Jason Lee Coates

Director, H30 Fashion Bureau. Tokyo

By: Meagan Wilson
Styling: Meagan Wilson, Renée Rodenkirchen
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

Tokyo, if nothing else, can be most accurately described as disorienting. So to have our very first closet shoot be in the home of an expat with 10 years of living in the Japanese capital under his belt was every bit as comforting as you might imagine. It doesn't hurt that he might just be the most well-connected man in the whole damn city—nearly everyone we photographed following him mentioned they'd heard alllll about our shoot. And when you're co-founder of one of Tokyo's leading independent fashion showrooms (overseeing everything from sales and distribution to press for their brands), it's only fitting right?

Also fitting: Jason Lee Coates might just have the most extensive men's closet in the city, too, including an obscure of collectors-only items: like his fur-trimmed gold Givenchy aviators, silver Saint Laurent roller skates, every logomania phone case, and that snowglobe-style, iced out CHANEL chain. And then there were the prints: leopard, floral, paisley, snakeskin, plaid, skulls, various combinations of all of the above... safe to say Coates is not the head-to-toe-black fashion type. And as he gave us the grand tour of his brand new, fully, finally furnished apartment—right down to the glossy Philippe Starck chairs and lamps, beautiful marble kitchen and limited edition Murakami prints—we started to feel more and more at home on the other side of the world.

After our shoot, we spent an hour or so lounging as Coates played unofficial tour guide, schooling us on Japanese customs and culture over supersized elderflower gin and tonics he whipped up for us himself (it was noon, but it was also a Sunday, so, like, fair game?). We capped off our morning over lunch, downing extra-spicy Dan Dan noodles and frosty Asahi beers across the street from his place before parting ways at Tokyo Hands, the city's massive department store chain better known as tchotchke-central. And, guys, just like that, we knew Tokyo would treat us just fine.