Famous Shibuya 109 Mens building is refurbishing itself into Magnet by Shibuya 109 (マグネット・バイ・シブヤ109).
After years of many people complaining about the state of rundown department stores across Japan, Shibuya is doing something about it. There’s been a lot of construction with malls in Shibuya. First up was completely brand new building Hikarie. Second was the full tear down of Shibuya Parco. Now Shibuya 109 Mens will get a full refurbishment.
But wow that logo. I want NEW! HIP! EXCITING! SHIBUYA! *chooses logo that looks like a 1950s Barber Shop*
Tokyu (the parent company of Shibuya 109 and Shibuya 109 Mens) said the objective of this refurb was “Shibuya Stimulus, A Rehabilition of Shibuya Culture” (Shibuya no Shigeki, Shibuya Karucha- no Fukken | シブヤのシゲキ。渋谷カルチャーの復権). For a new era of Shibuya culture to begin, a new wave of Shibuya must come. Quite the strong wording, but it is PR so you’ve got to go strong.
Tokyu says up until now they’ve targeted 10-20 year old mens for Shibuya 109 Mens. Now Magnet by Shibuya 109 will aim to target 20 year olds women and men and overseas visitors.
The concept is for stores that involve food, music and art to come alongside the current Shibuya 109 Mens tenants.
But the big full change will be a rooftop area. In the promotional materials they say you will be able to view Shibuya Scramble Crossing and it will become a new tourist spot. The huge success of the rooftop area at Tokyu Plaza in Harajuku (also by Tokyu Group) probably influenced the rooftop revival.
Before the renewal which had mostly Mens Apparel Stores and the future Magnet by Shibuya 109. Big changes coming Spring of 2018 for Magnet by Shibuya is the name change plus the rooftop and seventh floor.
The Magnet by Shibuya 109 Rooftoop mock-up. Looks like there will be a glassed in portion pointing to the Scramble Crossing top right of the image. The rooftop concept looks similar to Tokyu Plaza Harajuku but since there is a Starbucks in Shibuya Tsutaya right next door who knows if Doutor or another brand will move in.
Their mock-up of the 7th floor which will be changed from Men’s Fashion to “Art, Music and Food area for the Revival of Shibuya”.
The image does look quite adult compared to the teen audience Shibuya 109 tries to collect (and quite outdated that shoulder bag and knee high boot is definitely from 2008 or earlier).
In Spring 2019 there will be the big shift between floors 1-6. The Mens Apparel stores that decide to stay plus miscellaneous stores for men and women along with cafes.
This two part system hopes that the rooftop and 7th floor bring in enough people to cause tenants to revive the 1-6th floors in honesty.
This stay or move out impacts all the head former Gyaruo brands: Black by Vanquish, Buffalo Bobs, Civarize, Vanquish, Jackrose, Wild Party and Fuga.
I talk often about the decline or reality change of gyaru fashion, but gyaruo has been desperately hit. Gyaruo brands have been hit by the decline in gyaruo of course, but also by the current anti-host and gentrification of Kabukicho laws. Kabukicho has put up anti-solicitation laws. Hosts possibly spending out on a flashy suit in hopes to draw in customers isn’t the case anymore. Also with the rise of Neo-hosts which pretty much means “we don’t wear suits” Gyaruo brands have less to offer. (See post how Gyaruo brands looked in 2012)
Beyond Gyaruo fashion, Japanese men’s fashion in general has just taken a hit by overseas brands. Lumine Man in Shibuya shuttered last year. And men who want to show off will do so with a Gucci hat or Offwhite jacket compared to what clout a Japanese brand will give.
Oddly the floors I feel the most boring B1 and B2 are not changing. B1 stocks The Suit Company, Pronto a quick-serve Italian Place, and Yomenoya Goemon a Japanese-style pasta place. None of those scream revitalizing hip Shibuya.
Much of the information in this article has been taken and translated from 109news.jp I’ll try to keep y’all updated via twitter on what the Spring 2018 Magnet by Shibuya 109 means for the actual meat of the men’s brands in Shibuya 109 Mens.