Solakzade glasses and jewelry (plus Goro’s) – Everlasting Fashion

Solakzade glasses and jewelry (plus Goro’s) – Everlasting Fashion

Every single day we had been in Tokyo and walked down Omotesando Hills, there can be a protracted queue on a rail close to the metro station. 

We assumed the queue was for some hype-driven ‘drop’ of streetwear, and to be truthful more often than not they had been. However these affected person Japanese had been there for a store based by a now-dead silver craftsman, the primary Japanese to be allowed to take part in an American Indian Sundance ceremony. 

Goro Takahashi died in 2013, however in his lifetime he turned a legend for his Indian jewelry and leatherwork. He began in 1956 and arrange the Omotesando store in 1972, and the look he popularised nonetheless persists at present – it’s the identical feather-dominated jewelry you see in lots of workwear shops.

The rationale there’s often a queue outdoors his store is that the jewelry (now made by a group run by the household) is just obtainable there; he by no means wished any stockists. Satirically this implies shopping for a bit is much like buying a hype model: it is advisable to queue, be a part of a raffle, and might solely purchase one every. 

Goro’s mismatch of demand and provide has created that very same dynamic, though the item of want is okay jewelry reasonably than a cheaply made T-shirt. 

At this time’s article, nevertheless, will not be about Goro’s (although in order for you some and might’t get to Japan, the most effective sources are resell websites like Rinkan or Grailed.) 

As an alternative it’s in regards to the classic eyewear vendor and jeweller Solakzade, who occupy the 2 flooring beneath. 

I point out Goro for context, as Solakzade are the one different tenants allowed within the terracotta-painted constructing that Goro acquired within the Nineties, when he was beneath stress to maneuver out of the more and more commercialised district. It’s a level of religion to Solakzade that they work beneath Goro’s blessing. 

I first met the founders Ryo and Tatsuya Okamoto 4 years in the past, when Kenji Cheung of Bryceland’s briefly launched me (he’s an enormous buyer). And to be sincere I discovered them fairly intimidating. 

They each are inclined to put on giant, daring sun shades, a number of kinds of jewelry, and clothes they design themselves – usually religiously impressed. Their father was a buddhist monk, their mom a Christian, and people traditions come by way of within the store in addition to how they gown.

It seems the brothers are completely pretty, nevertheless – simply quiet, and intense. This time we had an hour speaking by way of their ardour for sun shades and hand-made jewelry, and it was frankly inspiring. 

The store may be very private, in a number of methods. Ryo and Tatsuya designed it themselves and even constructed components of it, together with the massive carved doorways on the primary flooring. Inside, they’re eager to take a number of time with every buyer, studying what makes them tick and what piece would swimsuit their persona. 

“Eyewear and jewelry was far more private, designed particularly for the person,” says Tatsuya, who does many of the speaking and whose English is taken into account, cautious.

The brothers each discuss issues like getting the shopper “to open their coronary heart”, or that the ensuing piece “turns into like an amulet, one thing protecting”. This might sound woolly, even phoney, however while you meet them you are in little doubt: they’re fully honest and take what they do very severely. 

It’s additionally onerous to argue with the outcomes. Somebody like Kenji, who quantities to an obsessive collector of eyewear, reveres them, and though they hold a low profile (maybe even due to that) the likes of Kanye West and Kate Moss are regulars. Bob Dylan was due within the day we visited. 

“We do need to cater to everybody, each persona and style,” says Tatsuya. Value is clearly a barrier, as frames begin at £300 and run into the hundreds, however in addition they imagine solely sure types swimsuit sure folks – college students, artists, professionals. 

“Some folks put on these massive frames that don’t swimsuit their persona or their face,” he says. “It takes time to stroll by way of the design historical past and see what works.”

In my small means I agree, having tried many types through the years and made varied errors. Folks are inclined to suppose they will put on a a lot wider vary of glasses (even sun shades) than they will. See articles on Bonnet analysing my frames or the worth of fine recommendation

The shadowy Solakzade house – stuffed with gold mirrors and seventies chandeliers – is actually a historical past of 200 years of eyewear, starting from Forties Ray-Bans to futuristic Philippe Chevalier types, uncommon Cartier designs to rose-tinted Nineties Gaultier frames. 

Tatsuya’s favorite interval is the Sixties: “It was the purpose at which the basic turned to the trendy,” he says. “There was a number of vitality then, everybody attempting new issues.” Once more the phrase ‘vitality’ comes up loads when discussing each glasses and jewelry, however you already know what he means, certainly while you begin speaking in these phrases you’ll be able to really feel it within the designs – how refined or dramatic they’re, how conservative or authentic. 

The jewelry is extra expressive and private nonetheless. Once more that is one thing I’ve all the time considered jewelry (which might be why I keep in mind him saying it…). 

Jewelry needs to be particular, even distinctive. It was made for somebody because of an interplay with a craftsperson, and in that means is extra akin to a tattoo than a bit of clothes.

Like a tattoo you put on jewelry shut, subsequent to the pores and skin, and males’s jewelry is commonly hidden. It doesn’t make sense to comply with a style or have the identical as everybody else. 

“There may be a lot symbolism in jewelry,” says Tatsuya. “Some folks used to put on a centipede, for instance, as a result of it’s an animal that can’t transfer backwards – it’s about by no means with the ability to retreat or surrender.”

The jewelry a part of Solakzade is a bit more current, based 5 years after the eyewear. It’s additionally rather less accessible, though the brothers have not too long ago began making their very own: “We wished to practise the craft, not essentially to promote however to know them from the within,” says Tatsuya. 

One result’s the gold earrings beneath, which each the brothers had been sporting. Every is hammered by hand into completely different however related permutations, in 24 carat gold.  

Like Goro’s, Solakzade’s classic eyewear will not be one thing that may be simply accessed, as it is advisable to go to the store. The one simple means to purchase into it’s by way of the items they make for Bryceland’s – the Winston and Politician types. (Winston beneath on me.)

Nonetheless, I do know a number of readers had been asking about suggestions for locations to go to in Tokyo and this would definitely be one among mine. Some retailers needs to be locations, similar to Bryceland’s was earlier than London, earlier than e-commerce. 

Not less than there’s no queue or raffle system for Solakzade, but. 

Solakzade: 4 Chome-29-4 Jingumae, Shibuya Metropolis, Tokyo. Opening hours are 2pm-7pm.


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