Even in the saturated world of Japanese fashion there is always room for something new, something that might make people think or else spark a trend that sweeps across the city. Today marks the opening of Solakzade a vintage sunglasses boutique of the like I have yet to see, packed with the rarest possible sunglasses, all in brand new condition either sourced from dead stock or else lovingly restored by the owners. We have met the brothers behing the brand concept – Tatsuya and Ryo Okamoto before and already had a chance to look through their crates and crates (and crates!) of mint condition glasses frames that date all the way back to the 1800s and their collective passion for the subject is absolutely evident. Ryo is trained in glasses repair and construction, and is the one responsible for restoration, customisation and even brand new sunglasses, and it is Tatsuya who is responsible for creative direction. Together they have brought their own designs, an awesome collection of vintage and a small atelier together under one Harajuku roof and are ready to take Tokyo by storm.
Previously Solakzade had worked out of Shinsaibashi in Osaka since 2007, but having successfully run their shop as a closed showroom, it was clear that they wanted to take the concept further, and now they have taken on one of the most important locations in Harajuku on Omotesando Doori in the basement of (one of my personal favorite buildings in Harajuku) Goro’s Building.
It is a cool relaxing place that feels very separate from the throng outside, but yesterday when we visited for the reception party, it was absolutely packed to the gills so we were not able to capture the calm atmosphere they are going for. Still, amidst the champagne and crowds, we did manage to select some of our favorite pieces and displays so hopefully you can get a flavor for the place.
It is fantastic to see these rare and iconic sunglasses given the respect they deserve, it is really like a museum and the owners are more than happy to guide you around. When I have met them before they guided me through the origins of various elements of my Chrome Hearts eyewear collection – they really are experts.
The bulk is classic designer models, but there are some antique and rare material models including rolled gold and tortoise shell frames on display.
And some fun designs as well for those feeling adventurous.
These are part of their collaboration lines, and you might remember they produced the eyewear for Shiroma’s last Tokyo Fashion Week show as well.
The drawers beneath the cases are filled with sunglasses, as is the space above, as is the stockroom. It is probably the single greatest repository of vintage lenses, parts and frames in Tokyo, and thanks to that they are able to repair any classic model that you might have sitting around.
If you are in Tokyo then definitely check out the shop when you get the chance, but even if are not you can browse and buy on their online shop here.