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Tokyo Design Week Ups Fashion Quotient

Tokyo Design Week is gaining more recognition throughout the world.

Tokyo Design Week is gaining more recognition throughout the world.

This story first appeared in the December 18, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

While its main focus is interior and product designs, fashion brands and apparel manufacturers have taken on a larger role in the exhibition.

This year, newcomers were G-Star and Globe Trotter. G-Star showed Raw Gallery, featuring a new collection of the brand’s iconic raw denim, while Globe Trotter, celebrating its 110th anniversary, collaborated with Wallpaper magazine in showing future bag collections.

As for other fashion brands, AF Vandevorst did an installation of its new collection; Theory, a regular participant, offered its Aoyama flagship’s gallery to young Japanese artists and product designers, and Paul Smith celebrated Elle Decor Japan’s 15th anniversary and created 15 chairs inspired by five couples and families in London.

Tokyo Design Week was held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3; some 120,000 people attended the events. The main event was Tokyo Designers’ Week, held at Meiji Jingu Kaigakanmae in Aoyama. Some 85,000 people attended, 20 percent of whom were from overseas.

Kenji Kawasaki, chairman of the board of Design Association, which runs Tokyo Designer’s Week, said, “When Tokyo Designers’ Week started in 1986, it was a completely interior exhibition. Thirteen years ago, when I became a member of Design Association, we changed the concept of the event to ‘designs in daily life.’ Since then, our exhibit has been expanding to the area of architecture and product designs. Then big companies such as Sony and Nike started to join us. This year, we had 570 exhibitors, and 32 exhibitors were from fashion and apparel.”

During the week, a design exhibition called Design Tide featured younger, edgier and artsy creators. In addition, the embassies of Spain, Sweden and Belgium sponsored events.