BEAMS: Beyond Tokyo—Innovative Fashion and Streetwear

Image of BEAMS: Beyond Tokyo
Release Date: 
February 13, 2017
Reviewed by: 

This is the kind of fashion tome that has a distinction all its own within the genre of fashion books. It deals with not one designer nor one single brand but with a retail operation and how creative and brilliant merchants build reputation and long lasting relationships between both clients and vendors. This is a book that offers an inside telling of what happens after the runway shows are over and the real merchants get down to the business of selling clothes.

“We at BEAMS have worked towards the simple mission of shining a light on great products from around the world. We choose the best lifestyle goods from global brands, develop original merchandise, act as ‘editors’ to put it all together, and then present what we have created to our customers.”

It is important to know that BEAMS is a retail operation founded in Tokyo and now operates over 100 stores. The shop, after 40 years of business, remains a beacon of retailing and offers its retail clients the best of the best from an international marketplace. In fact, the astute reader will realize that if the American retail establishment practiced what these merchants practice, then we might not be in the doldrums. This retailer practices what so many have lost track of and that is the merchant mentality, not the latest trend, not the biggest hype, but what to sell to their clients to keep them happy and coming back for more.

As fashion consultant Tiffany Gilroy puts it: “Design, customization, collaboration and life hacking are a cultural obsession today. But this totally now culture is Tokyo based specialty store and brand BEAMS DNA.”

BEAMS, the book, is testimony to the business of fashion as well as to the creative minds that are rarely if ever celebrated. Think of it as fashion seen from the back offices or from an insider’s point of view. There is much to be gleaned from this book. In essence, BEAMS is an educational, instructional, and enjoyable read.