TOKYO — Japanese exhibition organizers are working to make their events a must-stop showcase on the global trade show calendar.
With the Japanese economy on an upswing and its fashion sector churning out young, unique talent, industry executives are hoping that buyers will take notice and head to Japan.
"Scarcity value [offering something no one else does] is the must-have for exhibitions to attract good exhibitors and buyers," said Mika Sato, producer of Rooms, Japan's cutting-edge trade show best known for featuring new designers and interesting collaborations with artists.
This past August, Rooms showcased 270 brands including 72 foreign brands and 118 newcomers. More than 11,000 people visited the show.
For its next show at Tokyo's Yoyogi National Stadium from Feb. 12 to 14, Rooms has created a new team to initiate "another phase of creativeness of the event," said Sato. "Rooms has been enjoying a good reputation for its unique and interesting selection of the vendors, but what we need now is our own air for visitors to breathe," said Sato.
"Tokyo is definitely one of the most interesting cities in the world now, and we want to appeal to Tokyo's feeling," said Sato. With its unique varieties of exhibitors and gimmicks, "in the near future we want to have 30,000 visitors including from overseas," Sato said, adding, "We will again work on some artists other than fashion designers."
Frontier, a casualwear trade show scheduled for Jan. 22 to 24 at Yoyogi National Stadium, specializes in immediate business as opposed to future trends. "We will stick to the casual clothes for the closest season, and move to the global stage," said Takashi Yoshioka, producer of the event. This fall, Frontier is holding its first show in Hong Kong, scheduled for Nov. 20 to 21. "This is a challenging event from our study that many buyers to our shows are from Asian countries." Seven exhibitors from Japan along with international vendors from Australia and the U.S., among others, are expected to meet visitors from about 300 to 400 invited firms, according to Yoshioka.
Frontier is also showcasing the exhibitors' goods on the Internet, where buyers can view the latest trends about what is actually selling in the real market.Japan Creation, a trade fair featuring fabric and textile goods, reorganized its headquarters and will start JFW Japan Creation, or JFWJC, under cooperation with Fashion Strategy Forum, the organizers of Japan Fashion Week.
Akira Kawashima, senior director of JFWJC, commented that the major change with the new fair is to "readjust our viewpoint to the buyers' one."
JC has typically been held twice a year — in May and December — but starting after its next show, scheduled for Dec. 5 to 7 at Tokyo Big Sight, JFWJC will be exhibited in April and October. The first JFWJC under the new schedule will run April 23 to 25, also at Tokyo Big Sight.
Meanwhile, International Fashion Fair will be held at Tokyo Big Sight from Jan. 23 to 25. The show's Creator's Village segment exhibits original and creative brands of new designers to distributors and specialty stores.
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)