David Blecken
Nov 7, 2016

Beams compresses 40 years of Tokyo style into five minutes

The Japanese fashion retailer’s tribute to Tokyo trends has drawn more than 5 million views since launching late last month.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Beams, a Japanese retailer known as much for its curation as for its own brands. As part of its celebrations, the retailer’s ‘Tokyo Culture Story’ is a short film charting what it sees as the highlights of Tokyo fashion and music since its establishment.

In one of the world’s most trend-conscious cities, that’s no easy task, and we applaud the execution, which appears to miss nothing of importance out. Set to a soundtrack from a total of 27 performers including Yoshitaka Minami, Maki Nomiya and Chisato Moritaka, the video spans 82 movements and looks from Punk to Urahara to ‘One Point Luxury’. The project was put together alongside Magazine House.

Why we like it: Part of the appeal of this film that it’s understated while connecting to something much bigger than the Beams brand, which fits perfectly with the company ethos. Beams plays its role in shaping culture, but lets its products speak for itself.

Five minutes is a long time to watch an ad, but this is not an ad. It’s a tribute to the people who help make Tokyo stand out as a global city, and manages to feel both nostalgic and current at the same time. As the comments below the video show, it also resonates with a wide range of nationalities by showcasing one of Japan’s best attributes—its sense of aesthetics: “Epic” is one description, while a Thai viewer is moved to declare: “I love the culture both old and new…I wish I were Japanese”.

Campaign Japan

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