Egoist is a Japanese fashion label and store run by Reiko Nakane in Tokyo. The shop has become a phenomenon in Japan thanks largely in part to the manner in which Reiko Nakane helps run it, using the her one time status as a charisma sales girl to bring in people and sell large sums in single days, as much as $90,000 in one case in a single day.
Egoist was once a retailer, carrying varied collections of popular clothing from throughout the Harajuku fashion scene. Reiko Nakane, a one time shop girl, ascended to the role of designer thanks in part to her near celebrity status in fashion magazines and her uncanny fashion sense. Today, Egoist is a quickly growing fashion label in Japan with a wide following.
Egoist’s largest selling point is its sales staff, a team of young women in their late teens and early twenties who have become celebrities thanks to their sense of fashion and willingness to interject themselves directly into every sale. This shows in the clothing as well, a brand that Nakane says is “for young women to dress however they want, whenever they want.”
Popteen devoted an issue of its magazine to the store alone, and the Japan Economic Journal once named Egoist the most successful retailer for hit products and trends. The financial success, highlighted by months such as September of 2005 when the Shibuya store sold more than $1.9 million in merchandise, is almost entirely due to the unique approach of the sales staff.
Reiko Nakane’s dedication to Egoist is to act herself and present a constantly visible vision of fashion, much like movies and pop stars. However, as shop employees, girls such as Nakane actively engage with their customers and share their favorite brands, tips, and style ideas. Before working for Egoist, Nakane worked as a office worker and walked the streets of Shibuya as a Ganguro, wearing large amounts of makeup and sporting a fake tan. Her success in transforming this style into major sales helped her gain her own fashion label.
The style of Egoist’s new line of in-house designs takes much of its basis from the streets of Shibuya but shows a streak of maturity in Nakane’s approach. Making a wide array of clothing available for all ages of Gyaru aged young women, the brand rivals brands like Cecil McBee in sales now within Shibuya 109 and at its other retail locations throughout Japan.