Tokyo is one of the world’s most influential fashion hubs and home to some of the most trendy young people today. Head to one of the city’s shopping districts of Shibuya or Harajuku and you’ll find hundreds or thousands of young men and women shopping for (and wearing) some of the hottest trends. Although Japan has been a huge market for luxury European brands, the younger generations are becoming more interested in the hip, more affordable foreign (H&M, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch) and Japanese brands.
In order to showcase and promote local brands, Branding Inc., a company that also runs girlswalker.com and fashionwalker.com, began the Tokyo Girls Collection (TGC) fashion event in 2005. The unique blend of Tokyo street fashion and music is held twice a year and attracts over 20,000 visitors, mostly 20-30 year old stylish, fashion-conscious women. Tickets to the event run between 5500 and 7500 yen. The program includes a fashion show featuring more than 20 brands and 70 celebrity models, live musical performances by some of Japan’s top artists, charity auction, and other cosponsored events.
All of the clothes are wearable and catered toward the general female public. Apparently, the event has attracted a large amount of media attention both locally and abroad, has had a large influence on what Japanese girls wear, and has helped sales of the particular brands and items in the shows.
What makes it unique?
The TGC spotlights the latest in “everyday” fashion as opposed to “art” fashion that is usually the focus of a catwalk show. Styles reflect the local culture and are made for real people. Unlike many fashion shows, the TGC is open to the public, not just fashion industry people. One of the most unique aspects of the event is the use of ecommerce. During the show, visitors can purchases items they see on the runway instantly by accessing sites via cell phones.
Tokyo may not offer the amazing bargains found in China or other Asian countries, but the latest styles, sheer number of choices, and relative affordability draws not only locals, but also shoppers from around the world. Next spring the TGC will begin bringing Japanese fashion to Asia with a show in Beijing. Although shows have been held there before, this is the first time it will be open to the public. TGC also has plans to head to Singapore and Taiwan.
Tokyo Girls Collection site: http://gw.tv/tgc/