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GAIN - Select Shop: Tokyo

A BeSparkly Article by Amy                                                                        April 10th, 2007

Located in the heart of Shibuya, Tokyo, just caddy-corner to Tower Records, there is a small, yet posh designer store called GAIN. I had the wonderful pleasure of winding up the stairs to the third floor to find a comforting nook away from the hustle and bustle of the mega-metropolis where fashion is a must and GAIN delivers.

Japanese Mini Interview with Yamashita-san ~ GAIN CEO

Translated Mini-Interview with
Yamashita-san ~
Q. What brands does Gain sell?
 A. Cool brands from all over
          the world!

Q. What's your favorite holiday?
     A. New Years!!

Q. What makes you feel sparkly?
     A. Western clothes make me


Tokyo fashion is a distant planet from our own American style, but GAIN has something for every taste, including hats, jewelry, cargo bags and clothing. I stopped in to buy something of the Blossam brand, which is a line of designer clothing by Nagayama Takashi, a stage performer with various talents and oodles of charm. Because of my previous knowledge and focused intent on purchasing something Blossam, I was expecting a normal, run of the mill shopping experience that would fade long before the clothes I bought did, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found that GAIN itself was the real treat.


The shop owner, the funny and friendly Yamashita-san, happened to be quite patient with my need to ramble incoherently in Japanese and perhaps a little curious as to how I had even heard about Nagayama, Blossam, and GAIN. So, I had to suck it up and admit that I watched Tenimyu, which is a live action musical based on the popular anime Prince of Tennis. In case you read my article on Kimeru, he also starred in the strangely entertaining Tenimyu (which is an abbreviated form of “tennis musical”) along side Nagayama and a handful of other fascinating, attractive cast members.


GAIN sells all sorts of interesting brands, including the GAIN brand which, from what I can decipher, Yamashita designs himself.  The mix of unique brands by unique designers makes GAIN an extraordinary resource and creative hub for international styles and trends.  Sometimes the designers collaborate and produce hybrid designs, adding a sense of evolution and constant freshness to the store. 


This is the 1st floor entrance to GAIN

The atmosphere in GAIN is laid back and comfortable and it felt more like an American boutique than a Japanese store.  It's the type of place that guys I know would shop for something cool and unique. Though most of the clothes are for boys, they do sell a line of clothes, bags and accessories for girls. I selected a Blossam t-shirt (below).


After showing me around the store, Yamashita was even nice enough to let me take a picture of him, though he was probably wondering why I didn’t ask him to take a picture of me, since it was my vacation after all, but alas, I wasn’t that quick on my feet to think of such an idea. Instead, I snapped this shot of the main entrance (left) before hurrying off to Kimeru’s concert.

After the concert, as I was walking back to the Shibuya train station, I glanced at my watch and realized there was fifteen minutes left before GAIN closed, so I popped back in to buy something else. Really, I just went back because I liked the store so much, but I can’t explain why I liked it that much, I just did. GAIN has a good vibe.


My second visit to GAIN was just as fun as the first, though my Japanese was even more incoherent than before. After sharing another round of Amy’s “kindergarten” Japanese, I attempted to say that I'd send GAIN a picture from Washington D.C. with hand gestures and a badly strung together sentence. Then I picked out another Blossam item, this time a necklace, and then sadly wound back down the three flights of stairs and ambled back to my hotel. 


So today, April 10th, 2007, in honor of GAIN's 5th anniversary, I gladly went to the U.S. Capital in search of the perfect American backdrop to capture GAIN's international flare. 

GAIN shopping bag & Blossam t-shirt - United States Capital in Washington D.C.


Next time you're in Tokyo, and you're wandering around Shibuya, stop into GAIN, but make sure to check the GAIN website first because the owner takes random days off every month.  Otherwise, expect the store to be open 11:00am to 8:00pm daily. 


I know I'll visit GAIN again on my next trip, but until then, I need to practice my Japanese so I can do a full, proper interview with the owner.  He was nice enough to participate in a mini-interview for this article.  You can read the translated mini-interview with him at the top of the page.


GAIN and the friendly Yamashita-san are definitely sparkly and have already become BeSparkly favorites, because when you do what you love, your inner sparkle comes out to shine.  Congratulations on 5 years GAIN!


5年おめでとうGAIN!                                                                         End



Check out GAIN yourself:
Take a peek at the designer of Blossam: Nagayama's blog

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