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ZOZOCOLLE KICKS OFF: Zozotown, a large fashion e-commerce site in Japan, staged its first offline event on Saturday and Sunday, giving customers a chance to pre-order items from upcoming collections of their favorite brands. Called Zozocolle, the event was billed as the country’s largest-ever fashion exhibition open to the public, and was held at a large convention center outside of Tokyo.


Customers purchased tickets for 1,000 yen, or $12.75 at current exchange, which included two drinks and a small sandwich. Once inside, they could browse, try on and order not-yet-in-stores merchandise from brands such as Mastermind Japan, A Bathing Ape (Bape), Beams, Fur Fur, Mercibeaucoup, United Arrows and many more.


“Pre-order sales are something I want to do more of,” said Yusaku Maezawa, Zozotown founder and chief executive officer of parent company Start Today. “For the brands, they get information about what’s popular and they know how much to produce of each item, so they can avoid having lots of overstock [problems]. And on the other hand, for the customers, they can always get what they want. If they go to a store, often their size is sold out, but if they pre-order they know they can always get it.”


In addition to ordering their favorite fashions, customers had the chance to take part in other special events throughout the two-day exhibition. Some booths gave away free gifts, including tote bags and balloons, while others offered unique services, like makeup demonstrations at The Body Shop’s booth.


Maezawa said that if all goes well, he hopes to make Zozocolle a twice-yearly event, with the next installment to take place sometime around next March.