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Tokyo Designers Set Up Shop

Julien David has opened his first freestanding store while Noritaka Tatehana has opened a pop-up at Isetan in Shinjuku.

BRANCHING OUT: Two Tokyo-based designers have just expanded their retail presence in the Japanese capital.

French designer Julien David opened his first freestanding store on Friday. The 650-square-foot store is located in the small side streets of Tokyo's Jingumae district, which is sandwiched between Harajuku and Aoyama.

The boutique carries the brand's men's and women's collections, as well as accessories including jewelry, quilted lambskin clutches and silk scarves. The exterior has a warehouse-like feel to it, and the designer said he plans to change the look of the interior quite frequently by painting or changing the wall coverings.

"I like the idea of every shop to be part of a neighborhood and a bit local," David said. "I really like this neighborhood because it's not as serious as Aoyama and it's not as young as Harajuku. It's kind of in between those two worlds, which I really like."

Meanwhile, Noritaka Tatehana, the designer behind the dramatic, heel-less platform shoes worn by Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness, has just opened his first pop-up shop at Isetan's Shinjuku flagship, which will run through Aug. 13. Customers can custom order their own shoes, based upon five styles and an assortment of leather color and embellishments like crystals.