Ever since I have loved fashion, I have loved the influence of Japanese culture in the fashion industry and just the Japanese culture in general. I was ecstatic when I had the opportunity to travel to Tokyo a few years ago for vacation. Since then, however, I have longed for the eccentricity of Harajuku girls and the abundance of stores where you can just buy fun little accessories that have absolutely no specific function. Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and Japan Town in San Francisco have filled my void for Japanese culture but I didn't feel like either captured the extravagance of the interior design like they have in Japanese shops.
However, a new store, New People, has opened in Japan Town to bring all of the elements of a Japanese shopping experience to San Francisco. Each floor of New People has a different theme: cafe, cinema, fashion, and art gallery. The New People shop declares itself to be "home to all that is kawaii, fun, fabulous, and bizarre" and they are not wrong! When fellow BARE staffer and Japan enthusiast, Seika, and I went to New People we were giddy with excitement from all of the cute trinkets and fun decor that New People presented. When we ascended the floor devoted to clothing strictly from Japan, we couldn't stop touching everything and adoring the whimsical fashion that we thought only existed in the heart of Tokyo's fashion district.
For any fashion enthusiast residing in the SF Bay Area, New People, along with the rest of Japan Town, is a must see! To get there from Berkeley, take BART to downtown San Francisco, walk to Geary Street and take Muni Line 38 and get off at Geary and Laguna!