"Shopping Japan With Four Pins" is an ongoing series in which Amardeep Singh takes us on a tour of the country's best shops. See them all here.
Part V: Nigel Cabourn, Nakameguro
What's the first thing you think of when you hear the name Nigel Cabourn? If you're an avid Four Pins reader, you probably know about those damn "Cameraman" jackets that shot Cabourn into this weird realm of hyper-aware menswear, the same jacket that streetwear-menswear-combination brands like Stussy and Penfield and about several hundred other brands have replicated and continue to replicate. But, obviously, there's a good bit more to Nigel Cabourn than his now classic Cameraman, although that style is still one of their staples and bestsellers. In fact, when I stumbled upon their flagship, "The Army Gym," in Nakameguro, the very same neighborhood that houses shops the likes of Minotaur and 1LDK as I previously wrote about at length, I was a little confused as to why it was so big. I turned the corner onto a relatively small, quiet street to see a store that was so large I couldn't fit the entirety of the exterior in one wide angle lens photo from across the street. The brand that's largely known in certain circles for a single, now-ubiquitous jacket actually has a massive collection encompassed by mostly outerwear, semi-formalwear, boots and a few experimental pieces. And it's all very, very good.
This shop, I found, is as large as it is because it is the only place in the world you can look at the entire Japanese collection of Nigel Cabourn. A separate line produced especially for the Japanese market, almost all of these pieces are not available globally, but rather only in the six Cabourn shops located in different cities all across Japan. And even within these six shops, most only have a fraction of the entire collection, likely because the collection is so large it'd be logistically difficult to have it stocked at all of the different shops. After talking with the staff of the store, I found out that logistics are also the primary reason that they don't fulfill web orders at the store—you'll have to poke around the Internet to find stockists outside of Japan that will ship to North America. Being a Britain-based brand, most of these stockists will likely be somewhere in Europe, meaning they won't have much of the Japanese collection. Are you noticing a trend here with stores in Japan not shipping outside of Japan? It's pretty frustrating, yeah? It almost makes you want to fly to Japan just to get the chance to check this stuff out in person before realizing you can't really afford any of it to begin with, and then subsequently question what you're doing with your life window-shopping halfway around the world when you can do the same thing on Google Images. No, I don't know what I'm doing with my life window-shopping halfway around the world when I can do the same thing on Google Images, but I did take some photos of the shop for you guys so you don't even have to go to Google Images. Don't even mention it. You're welcome.
Nigel Cabourn, The Army Gym
Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo 153-0042, Japan