On Sept 6, Swiss bag brand “FREITAG,” celebrating its 20th anniversary, opened its second store in Japan in Shibuya (address: 1F Komatsu Laurier Building 6-19-18 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo). The first store in Japan is located in Ginza, Tokyo. For the new store opening, the founding designers Markus and Daniel Freitag visited Japan.
The new Shibuya store covers Meiji-Dori and Cat Street, and customers can enter from either of the streets. “When we found the location, we had no doubts. We were able to envision the concept of creating entrances along both streets. We perceive the store to be a street as well, Freitag Street, adjoining the two others,” explain Markus and Daniel. The floor of the store is decorated with prints of white lines, similar to a road. The lighting from the ceiling uses street lamps. One of the walls has a shelf set-up, similar to the Ginza store, with the front of the drawers displaying product information. The products are stocked in the relevant drawers. A repair atelier is set-up as an annex near Cat Street.
The main difference from the Ginza store is that the Shibuya store faces a busy street. “In the past, we chose locations that were discreet so that fans could enjoy looking for our stores, but this time, we chose a busy street so that we can welcome new customers who do not know us. We target many types of people so we want passersby to casually walk into the store,” say the two brothers.
In the current fashion industry, “upcycling,” a manufacturing style one step ahead of recycling is in trend. The brand, making bags from the hood of a truck or unusual materials, is a pioneer of upcycling. In 1993, when the brand was founded, this style was atypical. “It was during our travels through India that we decided to launch FREITAG. We were awed by the idea to reuse materials over and over. Recycled goods hadn’t infiltrated into our lives. The first messenger bag we made inspired by Indian culture is stored at MOMA in New York now.”
The Freitag brothers visit Japan about once a year, and they enjoy shopping at Tokyu Hands and Don Quijote. On their visit this time, they bought kitchen knives on Kappabashi Dougu Street in Asakusa, Tokyo.