“Nothing is ever completely over.”
“I feel like a time machine,” says Hayao Matsumura, meandering around his vintage fashion shop as if to make the point. “I’m constantly travelling to the future and the past.” He’s attempting to explain his love of retro clothing, and he seems – quite appropriately – a little adrift.
A more likely explanation, perhaps, is that he was up all night. Matsumura is, after all, Tokyo’s perennial party boy. The owner of Nude Trump and a handful of other businesses, he is rarely seen without his vintage shades and black cap. But he also dons many other proverbial hats: he’s an entrepreneur, a traveller, a trendsetter, and a guardian of youth. As a constant presence at fashion events, members of Tokyo’s creative ‘it crowd’ invariably surround him. All several decades his junior, they politely call him ‘Matsumura-san’, which in such a casual setting is a term of endearment, as well as of respect.
Matsumura’s career in fashion started with the ultimate road trip. It was the mid-Eighties, and he was a young man with a head for business and an eye for trends. Witnessing Japan’s then-insatiable appetite for Americana, he drove coast-to-coast across the United States, loading up his car with jeans, boots, jackets, and memorabilia.
On his return to Tokyo, he opened a no-name store in his apartment in the bohemian suburb of Koenji. Among the trinkets on sale were decks of playing cards (known as ‘trumps’ in Japanese) featuring images of naked women, which were illegal at the time. Fascinated customers duly nicknamed the business ‘Nude Trump’.
Now located in the Jinnan area of Shibuya, the iconic store remains in business, selling a curious jumble of retro fashions, from glam to punk to downright bizarre. “Things my mother wore, items from my grandmother’s closet – these things will all come back into fashion one day,” Matsumura explains. “Nothing is ever completely over.”
In 2006, Matsumura heard a rumour that a discount vintage store was planning to open in same building as Nude Trump. He quickly rented the space instead – later taking over the entire building – and turned it into Trump Room, a club-like venue for Tokyo’s bright, cool, creative young things. Elsewhere in Shibuya he owns the tiny back-alley Piano Bar, and another club space, Trump House. Matsumura has decked each out in a style that might be called ‘timeless decadence’: luxurious couches, mirrored tables, antique portraits and animal heads, all meticulously arranged beneath a sea of chandeliers.
It appears fantastical, but this is Matsumura’s world. Fast fashion chains have commoditised much of the local area, but thanks to him, there are still pockets of Shibuya where individuality is celebrated.
Matsumura understands for most normal Japanese youth, happiness feels impermanent. The hot summer of adolescence must give way to the chill of social obligation: a desk job, a suit, a mortgage. The party will surely end.
Unless, that is, you have the guts to shun conformity.
“The people who come here, they’re the stylists, designers, beauticians, musicians and dancers of the future,” he says. “Most normal kids don’t mind looking like the person next to them on the train. These ones are different.”
TIPS & RESERVATION INFO
Trump Room has no website, but your hotel concierge or our members Concierge service can call over for the schedule. Otherwise it’s happenings are always featured on the fashion blogs and party pages.
ACCESS DETAILS1-12-14 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku