TOKYO — To look at it on paper, nothing about the young designers who participate in Japan Fashion Week adds up. They have little, if any, name recognition outside of their home country; their tiny businesses sell mostly within the domestic market, which has a sluggish economy many fear is heading into recession, and they produce their collections almost entirely in Japan using some of the world’s most expensive labor and fabrics.
To put it bluntly, it’s a wonder many of the labels showing at Japan Fashion Week, which kicks off Monday and runs through Sept. 5, stay in business. But the fact is, these companies are managing to survive, stitching their samples in some of the most cramped workspaces imaginable and snagging just enough retail accounts to carry on to the next season.
Steve Aoki held a presentation, a runway show and outdoor concert for his men's line Dim Mak. Here's a look from his spring 2018 collection, which was titled "Paradise Found." #wwdfashion #wwdmens (📷: George Chinsee)
"It's really hard sometimes. I think I have a reputation for being really tough and aggressive and pushy but I really am a very shy person who wants to be liked, and that's the conflict constantly. There's something that takes hold - I want people to like me, I don't want to be mean - but if I see something that just cries out to be answered, I go for it," says renowned NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell. (📷: @axeldupeux)