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Tokyo's Enduring Style

October 2014

By Adam Kennedy, Tokyo

Leanne: Traditional Vintage Fashion Creator

Tokyo attracts and inspires people with an interest in style and design, so when I was asked to interview a person whose essence I admire, I had plenty of options. However, one person did stand out: my friend Leanne.

Leanne is originally from Melbourne, has lived in Tokyo for six years, and is the driving creative force behind Tokyo kaleidoscope. Here she stamps her contemporary mark on tradition vintage kimonos with an enduring style. This results in one-of-a kind dresses and apparel. Embracing tradition is a key part to life in Japan and there does appear to be a trend, especially amongst the younger generation, of reinventing classic style.

Japan has long been the world’s leading market for luxury goods but nowadays the expression of individual style far outweighs that of conformity. Leanne is not particularly loyal to any fashion brands and is largely motivated by rarity. That said, she is a fan of Kate Spade New York because of its bold, colourful and unique look, high quality and attractive price point.  She also loves a good pair of high leather heels and looks to a number of brands for inspiration such as Louboutin and Giuseppe Zanotti. Import taxes in Japan can significantly increase prices but these brands would make it onto Leanne’s lust-list. Although Leanne doesn’t wear much makeup, she does use moisturizers & cleansers from beauty brands like Aveda, Jurlique, Burts Bees and Thayers because of their all-natural focus. Within the tech space, Leanne is an Apple customer due to its usability and appeal to her creative side. She currently needs a phone with greater storage capacity so will be upgrading her iPhone to the new model, despite the fact she prefers the older more compact pocket-friendly design.

Leanne loves food, flea markets and travel. When she is not making dresses, she spends her time exploring the backstreets of Tokyo looking for the next foodie experience or the perfect addition to her ever-growing vintage collection. She does enjoy a good cocktail and absolutely adores fresh fruit and Belvedere concoctions. One of her favourite places for a cocktail is Two Rooms. If in a celebratory mood she may even reach for a glass of Veuve Clicquot. Leanne is always planning her next adventure to a faraway land. To ensure she gets the right balance of local knowledge, a bit of the unknown, and a hint of luxe, she relies on sites such as The Luxe Nomad, Luxury Link and Agoda. She also connects with a number of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr and couldn’t do without her Instagram travel muses: Eco Gypsy, Beautiful Destinations, The Cool Hunter and MyTravelGram. Many consumers in Japan are living online so digital and social media channels are incredibly important platforms for engagement.

Leanne has a strong network in Tokyo. WOM and recommendations from friends can influence her purchase decisions and consumption habits. Like many discerning customers, she is also highly influenced by brands that are down to earth, genuine and that act in an ethical and sustainable way.

In a market where style and fashion is large and fast moving, it is easy to get caught up in the latest fads and trends. The key to living stylishly in Tokyo is to live within your means and know the value of things that are truly important. The people around you, your individuality and a keen eye for enduring style and design.


Beauty & Cosmetics
Retail & Dining
Liquor, Beer & Wine
Design & Luxury
Food & Drink
Fashion & Style
Traditional Cuisine
Tokyo Evening Style
Vintage Tokyo Fashion

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