Freelance writer, traveller, foodie and graphic designer living at the gateway of the Yarra Valley and Melbourne's green belt suburbs..
Published January 24th 2018
Unique fashion pieces that will make your wardrobe pop
Asobii front store window
Tucked away off the main shopping strip in High Street, Northcote, you will discover this cute little Japanese gem!
Located just opposite the Northcote Town Hall is Asobii, which means "playful" in Japanese. It is a boutique shop selling vintage fashion sourced directly from Japan and pre-loved fashion brands originally from the US, Canada or Europe. You will find some new items as well as accessories, handbags, jewellery and ceramic handmade pieces from Amakusa Island in southern Japan.
Hitomi was always interested in fashion and in particular, vintage. In Tokyo, she worked in a vintage shop and got the opportunity to go to LA as a shop buyer and shop manager. "This is what really opened my eyes and I gave me the vintage bug there I think. I always wanted my own little shop and there aren't cool vintage shops in Melbourne that I like, so I thought, 'why don't I just do it', so I did!"
Open about six months, the boutique has a minimalist design with copper vintage clothing racks and a gallery feel, which allows the clothing on display to stand out and get noticed! The store reflects Hitomi's passion for new and old - a combination of easily wearable pieces and something a bit more out there!
Beautiful curated fashion that is uniquely sourced
For the new fashion pieces, she selects garments she knows that Melbourne girls would like to wear. Choices are made by design, fabric and quality, not so much the brand name. Hitomi is working on building better relationships with some Japanese clothing makers "I'd like to support something locally made, but it is hard to find one - hopefully in the future!"
Design, fabric and quality is more important than the brand
To expand Asobii's product offering, Hitomi also stocks some art as well as handcrafted jewellery, mostly from Japanese designers like 'Sussus' and 'Wunderkammer'. Delicate ceramic pieces adorn the shelves and come from Hitomi's hometown of Kumamoto. The artisan makers are boutique and everything is handmade. The artisans often locally source clay from the area in which they live, Amakusa island.