Partnered collections and celebrity collaborations have been around at least since the Nineties, but one company has been doing them for much longer: The Japanese streetwear brand Beams. To help mark its 40th anniversary, the company is putting out a book, “Beams Beyond Tokyo” (Rizzoli New York), with contributions from Sofia Coppola, Stella Ishii, Toby Bateman, Jonathan Barnbrook, Nigo and Chitose Abe. Beams now has 150 shops in Japan, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei and Bangkok.
Rizzoli celebrated with a party at its bookstore on Broadway in Manhattan on Feb. 14, an event that included stations for saki, miso soup and udon noodles. Guests were also given samples of Uka nail oil. Ian Luna, an author and editor of the book, noted that the idea in founding Beams was “to be able to buy really nice clothes without spending the money to get Comme des Garçons, and not paying through the nose.” Press officer Takahiko Sato called the firm a “happy solutions company,” and noted that Beams’ designs are sold in Bergdorf Goodman.
The book showcases a variety of pictures of Beams’ stock and collaborations. In an interview with Coppola, whose film “Lost in Translation” is set in Tokyo, she talks about what makes that city unique. “I love how Tokyo is a mix of very modern and beautiful old traditions. No city has this extreme as much as Tokyo,” she said.
Stella Ishii also praised “the visual displays and presentations of product” in Tokyo shops,” adding, “I am also impressed by the beautiful presentations of food in the basement floor of department stores.” She noted that she likes to visit “the old town in Askusa and the area under the railway bridge near Tokyo Station,” calling these places “unaffected and genuine.”