TOKYO — Japan Fashion Week has snagged a new high-profile sponsor in the form of Mercedes-Benz, a company very familiar with the world of the runway.

This story first appeared in the July 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


Fashion week organizers said Thursday they have inked a “multi-year agreement” with the Japanese subsidiary of the luxury car maker, which has sponsored the New York collections since 2001. It is understood that the initial contract should be for about three years but an exact timeframe has not been established and it could be renewed.


The shows will be renamed “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo,” starting with the next edition running the week of Oct. 13.


The fall-winter 2011 shows in Tokyo were set to be held in March but were canceled after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the northeastern part of the country.


Last year, fashion week organizers announced a five-year partnership with IMG Fashion to bring in new corporate sponsors and boost the international profile of the event.


Kintaro Ueno, head of sales/marketing and vice president of Mercedes-Benz Japan, called the Japan collections the “greatest” in Asia. “Fashion and automobiles are similar in that they are both a ‘way to express your own sense of style’,” he said in release.

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