Opened in April of 1979, Shibuya 109 was the development project of Tokyu Group, who hired Tokyu Shogyo Kaihatsu to develop and open their new department store. The department store is designed as a combination of stores and boutiques to market towards women in their 20s.In recent years, Shibuya 109 has become popular due to its mass exposure in fashion magazines and on television shows both inside and outside Japan.
The popularity of the store grew and in October of 2005, Shibuya 109 launched an online mall to promote their products and use their store brand name. A second store, dubbed Shibuya 109-2 also sits in Tokyo, opposite Seibu. Today, both stores are well known for the popularity of their lower prices, wide open areas for youth to congregate and nationally famous models who have, in some cases, gone on to start their own fashion labels.
As the symbol of Shibuya, Shibuya 109 rises into the sky and marks the center of a district that has long since come to be the gathering place for young people in Tokyo. Located near Shibuya station, Shibuya 109 is unique in that it caters only to young people and the building itself has become a word used often to describe the fashion of the teens who shop there and walk the streets of Shibuya. Often times, a new fashion trend started in 109 will spread rapidly across Japan as teens clamor to pick up on the newest crazes out of famed hub of teen style.
For many years now, the streets of Shibuya have been the center of many new fashion trends, as female college students started gathering there in the 1980s, followed by the development of Kogyaru fashion in the 1990s and the Ganguro and Yamamba fashions of the last decade. These fashion styles continue to evolve and reflect in the youth and products of Shibuya and in turn Shibuya 109
The popularity of Shibuya 109 has led to the opening of four additional stores bearing the 109 label throughout Japan, with three of the five in Tokyo.