High-Quality Vintage Arrives in Shibuya: ‘The Sense’ Opens Its Doors

A new vintage shop called ‘The Sense’ opened on Shibuya’s Fire Street on April 19, 2024. The store features a curated collection of premium vintage clothing from both domestic and international luxury brands, as well as streetwear labels. Additionally, it will offer tax-free shopping.

Vector Co., Ltd., the company behind The Sense, has been running a reuse business focused on fashion apparel for over 20 years, guided by the ethos of moving ‘Towards a World Without Waste Bins.’ Leveraging this experience, the highest quality items are carefully selected from a massive inventory of one million pieces, ensuring exceptional standards in both quality and content.

You’ll find items from high-end brands such as CELINE , LOUIS VUITTON, as well as streetwear favorites like Supreme x The North Face collaboration.

The Finest of Secondhand Select Stores

The interior exudes a sleek and stylish vibe, more akin to a boutique than a typical vintage store. There’s no hint of the usual musty odor found in thrift shops, and the items are so well-maintained that you might almost forget they’re pre-owned.

The CEO, Tomohiro Murakawa, shared the rationale behind behind launching The Sense:

“We’ve mainly sold online until now, but we felt the importance of customers being able to come and see our products in person. We already have another store in Meidaimae, but recognize that customer needs vary depending on the area, and want each shop to resonate with the unique trends of its respective location.”

The Creative Director is Toru Mukai, who previously served as General Manager at TAG Heuer within the LVMH Group.

“Given Shibuya’s popularity among international visitors, we’re enhancing our lineup of Japanese brands. Moreover, we’ve assembled a team capable of communicating in English, French, and Chinese, and we’re committed to crafting the store with a more global outlook, including offering tax-free shopping.”

At The Sense Shibuya Jinnan store, non-resident customers spending over 5000 yen can enjoy tax-free shopping. Payment options include WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, credit cards, and cash (Japanese yen). These measures aim to address common inconveniences experienced by overseas visitors in Japan when making purchases, showcasing a dedication to creating a customer-focused shopping experience.

Left:Kenji Matsumoto (Purchasing Manager)
Center:Toh Dai (Languages: Chinese, Japanese)
Right:Astier Lola (Languages: French, English, Japanese)

The Sense Gallery: A Monthly Rotating Showcase

They plan to introduce a monthly showcase called The Sense Gallery, showcasing one brand each month. This initiative promises exclusive encounters with rare and highly valuable items, limited editions, and unique one-of-a-kind pieces that aren’t typically found in regular stores. Kicking off the series, Maison Margiela will be featured from April 19th to April 30th.

A selection of footwear

Martin Margiela himself stepped down in 2008, and currently, John Galliano serves as the creative director. With the brand now known as Maison Margiela still upholding a strong reputation, there are still fans who long for items from the Maison Martin Margiela era, showing the enduring appeal of that period. The Sense Gallery will give people a chance to see and obtain coveted pieces.

Accessories: Tomohiro Murakawa’s top pick is the long gloves adorned with sequins.

A 90s archival piece, this mantle is in pristine condition with no signs of pilling and minimal wear around the collar.

Customer-Centric Evolution

“In the future, we hope to constantly evolve by listening to our customers’ feedback and adjusting our product lineup accordingly. We aim to create a shop where there’s close communication, such as notifying customers when the products they are seeking become available.”

From Toru Mukai’s words, we can discern a strong emphasis on direct communication between customers and the shop. In today’s age where online shopping is prevalent, it might be that experiences and interactions are the true strengths and joys that enrich the experience of physical stores.

“About 30 years ago, Fire Street was bustling with unique shops, serving as a hub for fashion and culture. That’s why, instead of simply opening a resale shop, we aim to continue that tradition of creativity. We’re preparing a space next to the shop where customers can exchange information and participate in events. Our goal is to create a place that offers more than just products, but also experiences.”

Left: Representative Director, Tomohiro Murakawa
Right: Creative Director, Toru Mukai

Surrounded by the massive buildings of Shibuya Station’s redevelopment, which happens once in a century, I reminisce about the bustling streets of Shibuya where I used to wander with excitement. Nowadays, even without straying far from the station, you can find almost anything in some commercial building, and the thrill of opening a store door has become rare. However, precisely for that reason, it feels like a time has come where such experiences are being sought once again. From the perspective of sustainability as well as rarity, luxury vintage seems poised to become the next trend, or perhaps even mainstream.

The Sense Shibuya Jinnan Store
Business Hours: 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM (Open daily)
Services: In-store sales, in-store purchasing, mail-in purchasing
Phone Number: 03-6416-4770
X(Twitter): @_the_sense


Orie Ishikawa

ZEROMILE lead editor. With a limitless curiosity about things such as history, literature, biology, culture, art, fashion, and more, Orie has spent most of her lifetime studying random knowledge. Her number one spot in Tokyo is the National Museum of Nature and Science.