News & Runway


Sharon Feiereisen

The Japanese fashion community didn’t rest on Labor Day — Japan Fashion Week began Monday, September 1st and runs through September 5th.

This is only the 7th Fashion Week to be held in Tokyo and the fact that the tail-end of it overlaps with the start of New York Fashion Week could weaken attendance.

WWD spoke to designer Akira Naka who will stage his first runway show in Tokyo this season and said that Tokyo fashion has a strong impact in foreign countries in terms of street fashion, but in terms of runway collections it is still weak, saying “we need strong designers. We need lots more people who can express something special.” 

Not all see things in a somehwat pessimistic light however, when asked about his opinion Yukiko Sudo, who oversees the women’s contemporary department at Isetan, a store often cited as being supportive of up-and-coming young designers (they stock the likes of  Ato, Zechia, Akira Naka, Mikio Sakabe and Writtenafterwards), said Japan Fashion Week is a good chance to research and find new designers — “Japanese brands tend to be independent and have strong taste. With the view to the world fashion market, they are very interesting.”

Given all the innovation and trends that stem from Japan and the fact that Japanese designers are increasingly prominent stateside its surprising that Fashion Week in Tokyo hasn’t gained more momentum. That said it will be exciting to see all the interesting  to the collection from the 37 participating designer which include Li Lang, Junya Tashiro, and Ritsuko Shirahama. 

Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.