Located on Ometesando, one of Tokyo’s most prestigious retail boulevards, Pass the Baton (PTB) premiumises second-hand products through emotive storytelling.
The store’s founder Masamichi Toyama’s mission was to reinvent the second-hand goods market in Japan.
He has set about achieving this by shifting traditional associations with thrift and aligning his retail model more with those of his luxury neighbours (the flagships of Louis Vuitton, Prada and Dior all sit alongside PTB on the Ometesando boulevard). Recent collaborations with premium brands, including Hermes, A Bathing Ape and Dean + Deluca, have also helped to cement the store’s reputation as a destination for Tokyo’s discerning customers.
Products are sold in three major silos – “Recycle, Remake and Relight”. Recycled items are sold by their original owners, who are generally a mix of artists, editors and other high profile tastemakers. Each of these is accompanied by a seller bio and personal backstory to add value with a rich historical context. Sellers also get to set the price and receive 50% of the profits, although they do have the option to donate some or all of this to charity.
Remade products are generally dead stock items that have been transformed and given a fresh look by PTB. And Relight goods are those that have been completely repurposed. The space itself is simultaneously both polished and haphazard, straddling the aesthetics of traditional bazaar and carefully curated gallery.
Consumers are willing to pay a premium for items that they feel more of an emotional connection with, By detailing each products’ authentic personal history, PTB offers an antidote to a shallower and less meaningful form of consumption.
Effective storytelling is a powerful way of engaging with consumers. PTB turns second-hand goods into luxury items by working with high-end brands and high profile tastemakers, proving the power of strategic collaborations.