Mitsunori Aoyagi, the stylist and fashion editor has been a specialist in the fashion industry for 38 years. We asked the Ginza expert for information about unique spots and ways to enjoy the city of Ginza.
The fascinating part about Ginza is that you can find the Classic of Suits, Shoes and Hats
“Today, I am wearing Ginza from top to bottom” saids Aoyagi appearing with a smile. His suit was from The Cloakroom Tokyo, the hat was from Toraya Hat Shop, and his custom-made leather shoes is from Lloyd Footwear. Aoyagi has kept relation with Lloyd Footwear before their opening in 1983.
Lloyd Footwear opened in 1983, following the opening of the fashion boutique Lloyd Clothing. Their Ginza store opened in 1991, after opening at Aoyama and Daikanyama in 1988. Today, the store is open only at Ginza.
The leather shoes in Lloyd Footwear are manufactured at England’s Northampton, using a shoe last that matches the Japanese men’s feet. Around 30 years ago, Aoyagi was impressed by the foot comfort from a pair of his custom made Goodyear welted shoes. While the price of other imported leather shoe are skyrocketing,“At this age, the quality and price of Lloyd Footwear is unbelievable” explains Aoyagi.
The unexpected reason why people can visit the shoe store between night events and work.
Whenever Aoyagi has some spare time between events or exhibitions in Ginza, he drops by Lloyd footwear. Since the store is open until 10PM, it makes it easy for him to stop by. Kazuhiro Urakami, the store manager of Lloyd Footwear explains that many of the customers are businessmen who works nearby, and gradually delayed the closing hours and fixed to the current store hours. He smiles as he said, “We also delayed our opening hours as well”.
This day, Aoyagi was wearing a pair of his Master Lloyd’s “Malvern”, the high-end model of Lloyd Footwear. It was a pair of shoes which he ordered when Lloyd Footwear’s custom-made shoes was announced during the 1980’s. “Mr. Aoyagi, your feet’s center finger must be long?”, Urakami guessed Aoyagi’s feet characteristics from the outside of his shoes.
This day, Aoyagi brought with him another shoe model called the “Kingston”. The conversation of the 30 years of manager and customer relationship is about their good old days related to leather shoes.
Aoyagi owns a total of 7 Lloyd Footwear shoes combining the ready-made and custom-made shoes. He explains that when one gets used to the shoes, it is actually comfortable than walking in his bare feet.
The Ginza connoisseur selects stores that carries an honest and old fashioned spirit and careful with their work.
While Aoyagi is familiar with the latest fashion commercial facilities and brands, he usually visits Torigin Ginza (Yakitori) and Sanshuya (Traditional Izakaya). He prefers the old fashioned and fairly priced restaurants rather than the cutting-edge or over priced restaurants.
The price of the standard Lloyd Footwear starts from 31,000 Yen. The Master Lloyd on the above image starts from 70,000 Yen. The customer can choose the width and leather from the prepared choices for the custom-made shoes that require an additional 40,000 Yen. When thinking that a personalized leather shoes made in Northampton can be purchased for 110,000 Yen, we can understand why Aoyagi guarantees the store. *Prices doesn’t include tax.
“Sanshuya is renown for their fried oysters. Their salad with apples are delicious. When you watch the chefs cooking Ajifurai (deep fried mackerel), you can see the cutting process of the mackerel”. Since Aoyagi have been visiting Ginza since he was little, he knows the essence and fascination of Ginza. His stories of Ginza doesn’t end, but we should continue his story in another occasion.
Stylist & Fashion Editor
Born in 1960, Tokyo. After graduating from vocational school, Aoyagi worked at the editorial department of Danshi Senka in Style Corporation. From 1983, Aoyagi started working as a freelance stylist and fashion editor for fashion magazines, advertisements, celebrities and artists. He later expanded his field to lifestyle and worked in wide varieties of media. Recently, he has started teaching the skills for dressing and provides lectures for mens fashion. His book “Otoko No Osharedo Toranomaki” was published from Banraisha.
Lloyd Footwear Ginza
3-3-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-3561-8047
Store Hours: 12:00～22:00 Open Everyday
Photography by Tatsuya Ozawa (Studio Mug)