Shopaholic & Chacott

After catching up with ballet rehearsals and performances it was time for me to explore another Tokyo balletic landmark. Chacott is Japan’s main dance fashion company. Although they are manufacturers and retailers of goods for ballet, dance, yoga,  figure skating and gymnastics they also cater to the balletomane  – selling posters, magazines, T-shirts, etc. The buyers here seem to have a knack for identifying  and displaying just what their clients need (or think they need!). They also provide a comfortable shopping environment, say the dance world version of Barnes & Noble – but without the Starbucks Tall Frapuccino to sip while browsing.

In London there is simply no equivalent to the “all in one” shopping experience provided by Chacott. While the ROH shop services the dance fan with a good selection of DVDs, posters, music, magazines and various trinkets, the major dancewear shops scattered around Covent Garden like Capezio, Bloch, Freed of London and Freddy cater to the dance students and professionals. One hopes that the boom in the dance market will perhaps pave the way for an overseas Chacott branch or equivalent  flagship dance store concept but, in the meantime, there’s nothing like a tour of the original:

The scale of Chacott’s premises alone is a measure of how popular ballet is in Japan

We love these leotards in all the colours of the rainbow

On the way to level 2 there’s a “Wall of Fame” featuring candid shots of some of Chacott’s ballet-celebrity customers. Can you name them?

Yoga and Jazz on level 2…

…and also plenty of cute and fun T-shirts

This corner is dedicated to Chacott’s own stage make-up brand. We heard good things about their finishing loose powder…

There’s a full floor devoted to pointe shoes and dance footwear

The top floor houses an atelier and costume shop. Lots of wonderful tutus in every style, colour and shape

In the basement a huge LCD screen plays the current “top 10 ballet DVDs” (conveniently displayed nearby just in case…). During my visit, The Royal Ballet’s Ondine was on. There are also some video stations where one can watch short dance clips (not pictured)

Chacott’s selection of DVDs and music rivals Amazon’s: full-length ballets, galas, masterclasses and rarities. Yum!

This being Japan you can also find ballet mangas Swan Magazine and the Arabesque Series (about a Russian prima ballerina). How we wish these were available in the West!

Several dance magazines full of superb pictures (one can browse the “tester” copies), all of them printed in top quality paper. They are not cheap (¥ 1200 = £ 9 approx.) but some are almost collector’s items and they are also typically available as e-editions

The store assistants were very helpful and charming. We are definitely coming back next time we find ourselves in ballet-mad Tokyo. Memo to self: save some cash!

Her favourite ballets feel like good books – one can see them 1,000 times and they always feel fresh. Linda loves Giselle, all full-length MacMillan plus Song of the Earth, Robbins’s Dances at a Gathering, Balanchine’s Serenade and Agon, Ashton’s Scènes de Ballet and Symphonic Variations.

6 Comments

  • September 3, 2011

    Amy

    I just visited Osaka and discovered a Chacott shop there – sounds like it’s set up the same way. I’ve never seen such a gorgeous ballet shop. I wish had more time to browse. I could have spent a few hours in there!

  • July 4, 2010

    selina yap

    the chacott product is absolutely beautiful

  • June 21, 2010

    David D

    ‘ the dance world version of Barnes & Noble ‘ — That would be enough reason for me to go and hang out for HOURS.

  • June 18, 2010

    Linda

    It is definitively an amazing store. The basement section alone was too much to take in, but one needs cash and an extra suitcase!

  • June 18, 2010

    sevenbranes

    I totally have to go there!

  • June 17, 2010

    Anna Merrick

    Wow ! What an amazing shop, would love to browse all those gorgeous tutus !