When we came to Tokyo in search of closets, we were expecting a deluge of intimidatingly cool girls. Alisa Ueno checked one box on our list; but on the very last shoot of our trip, it was Mug G.V.G.V., the designer of her eponymous (we think?) Japanese born-and-bred brand G.V.G.V., who pretty much took the (green tea-flavored) cake.
Mug, along with her design team, met us at her Shibuya neighbourhood studio the rainy morning before our flight. Immediately it became clear that she's the type of woman who emanates a very specific brand of DGAF, insouciant cool—her bleached hair slicked back into a perfect bun; all steely, smoked out cat eyes and nude lips. The stakes only got higher as we started to unpack the massive rolling rack of goods she'd prepared for us. Our favorites? Her assortment of Vetements, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Marques’ Almeida and her eponymous label (those furry sandals? all her), and basically every other so-hot-right-now (to borrow from Zoolander) brand or label. There was also a serious assortment of jewelry and accessories to dive through—chunky gold jewelry, zippy Céline pouches and bright and pastel hued furs—which proved to be just the thing to contrast with the industrial vibes of her space.
Mug launched her brand in 1991 after graduating from Kuwasawa Design School—we even spotted her wares while prowling through Opening Ceremony's Omotesando outpost—and has since collaborated with Uniqlo and even dedicated entire collections to '90s staples like Clueless. And yes, because we know you're wondering, we had a hard time leaving those goat hair flatform slides behind. Overall? Rifling through Mug's wardrobe was likely the most hands-on education in street-inflected Japanese style we could've hoped for. It was real, Tokyo!