So began an intimate dinner in Tokyo’s Aoyama district Monday night, cohosted by Vogue Japan and celebrating Michael Kors’ partnership with the U.N. World Food Programme, called Watch Hunger Stop.
The venue was a charming restaurant resembling an Italian villa that had been plucked from the hills of Tuscany and deposited onto the streets of the Japanese capital. Inside, a pianist played background music while some of Tokyo’s fashion set mingled about sipping on Champagne and the illustrator Clym Evernden hand-drew portraits of guests on the fly. Once the crowd was ushered upstairs to the dining room, Kors broke the ice with a toast punctuated with his signature sense of humor.
The dinner followed a trunk show and personal appearance at Kors’ Ginza flagship store the same morning. It was the first time the designer had done such a show in Japan.
“In Japan there is no concept of a trunk show,” the designer said.
“I think watching women look at a handbag here, I think they’re even more practical than Europeans and Americans,” Kors said. “I think there’s an immediate understanding of quality and style, but also at the same time, you know, three women looked at a tote bag and said, ‘Oh, and there’s a pouch attached.’ I have to say that most American women, they [just] like the bag. In Europe, they like the bag. I think right away you saw that attention to detail, which I think is very Japanese, quite honestly.”
It was Hudson’s fifth trip to Tokyo, and she was in town with her son Bingham and her boyfriend Danny Fujikawa. The trio is making the most of their trip, watching sumo and taiko drumming, eating sushi and shopping in Harajuku.
“It’s his first trip to Japan and he’s half Japanese, so it’s very special,” she said of Fujikawa.
Kors said his goal with the dinner was to “make news and noise, to bang the drum” about the World Food Programme.
“Kate Hudson has been such an amazing person to partner with on this because she’s energized, she’s smart, she’s excited, and I think a lot of people, they see her, they hear her, and she’s very relatable,” Kors said. “So people say, ‘OK, you know what? She’s busy, she’s running a business, she’s an Academy Award-nominated actress, she’s a mom, she’s traveling the world, and she can do this, so maybe I can do this, too.’ So she’s been really great raising the profile with us.”
Michael Kors is making news in Asia recently. The brand just launched an official account on the Korean social networking app Kakao with a limited-edition sticker pack created by Korean illustrator JaeSuk Kim. After Tokyo, Kors will head to Shanghai for a larger event there, while Hudson will visit the city of Kyoto and the mountain hideaway of Hakone. But both agree that Tokyo remains at the top of their respective lists of favorite places to visit.
“Japan, no matter how many times I’ve been here, you never will fully know Tokyo. You’ll always discover something new, and I’m always curious,” Kors said. “And this one, she’s up for anything. She’ll eat anything, she really will. She’ll try anything. And those are the people who travel well.”
Hudson implied that she acquired this sense of adventure with food from her mother, Goldie Hawn.
“You try everything once, and my mom always said, ‘If you don’t like it you can just spit it out,’” she said.