On The Road

A Fashion Insider’s Guide to Tokyo

The Platform LA founders took us on the road with them as they uncovered new ways to elevate their brand.

By: Jodi Taylor

Do you ever just feel like you need to get the heck out? Unplug, hop on a plane and head, well, anywhere? Yeah, us too. All the time. There’s no denying that our brains need a break every now and then, and one of the only ways to guarantee chill time is by taking a trip. The way we look at it is if we choose a destination that we find inspiring (and that has unlimited amounts of tequila, of course), we’ll come back feeling ten times more motivated. Turns out we aren’t the only ones to think this way. The two brains behind Platform LA—real estate geniuses David Fishbein and Joseph Miller (also of Runyon Group)—take inspirational trips on a regular basis to discover new ways that they can elevate their brand.

In case you’re not familiar, Platform LA is a retail project in Culver City that spans over four acres and is home to many a brand. The best of the best brands are there: Aesop’s first US day spa, Linda Farrow’s first US shop, Sweetgreen’s HQ, Reformation just had their first vintage fair there, even SoulCycle’s West Coast HQ is there. We could go on, but you get the point.

Back to the inspiration trip: Fishbein and Miller’s most recent adventure took them to Japan, and upon their return they shared with us their iPhone diaries, including all the luxe and innovative spaces that Japan had to offer.

“When I told friends I was heading to Tokyo, many asked the time-honored question ‘business or pleasure?’ When your business is discovering new neighborhoods, merchants, and chefs from around the world—and your business partner is also your very close friend—the answer becomes a bit of both.

“David and I set off to Tokyo at the invitation of the executives from Mitsubishi Real Estate and Takenaka (both Japanese real estate companies). We met them earlier in the year after they contacted us upon discovering PLATFORM, a collection of buildings we recently completed in Culver City. Inspired by their discovery, our new friends invited us to come to Japan to see if there might be opportunities to work together on something similar.

“After four full days in Tokyo, I can safely say we returned from the trip with an infinitely deeper knowledge than when we imparted. Japan is a singular place—an ancient culture totally different than our own. Art, music, food, social interaction and etiquette, sense of self; all of it is different. This is a culture that manifests itself in amazing ways and the relevance of our business and our pleasure was more congruent than ever before. We returned to L.A. inspired by the inarguable dedication to craft, manifested in every moment from the pizza at Seirinka to the next-level pen collection at Tsutaya. We were also deeply touched by the kindness and genuine care our hosts and new friends exhibited. The trip proved itself an incredible inspiration, not only for work but also for how we may be able to bring a bit of that Japanese hospitality home.”

“Aman has the most epic hotels internationally. We had to stop in and see what we were missing. #interiorgoals”

“A sushi dinner for the books. Terrific night catching up with our new friends at Mitsubishi and Takenaka Corporation.”

“Beams is a great example of a larger brand keeping the consumer experience interesting and relevant through inspired design and unique merchandise stories.”

“Can’t go to Japan without eating fresh fish whenever we can (minus our pizza binge).”

“Deus Surf Shack bringing Aussie vibes in Harajuku.”

“Every little nook and detail in Japan is well thought through. Even at this large-scale shopping center.”

“Experiencing Yokohama with the Mitsubishi and Takenaka teams. This was a pop-up-themed African Village complete with music, hammocks, and ethnic cuisine.”

“Not in Tokyo anymore. Also not at a beach. But yes, those are hammocks in Yokohama.”

“Herzog and de Meuron are architectural geniuses. The Prada space they designed in Aoyama is striking.”

“Insane cash wrap at Fred Perry, Aoyama.”

“Japan took our obsession with signage to a new level.”

“Leisurely stroll down Luxury Row in Omotesando.”

“Looks like our landscaping at PLATFORM!”

“Maison Kitsune, Aoyama.”

“Continuing the Maison Kitsune tour at Cafe Kitsune (with delicious coffee) in Aoyama.”

“New York in Tokyo. The Trunk Hotel in Aoyama is giving us all kinds of Ace Hotel vibes.”

“Our home base at The Peninsula. Not our typical hotel scene but it seemed like the perfect snapshot of the Tokyo we envisioned after watching Lost in Translation. Superb service, beyond comfortable, if not a bit sterile.”

“Getting our workout in up four flights of stairs prior to pizza at Serinkan.”

“Pizza in Tokyo—only at Serinkan in Nakameguro.”

“Re-creating NYC Freeman’s Sporting Club complete with faux brick facade.”

“Shoes in jewelry cases. Seems fitting, but a first for us to see at F.I.L. Store, Aoyama.”

“Spotted Tom Dixon light fixtures at Tsutaya Bookstore.”

“Surprising to see a baby blue Bentley anywhere, let alone in the middle of Tokyo.”

“Thank you, Monocle guide, for sending us to this cute coffee shop (complete with micro roastery inside). Getting caffeinated after ingesting an entire pizza each at lunch.”

“The hidden, not-so-secret underground A.P.C. entrance in Harajuku. Adding elements of surprise and discovery is a key feature of Japanese design.”

“Traditional architecture meets contemporary detailing on a small building in Aoyama.”

“Tsutaya Bookstore in Daikanyama is a revelation. I’ve never purchased so many magazines in my life. Loved catching up on the latest street style in all of the Japanese fashion publications.”

“We are creating a park at PLATFORM next spring and thought this green canopy would be a perfect element to incorporate. Spotted at Futako Tamagawa Rise Shopping Center.”

“We can’t go to a city without visiting an Isabel Marant boutique. Tokyo Aoyama may be her best.”

“We love seeing great store design and merchandising wherever we travel. This is Saturdays gorgeous Daikanyama location. Stopped by for a coffee and to admire the beautiful build-out.”

“We were introduced to Shinji Nohara, the Tokyo food guru who takes around Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, and then us. We spent the day with him and ended up at this intimate underground sushi bar in Ginza. We had a private Master Sushi Chef.”

“When we are traveling we are always on the hunt for new design and landscape ideas. Love this display at Sacai in Aoyama.”

“World’s self-titled smallest shoe factory at Beams Harajuku.”

“Yep. More landscaping goals. We couldn’t get enough.”

Part of the series:

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