For Tokyo’s fashion set, a well-crafted look is often all about the details, right down to prescription eyewear they might change on a daily basis. Lunettes du Jura, a Japanese retailer specializing mostly in niche European eyewear brands, has been catering to this demanding clientele for 25 years.
Lunettes du Jura, which counts three locations in Tokyo and one in the nearby city of Yokosuka, takes its name from the mountainous French region famous for producing high-quality eyewear. The main flagship, in the Gaienmae neighborhood, near the Aoyama district, covers a selling space of about 2,260 square feet; the other stores are smaller. The chain shuns standard designer names like Chanel and Gucci in favor of smaller brands, mainly from France but also from elsewhere in Europe. It also stocks some Japanese and American brands.
The store’s inventory includes items such as natural buffalo-horn frames (which retail for around 150,000 yen, or about $1,475) by German brand Hoffman and brightly colored specs in funky shapes by Traction Productions of France. Most retail prices range from 20,000 yen (about $197) to 60,000 yen ($592).
“Eyeglasses are an element of fashion,” said Fumio Suto, Lunettes du Jura’s representative director. “By putting [functional] lenses in a pair of [our] glasses, people can have fun with them, and I think there’s still a big market for that.”
Suto said he believes many of his customers own several pairs of glasses, and some even change them every day to match their clothing or mood, just as they would any other accessory. But those who shop at Lunettes du Jura often have one thing in common: They want to be unique.
“We used to get people asking what was most popular, and then they would say, ‘OK, then I don’t need that.’ So now we make recommendations based on what suits the customer, rather than what is selling well,” Suto said, adding that the store doesn’t have any particular bestsellers as each customer wants something different.
When the first store opened, it carried many brands that couldn’t be found elsewhere in Japan, but now many of these labels have grown to have a wider distribution network. Still, Suto noted that Lunettes du Jura’s customers will often go to great lengths to get the frames they want, and they expect the store to do the same.
“We have people who check our blog every day, and if they see something they like, they’ll come to the shop the very next day or soon after — even from places outside of the city,” he said. “And if we don’t have a particular frame in the color they want, for example, we will order it for the customer, even just one piece.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast