What a difference a week makes.
As New York Fashion Week’s unofficial guest of honor, the Instagram-discovered fashion designer Tomo Koizumi was still trying to grasp his good fortune Thursday afternoon. Had Giles Deacon not tipped off stylist Katie Grand to the rainbow-favoring Tokyo-based talent, the Feb. 8 runway show at Marc Jacobs’ Madison Avenue store never would have materialized. But he did and the show sparked up social media, thanks partially to such top-shelf models as Bella Hadid and “Game of Thrones” actress Gwendoline Christie.
In a cab en route to KCD’s offices to deal with overnight shipping for his runway collection, Koizumi said, “It’s really crazy. I was thinking about only the show, before coming here. I thought after the show, I would have much more free time to go to the museums, shopping and hanging out with my friends.”
After many retailers contacted him, he decided unexpectedly to have showroom appointments. That led to much rushing around and talks of developing ready-to-wear. Executives from Liberty, Net-a-porter and Dover Street Market scheduled appointments and Friday’s 14-hour return flight to Tokyo will be spent figuring out retail prices for the runway collection. Another “really nice thing that happened” was to have a request from a Thai socialite-editor for a Met gala dress; he planned to draft sketches of it from his airplane seat.
Koizumi said he was “a bit surprised” that Dover Street Market was the only American store to contact him. “That’s fine. There are so many others, like British ones — Harvey Nichols and Selfridges — Russian ones and Joyce Hong Kong. I think I will meet them in Hong Kong, because I have client work there next month. I really like Hong Kong, so I’m happy.”
While the designer definitely wants to do a capsule collection of ready-to-wear, he was advised to first show his collection in Paris.
A Japanese fabric company has reached out to him about using its fabrics. He also has plans to meet with a government-supported Japanese agency that supports small businesses. “I really need that kind of support. If I can do something with them, it would be really helpful,” he said.
Koizumi wasn’t paid for the New York endeavor, but the cost of shipping his collection, as well as his round-trip flight and 10-night hotel stay were covered, he said. “This business trip and the people I worked with definitely changed my life, or my career,” he said.
His web site has changed markedly, too, thanks to a friend’s help. With one night left in New York, fashion week’s toast of the town wasn’t sure what he would do. “Maybe stay in my place and do nothing. I’m going to meet my friend for dinner. I think I won’t drink, because my flight is at 10 a.m. I can’t miss that,” he said.