PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 July, 2005, 12:00am

Where: in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district, where major designers such as Emilio Pucci, Chanel and Dior, and uber-department stores including Printemps and Mitsukoshi go head-to-head in a shopaholic's paradise.

Who: Hiroaki Takeshita, a veteran of the Japanese fashion industry, opened the boutique in 2001. He is also the designer for Restir's five in-house labels.

The vibe: be prepared to strut your stuff in the boutique's photography studio. It's all about contrasts in the shop decorated by acclaimed French interior designer Laur Meyrieux. Bright spotlights and glowing floors stand out against the store's black interiors, creating a hip, edgy vibe.

Fashion finds: in addition to the usual line-up of fashion greats such as Dolce & Gabanna, Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin, Restir also stocks edgier pieces such as satin jackets and stitched pea coats by Alexander McQueen and skirts and gowns from Zac Posen. The much-loved Japanese brand Dress Camp also has a home at Restir, and starting this autumn, Patrick Stephan, a former couture designer with Christian Dior and John Galliano, will launch his brand exclusively at the store.

Hot items: according to spokesperson Nichole Bargwanna, the Galliano Homme and Alexander McQueen men's collections fly off the shelves, while women love all things Balenciaga.

Extras: VIP shoppers can relax in a private lounge where they can sip champagne or wine with friends while they pick and choose items - some of which are only available to select buyers.

Restir is at 4-2-2 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan, tel: 813 5159 0595.