The Tokyo boutique of a London menswear visionary

Christopher Nemeth’s distinctive designs live on in Omotesando

Shopfront of Christopher Nemeth in Tokyo
Shopfront of Christopher Nemeth in Tokyo

The Christopher Nemeth store in Tokyo is a place of pilgrimage for me on every trip to Japan. I followed the fashion designer’s career slavishly through the style press of the 1980s, when his Dalston store, The House of Beauty and Culture, and his groundbreaking clothing crafted from postal sacks were among the most cutting-edge aspects of London style. His innovative pattern cutting – with truncated lengths and distorted proportions and angles – influenced scores of designers.

An array of Christopher Nemeth lace-up shoes
An array of Christopher Nemeth lace-up shoes

Nemeth moved to Tokyo in 1986, where he carved out a niche as a cult designer and fine artist until his death in 2010 – his boutique lives on in one of the backstreets of Omotesando. The space was redesigned just over a year ago; it is a gallery and treasure trove of one man’s aesthetic vision, from jackets to badges, shoes and bags. It reminds me of Keith Haring’s much missed Pop Shop in New York in the way it immerses you in the world of a single artist. 

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The stock changes constantly, with the design team working from a vast archive of Christopher’s designs. On my most recent visit, there were jeans (from ¥20,000, about £140) and trousers (from about £180) featuring his distinctive banana-shaped leg and dramatic, aerodynamic rear turn-up, and a variety of jackets (about £285) – from linen bolero styles to recreations of 1980s archive pieces in British tweeds.

Christopher Nemeth jeans, ¥20,000
Christopher Nemeth jeans, ¥20,000

There were also ties (from about £45) and bags (from about £55) bearing Nemeth’s woven rope graphic, which was used heavily by Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton for a menswear collection a couple of seasons ago. I fell in love with a pair of black wool trousers (about £310) with a satin turn-up and a silver selvedge seam taken from the edge of the raw fabric. They didn’t have them in my size, but I placed an order and had them within a fortnight.

Christopher Nemeth boutique
Christopher Nemeth boutique

For more unmissable treats in Tokyo, click here.

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