Before you flip to the masthead and fire off an angry e-mail to one of our editor’s asking why there’s so much Japan in this survey and why we’re rather harsh on the US and UK we have a question for you? Have you ever been to Japan? If so, have you ever shopped in Japan? (It would be hard not to.) If yes, you’ll know we’ve offered up the smallest sample of a nation literally bursting with retail ingenuity and integrity.
If not, don’t fire off that note until you’ve sampled it for yourself and visited a few of the gems we’ve uncovered over the past two years. Japan’s economy may well have been in the dumps for far too long but it’s made it the most gracious place to part with cash, be inspired and receive peerless service. Breathtaking innovation, Japanese culture and fierce competition are what keeps it moving forward.”
Pour le contenu, voici un avant-goût des coups de coeur de la rédaction Monocle en matière de concepts magasins :
01 Demasié in Barcelona for beautifully packaged confectionery and great interiors.
02 Roden Gray in Vancouver for its rough interiors but very gentle staff.
03 Folk and Oliver Spencer in London for Made in Britain menswear and good service.
04 JR Leder in Berlin for bespoke men’s leather bags made at the back of the shop.
05 Monmouth Coffee Company in London for loving what they do and knowing their beans
06 Rough Trade East in London for its handwritten recommondations and outstanding vinyl and CD selection.
07 Truck Furniture in Osaka for when you want to re-engineer your life.
08 Ciclic in Barcelona for its recent renovation and overhaul of art titles, international DVDs and hard-to-source magazines.
09 Eslite in Taipei for every form of printed matter available 24 hours a day.
10 Isetan food hall in Tokyo for the breadth of choice, sensory overload and uniforms.
11 Odin in New York for its ever-surprising and eclectic mix of menswear for any season.
12 Frédéric Malle in Paris for its limited-edition perfumes and focused vision.
13 James Perse’s Beverly Hills branch for its activewear range, laid back but attentive staff and indoor/outdoor interior.
14 Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm because the older we get the better we look in Josef Frank.
15 Hakusan in Tokyo for its perfectly designed ceramics and bijou, museum-like setting.
16 Johnny Farah in Beirut for comfortable house shoes and a handcrafted ethic.
17 Bi Rite in San Francisco. The type of business you’d be proud of if you had the idea to do a neighbourhood grocery store.
18 Pierre Hardy in Paris because their desert boots are best.
19 Lisn in Kyoto and Tokyo’s Aoyama for the best incense, smart staff and packaging.
20 Aspesi’s Milan emporium for its airy rooms, cheeky merchandising and consistency.