass market chains who sell the same shirt in Istanbul or Paris as they do any rural town with a strip mall.  My personal inspiration was the Mitte district of Berlin, which as it has become gentrified, is beginning to lose a little bit of its flair, and thus what really makes it unique.  Perhaps one of, if not the, most influential creative spots for retail however has to be the Harajuku district of Tokyo.  This neighborhood is home to everything form girls dressed as cats, to the most progressive streetwear in the world, to many up and coming music groups, to designers and artists like Nigo who founded Bape here.  A story from the Japan Times (via Hypebeast) however is claiming that with the introduction of an H&M flagship, this could be the beginning of the end of the truly creative and innovative district, in terms of producing extraordinary concepts.

This is quite a contraversial topic, so I am curious what readers have to say…



1 Comment so far
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Unfortunately, I think it is the natural progression of anything that is actually good. It’s created by some truly original people and then copied by the masses. This is not necassarily a bad thing – they say copying is the ultimate form of flattery. However, its bad when big industry tries to replicate a look that so many young people fought hard to make their own, and unique.

Comment by goldnsilver

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