TOKYO — As Japan grapples with the terrifying aftermath of the most powerful earthquake to ever strike the country and an ensuing tsunami that killed thousands, life in the capital city is slowly easing back to normal.
Pedestrian traffic along Tokyo’s streets was expectantly light on Saturday, the day after an 8.9 quake in northeastern Japan shook buildings in the Japanese capital and stranded thousands in the city overnight. Areas such as Shibuya, Harajuku and Ginza, which are normally teeming with people on the weekend, were exceptionally quiet and many stores were closed for business. That situation changed considerably on Sunday, as the aftershocks tapered off in frequency. The number of people on the streets, many with shopping bags in tow, increased significantly. Nearly every retailer was open, with an apparent quick return to near normalcy, as couples and groups of friends browsed the stores.
“Of course, we feel terrible about the situation in Miyagi [the area the tsunami hit], but being at home watching TV was getting depressing,” said Atusko Minagawa, 26, who was shopping at Roppongi Hills on Sunday and made a small purchase at Zara. “Doing a little shopping with a friend has really improved my mood.”
Emi Nagao, who was walking around the same retail development with her husband and 4-year-old son, said, “We stayed inside yesterday, but the weather is nice today so we decided to go out. Just being outside has made us happier, especially my son. It’s good for him to be able to run around and get some exercise.”
TV coverage of the disaster dominated the airwaves all day Saturday and Sunday as death toll estimates mounted to more than 10,000, with scores more missing. Images of displaced people in shelters sleeping on mats and horrific footage of the destruction have played on a constant loop. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan addressed the nation Sunday, calling the disaster the biggest crisis Japan has faced since World War II.
The country’s attention is focused intently on serious problems at a nuclear plant in Fukushima, near the area devastated by the tsunami. There was a blast at the plant and late Sunday there were reports of a blast at a second site. Wide-ranging reports and theories abound about just how serious the radiation threat is and the situation seems to change by the minute. The government has evacuated more than 200,000 people.
Japan is also facing a serious power shortage and rationing will go into effect, with blackouts starting today. While it looks like the central area of Tokyo will not be affected, everyone is being told to conserve energy and retailers most likely will cut back on their hours. People are stocking up on supplies, pouring into supermarkets and convenience stores to buy bags of ramen noodles, bread and canned goods. The emergency goods and tool sections of the Tokyu Hands in Shibuya were mobbed with people buying earthquake kits, gloves, masks and batteries. Flashlights seem close to impossible to find in Tokyo.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye