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Asobii - Japanese Vintage and New Fashion

Home > Melbourne > Art | Fashion | Indoor | Vintage and Retro | Shopping
by Nekoburro (subscribe)
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, vintage fashion, Japanese fashion, boutique clothing store, northcote vintage store, accessories, jewellery, ceramics, hard to find, boutique clothing store
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.

Fashion store, vintage fashion, northcote, shop,
Clean and minimalist interior

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!"

Fashion, vintage fashion, northcote clothing store
Hitomi has always been passionate about fashion

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!

Fashion store, clothing, japanese clothing, northcote
Beautiful curated fashion that is uniquely sourced

Most of the garments are sourced from Japan. On each buying trip, Hitomi goes through thousands of pieces which she carefully selects and she enjoys finding treasures like Issey Miyake!

Fashion, clothing, vintage, shop, retail, japanese vintage, northcote
Fashion pieces which Melbourne girls would wear!

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, fashion, clothing store, vintage fashion, northcote
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.

Pottery, ceramics, handmade, artisan makers, clothing shop, northcote
Handcrafted ceramic pieces from Japan

Opening Asobii in Melbourne is Hitomi's contribution to help recycle and reuse clothing, whilst preserving our environment.

Fashion, vintage clothing, fashion shop, japanese vintage, northcote
Recycling vintage fashion

Current shop hours: Wed & Sun 11-5pm, Thu to Sat 11-6pm

Hitomi's husband is a part-time children's book illustrator and you can view some of his drawings on the walls, which are available for sale. His art is detailed, fantastical and focused on nature.

Asobii, japanese fashion, vintage clothing, northcote
Open Wed to Sun!

Follow Asobii on Instagram: @asobii_melbourne
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Why? Beautifully curated vintage and new fashion sourced from Japan
When: Wed to Sun
Where: 159 Westbourne Grove, Northcote3070
Your Comment
What an interesting little shop. I love the minamalist look and the mix of art and fashion, which in a way are both the same thing.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7763) 730 days ago
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