Japan Fashion Week '08 AW Roundup

Collection shows and the ensuing response
01 April 2008
A general report and link list for the Sixth Japan Fashion Week held March 10-15
Japan Fashion Week
Starting March 10 and ending March 15, the 6th Japan Fashion Week for ‘08/'09 Autumn/Winter Collections went off without a hitch. 45 brands participated in the shows, with ten brands — including Hidenobu Yasui, Motonari Ono, Zechia (ex-20471120), Heath, Mikio Sakabe, and Fur Fur — making their Tokyo debut. Attendance was up a bit from last time — to around 19,100 — and the number of foreign press jumped almost 21.8% to 201. 41 foreign buyers from around the world were also present.

Although many of the more beloved young brands in Tokyo — like N. Hoolywood, John Lawrence Sullivan, merci beaucoup, and DressCamp — chose to show outside of the official proceedings, JFW still managed to provide audiences inside and outside the industry with a wide range of designers — from the cosmic elegance of Ylang Ylang to the earthy craftsmanship of matohu to the pop magic of mint designs.

Based on the growing profile of the event, the Japanese government is making signs that it has big expectations for the potential of JFW to bolster Japan's image as a leading producer of fashion. Deputy Director of Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) Hideo Hato was quoted in Senken Shimbun as stating (translation ours): "It is critical that we go forth increasing JFW's power of global transmission through repetition of this event. We expect that we can create a ‘stage-setting' that can attract even greater numbers of visitors. [...] The Paris Collection is able to attract visitors in the x0,000 range. We are hoping that we can expect an expansion of support from the industrial sector in order to attract even greater attention for JFW."

Dentsu Tech (subsidiary of advertising giant Dentsu) used this season's JFW for testing an experimental area-delimited cell-phone-ready one-seg video-cast of the shows directed at general audiences who cannot attend. Although the rival Tokyo Girls Collection show — held this year on March 15 — has much more popular support and mass interest than JFW, this Dentsu experiment hopes to use technology as a way to expand JFW's possible cultural import without having to expand the size of show arenas.
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