Tokyo-Based Designers Reflect on the Effects of Covid on Fashion

While Italy may be at the epicentre of the pandemic at the moment, the Coronavirus crisis has been affecting every country, state and industry. 

Yet, how have designers been reacting? We talked to a series of designers who were supposed to present their collections at Rakuten Fashion Week in Tokyo and asked them about how, regardless of the cancellation of Fashion Week, they are reacting and planning for the future to come. 

Meanswhile

Launched in 2014 by Naohiro Fujisaki, this season’s collection was created with the concept of deconstruction and reconstruction in mind. There were many removable sleeves, collars and bodices – all of which serve their own purposes. Components of various pieces are taken apart and worn in conjunction with each other to create visually striking looks. 

“The effect this crisis has had on us is large. Between winning this award and preparations for our first runway show, it was disheartening to have all this momentum halted by such an unfortunate event. It will be hard to mitigate the negative effects of this, but as a brand, I also believe it our job to be able to adjust to the current climate. Even before this all occurred, the fashion industry had already reached a point in which change was needed, so this presents an opportunity for re-evaluation,” stated Fujisaki. 

Plans for the future? “Our goal would not be to sell products, but to provide a showroom-like environment in which we can accurately convey our brand, ultimately eliminate our dependence on dealers, and better serve our customers.”

Malamute

Founded in 2014 by designer Mari Odaka, the brand has been showing at Rakuten since Spring Summer 2019 and has always been characterised by elaborate knitwear created by local craftsmen and factories. This season’s collection called "One's Garden" was influenced by a museum on a small hill at Karato Teshima. The collection was inspired by artist Rei Naito and architect Ryue Nishizawa as well as influenced by land art and by contemporary artist James Turrell. A garden-inspired colour palette characterised the collection, from moss greens and stone to brighter tones inspired by flowers. 

“There will be some delays and fluctuations in sales and delivery, but there hasn’t been any significant impact at this stage. However, we have to continue thinking about what we can do in the future. Also, we used digital tools (live streaming and some Instagram tools) to present this season collection instead of a runway show, so we could expand the range of expression and showcase it to a large number of people (because everyone can easily see it anywhere on a smartphone),” explained Odaka.

 

Plans for the future? “The digital presentation was a good alternative plan and was able to carefully focus on what we wanted to express on the runway show, furthermore, a fashion film could be a good way of expressing what cannot be explored live. We would like to further explore methods of announcing a new collection suitable for each season’s theme and collection continuously from next season.”

NONTokyo

Characterised by a Kawaii-like aesthetic, the completely ‘made-in-Japan’ brand founded by Ayano Ichige presented their first collection at Rakuten Fashion Week last September. For Autumn Winter 2020, the brand presented a leisurewear collection inspired by camping and sports.

“We are a small brand and fortunately, for now, the crisis hasn’t impacted us much, but it may be affecting us in the following months,” stated Ichige. “Our E-Commerce sales are growing very quickly, and regardless of the slowdown the industry and economy, I feel that the value of things is gradually being re-evaluated through sustainable action. In the other hand, we expect that shopping can be a key action as a way to relieve stress for people who have lost a job or are afraid of going outside in public due to the coronavirus.”

Plans for the future? “We would like to do things that people can't experience without coming to place like a Runway show or installation and would promote things that can be active outside."

Forsomeone

Established in Tokyo, Forsomeone was launched in 2018 by costume designer Satoshi Ogawa. This season, it would have been the first time the brand was going to show at Rakuten Fashion Week, presenting a collection that would have explored the balance between darkness and lightness.

“This crisis has a considerable impact on us, but I would like to evolve and review and select various things that are important for us,” explained Ogawa.

Plans for the future? “I think this kind of crisis will happen again near the future, so I would like to rebuild our business model in a way it can survive such an emergency situation.”

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
Zalando To Only Sell Sustainable Brands By 2023
By Rebecca Hitchon
Europe’s leading online fashion platform Zalando has become the first retailer to adopt the...
By Rebecca Hitchon
Europe’s leading online fashion platform Zalando has become the first retailer to adopt the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) latest version of the Higg Brand and Retail Module (Higg BRM), a tool allowing the assessment of the ethical and environmental performance of brands. The Higg BRM...
Europe’s leading online fashion platform Zalando has become the first retailer to adopt the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) latest version of the Higg Brand and Retail Module (Higg BRM), a tool allowing the assessment of the ethical and environmental performance of brands. The Higg BRM evaluates areas like human rights, wage parity and carbon dioxide emissions.Zalando’s partner brands...
Maria Host-Ivessich and Alessandro Gualtieri Talk Extremes in Perfumery
By Maria Host-Ivessich
In Nowfashion's newly-minted column on scents, self-defined ''perfume-nerd'' and director Maria...
By Maria Host-Ivessich
In Nowfashion's newly-minted column on scents, self-defined ''perfume-nerd'' and director Maria Host-Ivessich delves into the role of perfumes in this decade and 'socially-acceptable scents' with anarchist Nasomatto master perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri.Alessandro, you are known for your genuine...
In Nowfashion's newly-minted column on scents, self-defined ''perfume-nerd'' and director Maria Host-Ivessich delves into the role of perfumes in this decade and 'socially-acceptable scents' with anarchist Nasomatto master perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri.Alessandro, you are known for your genuine inclination to push towards the edge, to be and without being defined. Our noses are (now more than...
Aurora James Has A Plan to Support Black-Owned Businesses In The Long Run
By Elisa Carassai
As ongoing police brutality protests continue around the world, fashion and beauty companies are...
By Elisa Carassai
As ongoing police brutality protests continue around the world, fashion and beauty companies are finally lending a helping hand - whether its through donations to anti-racism organizations or promoting Black creators through their platforms or spreading awareness about educational resources...
As ongoing police brutality protests continue around the world, fashion and beauty companies are finally lending a helping hand - whether its through donations to anti-racism organizations or promoting Black creators through their platforms or spreading awareness about educational resources available online and offline. Nonetheless, what can one do to ensure these efforts aren’t quickly...
The LF Markey Success Story
By Jessica Bumpus
By now, it’s well documented and widely known that London...
By Jessica Bumpus
By Jessica Bumpus
By now, it’s well documented and widely known that London is a fashion capital brimming with talent, creativity and exciting designers. Historically, its resume speaks for itself. But it’s also well known that so often, many of those designers and new...
By now, it’s well documented and widely known that London is a fashion capital brimming with talent, creativity and exciting designers. Historically, its resume speaks for itself. But it’s also well known that so often, many of those designers and new names don’t and can’t survive, gone as quickly as the hype that surrounds them. The current economic...
Meet Halpern’s Fashion Escapism
By Alice Ierace
“I wasn’t one of those people who knew I always wanted to be a designer.  I always loved clothes,...
By Alice Ierace
“I wasn’t one of those people who knew I always wanted to be a designer.  I always loved clothes, and the idea of fashion from a young age; my mother is superbly glamorous and had great style,” tells us Michael Halpern, founder of the eponymous brand Halpern.“I loved fashion magazines, and...
“I wasn’t one of those people who knew I always wanted to be a designer.  I always loved clothes, and the idea of fashion from a young age; my mother is superbly glamorous and had great style,” tells us Michael Halpern, founder of the eponymous brand Halpern.“I loved fashion magazines, and listening to my mother and her friends talk about what life was like in the 1970s of New York, it was a...
Adidas and Allbirds Collaborate on Lowest Carbon Emissions Shoe
By Rebecca Hitchon
Sportswear brand adidas has teamed up with footwear company Allbirds to develop a sports...
By Rebecca Hitchon
Sportswear brand adidas has teamed up with footwear company Allbirds to develop a sports performance shoe with the lowest ever carbon footprint.Despite being competitors, the brands want the future of the footwear industry to be more about collaboration than competition. “There is an urgent need...
Sportswear brand adidas has teamed up with footwear company Allbirds to develop a sports performance shoe with the lowest ever carbon footprint.Despite being competitors, the brands want the future of the footwear industry to be more about collaboration than competition. “There is an urgent need to reduce our global carbon number, and this mission is bigger than just Allbirds or adidas. Whether...
Gary Green’s Black And White Photographs Delve into NYC’s Punk and Post-Punk Scene
By Sasha Regazzoni
It was the summer of 1976 when American photographer Gary Green moved from the humdrum suburbs of...
By Sasha Regazzoni
It was the summer of 1976 when American photographer Gary Green moved from the humdrum suburbs of Long Island to a two-bedroom apartment in Lower Manhattan, the epicentre of the up and coming anarchistic wave of music known as ‘punk’, to work as a photographer assistant. Coincidentally it was...
It was the summer of 1976 when American photographer Gary Green moved from the humdrum suburbs of Long Island to a two-bedroom apartment in Lower Manhattan, the epicentre of the up and coming anarchistic wave of music known as ‘punk’, to work as a photographer assistant. Coincidentally it was also the year the Ramones released their first album and punk idols Patti Smith, Television and Richard...
Issey Miyake Releases Exclusive Documentary
By Alice Ierace
Issey Miyake released an unpublished docu-film that shows the birth and evolution of the...
By Alice Ierace
Issey Miyake released an unpublished docu-film that shows the birth and evolution of the collection Homme Plissé Issey Miyake and shares a message of freedom, movement and comfort as new codes for men's clothing.Opening with a scene from Flying Bodies, a video that captures the 2013 performance...
Issey Miyake released an unpublished docu-film that shows the birth and evolution of the collection Homme Plissé Issey Miyake and shares a message of freedom, movement and comfort as new codes for men's clothing.Opening with a scene from Flying Bodies, a video that captures the 2013 performance of the Aomori University Men's Rhythmic Gymnastics Team which marks the debut of the collection, the...