I have always loved the Comme des Garçon (CDG) Play Converse collaboration. Unfortunately, it has proven to be difficult to get your hands on a pair- especially in Europe. During my recent trip to Japan, I was on a crazy hunt to find the CDG Play Converse in Tokyo. I thought that since Comme des Garcon is a Japanese brand my luck would significantly increase having been in Tokyo. While that’s true to a certain extent, it was actually just as hard to find these shoes. Most of the stores have very limited to no stock and since this a very popular brand in general, as soon as they get any stock, it would be gone literally within the same hour.
My boyfriend and I went to visit almost all the stores in Tokyo and 9 out of 10 times there would be no stock or only men sizes. It got to the point where I was actually trying on men sizes that were way too big for me because I was tired of looking. A bit unreal but when I was at the Dover Street Market Ginza, there was only one shoe left (men size) and at least 4 men came up to the sales assistant to see if there were more and the sales assistant could only point to the once which were on my feet (sorry!).
Luckily, during my trip, SSENSE restocked the multiple heart version and I just went ahead and bought it. I gave up on my search but then all of a sudden, my luck turned around and I managed to also score the one heart version in Japan. By the way, I’ve noticed that there are some slight differences between the Japanese CDG Play Converse vs. the world version that I got from SSENSE. If you are interested in a comparison, please check out my follow-up article here.
Anyways, now that I have all this knowledge. I feel like I should write this and share the word.
In case anyone else is as keen as me to find the CDG Play Converse, I have come up with several tips and info on where to get them in Tokyo and otherwise via known online retailers. Hope this helps!
Tip number #1: Go to the less touristic stores
There’s a lot of Comme des Garcon Play pocket/boxes all over Tokyo. I say this because it’s not really a store, it’s more of a section within a store- barely noticeable but you can spot it by finding the polka dots. Some examples below.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Anyways, the location really matters. You should try to go to stores in less touristic areas. Those stores naturally get less foot traffic and there’s a higher chance that they will still have stock. Google is a lot of help but I don’t think all the pockets are listed e.g. the Comme des Garçon Play pocket in the souvenir shop (of Mori Museum(?)) in Roppongi Hills.
Below are the stores in Tokyo which I recommend you try:
- Comme des Garcons Marunouchi My Plaza (link). Honestly my absolute favorite. This is where I got my shoes and shirt. The employees were really nice and the store was quiet. Shoes and clothing are well stocked.
- Isetan Department Store Shinjuku (Men section/building, 3F or 4F) (link). Shoes are pretty well stocked when I visited on Tuesday, not too many t-shirts left though and only big sizes.
- Seibu Ikebukuro 5F (Men section) (link). Shoes are pretty well stocked. Okay-ish stock on the t-shirts as well.
- Roppongi Hills Art & Design Store (I think on the 5th/6th floor, next to where you can buy tickets to the Mori Museum and the Roppongi Hills observatory deck/lookout) (link). I love how this store is hidden within another souvenir store. It’s like a hidden gem. Shoes are rare but they might stock it. You can find more t-shirts here and rare sweaters and cardigans if you’re into that.
- Hankyu Men’s Tokyo (link). Especially nice for men. They usually have high stock on the shoes (both black and white).
- CDG Play store in Seibu, Shibuya (on the backside, basically on the outside of Seibu, close to the Disney store). This is a bigger CDG Play store but they have very little stock (checked in the evenings on weekdays). You might be able to score t-shirts here- but from what I saw last time their stock is limited to only one or two designs.
- Dover Street Market Ginza (3F if I’m not mistaken) (link). Based on what I see they restock the shoes every 2 weeks (mostly men sizes). Also limited to almost no stock of the shoes or clothing.
In case I’ve missed anything, please let me know! Otherwise, you can always visit this link. It’s the official and most complete info on all the CDG stores but it is a bit harder to navigate through.
2. Plan your visits strategically
I know this is a bit of a task but it really does work and it saves you time. If the CDG Play box that I visited didn’t have any stock, I’ll try and ask the sales assistant if they have an idea on when they’ll restock and I’ll just come back then. They are usually nice enough to share this information. From the last time I was there, I was told that they restock on weekends and/or Thursdays. Note that this might not be applicable in the future, might be good to just check with the store when you are there.
I’m not sure if coming in earlier during the day will help. I find that it really depends on your luck because I’ve been to the same stores twice in different parts of the day and my luck would always vary.
3. Check online retailers
Hunting for these shoes can be fun but don’t let it ruin your vacation. They’re shoes after all. Enjoy Tokyo! When you are back in the hotel at night you can always check the online retailers. Below are some of my favorites:
- SSENSE (women’s / men’s). They rarely have the basic model but they do have the multiple heart version.
- Dover Street Market UK (Link).
- Converse’s official website. I am subscribed to the Dutch website but unfortunately, I’ve never received a drop notification and it’s always sold out super fast.
- Selfridges UK (Link).
- Farfetch (Link). They almost always have stock but it’s a bit more on the expensive side because their stock comes from independent boutiques.
- t0k10 (Link). It’s a Dutch store that is pretty well-stocked but I’m not sure if they ship worldwide.
- Barney’s (Link)
- Flannels UK (Link)
*please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, but I am in no way sponsored to write this article.
Hope the above helps. Pictures are coming up soon but in the meanwhile, you might want to check out my other post here about the comparison between the Japanese CDG Play Converse vs. the version that seems to be available in the rest of the world.
Let me know if I have missed anything and good luck with your own search! 🙂