Japanese organizers adjust to new fashion week dates.

TOKYO — The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japan Fashion Week plan to move the Tokyo event to September, and the nation’s fashion industry and trade show organizers now must decide whether to schedule their shows around the same time.

The third JFW will be held Sept. 4-8 at the Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, about a five-minute walk from the heart of Ginza. During the event, the entire industry, from designers to apparel and textile manufacturers to distributors, unites with the government to help raise the profile of Japanese products.

Japanese trade show organizers face a dilemma: If they shift their schedules closer to JFW, overseas attendees at JFW are likely to stop by the trade shows. But Japanese buyers who travel overseas during that period will not be able to visit the exhibitions.

Rebooking a location at such short notice is another problem. Organizers generally must book larger spaces, such as Tokyo Big Sight and Yoyogi Stadium, one to three years in advance.

Japan Creation decided to host two shows this year, in April and December, at the request of participants, said Mutsuko Tatsukami, producer of the show. In the future, Japan Creation plans to hold the show in May for spring and summer merchandise and in October for fall and winter, right after JFW.

“The roles of the exhibition and the fashion show are different. If JFW stays in September, our holding the show in October makes sense. We want to have a good relationship with the fashion shows,” said Tatsukami.

Until the new timetable for the show is accepted by the industry, JC will hold the show in its typical December slot, rather than make the move to October.

At JC in April, 117 firms in 138 booths showed to 7,185 visitors at the Tokyo Ryutsu Center. This was well below the show’s average of 494 exhibitors and 53,000 visitors, but Tatsukami said the show was great, especially given the short notice and preparation time, and added that the quality of the event rose.

International Fashion Fair will next be held in July, before JFW. “For this kind of trade show, we need a huge space. And rescheduling and changing the space is very difficult,” said Hiromi Kudo, IFF division manager. For the last show, in January, IFF gathered 28,295 visitors, including 484 from overseas. “We have the Creator’s Village corner, where talented young designers or comparatively small vendors, including accessories traders, exhibit,” said Kudo, adding that the corner serves as a platform for those designers who cannot hold a fashion show during JFW.

This story first appeared in the May 24, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Frontier organizes its exhibition for 1,500 to 3,000 buyers five times a year. The organizers use a different venue each time, counting Yoyogi National 1st and 2nd Gymnasium, Shinjuku NS Building and La Forret Museum Harajuku among its sites. In the second half of the year, Frontier will be held June 13-15, Sept. 5-7 and Nov. 7-9.

Rooms, considered one of “the most cutting-edge exhibitions in Japan” by the industry, is ready to move into its new space at Roppongi Hills, a new shopping and commercial site here, known for its restaurants and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. The trade show will gather about 250 brands for the 2007 spring-summer collection Sept. 12-14, shortly after JFW.

For its 13th show, Rooms “wants the world’s influential buyers to come to the event” to help increase the show’s notoriety worldwide, said Mika Sato, director of the exhibition. More than 8,900 visitors attended the Feb. 13-15 edition.

“We don’t limit ourselves to apparel. We often collaborate with edgy artists such as Meiwa Denki from Japan. As a result, buyers of high quality come to the show,” said Sato. “The fashion show is for showing creativity, and trade shows should introduce the creative lifestyle,” he added. “We give business support to Japanese buyers and new designers. It is not only the matter of timing and location, but if you can hold the show at the right place at the right time, it gives the right atmosphere to both exhibitors and buyers.”