Shopping street transformed into a runway.Challenging of Paris’s Fashion brand KOCHÉ
Models walked through "Harajuku-dori (known as Tonchan Street)” in the Harajuku shopping area, as spectators watched with smartphones in their hands. The shopping district, where shoppers strolled around just moments ago, was hit with a rush of excitement.
Tokyo Fashion Week, organized by the Japan Fashion Week Organization, has chosen Shibuya Hikarie and Omotesando Hills as locations for their show which took place from 10/17~23.
Starting this season, the crown sponsorship has been changed to Amazon Japan LLC, and the event name was modified to “Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo” to symbolize a new beginning. However, the presentation style remains unchanged, as familiar brands present their new Spring/Summer 2017 collections.
This season, the focus of attention was “KOCHÉ”, a brand launched in Paris, and featured by concept store “H Beauty & YOUTH” by UNITED ARROWS.
KOCHÉ is a brand that mixes high fashion and street culture, launched by young designer Christelle Koche in 2014. It was chosen as a semi-finalist for the 2016 LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize (LVMH Prize). Paris Fashion Week has always been held at public places such as arcade streets and shopping malls. Here in Tokyo, the shopping street of Harajuku has been chosen for the show.
Lighting equipment was assembled in the still light shopping area as groups of photographers stood by and clueless shoppers walked past with expressions that say, “What’s going on?” Thirty minutes prior to the show, spectators began gathering, and the whole area, starting from the middle of Tonchan Street to the main street, became standing areas for spectators.
By the time the show started, the sun had set completely, and street lights lit up. Music was turned on, and models began prancing vibrantly from a distance.
Street kids involved in Harajuku and fashion, such as Emi Suzuki, SUMIRE, photographer Rei Shito, and YOON from jewelry brand “AMBUSH®”, appeared on the runway as models.
A variety of styles were introduced, including styles with a fierce look, fashionable yet sporty sweats influenced by Japanese school gang style, Japanese-style dresses and clothing with Asian taste embroidery, and lingerie taste camisoles coordinated with pants. The diversity of the show expressed street culture which produces various styles on a daily basis.
The shopping area was wrapped in excitement, as Harajuku became a festival of music, models, and clothes. For the finale, models held lanterns in their hands and quietly retreated.
The fashion industry has been on a downward trend worldwide. Since last season, discussion has been in the air to introduce a “See Now, Buy Now” service which allows spectators to purchase newly presented items on the spot.
In Japan, fashion events for consumers, such as the Tokyo Girls Collection, have already incorporated this system, allowing common consumers to enjoy fashion shows. On the contrary, Fashion Weeks seems to be targeted towards industry people and fashion geeks. A “See Now, Buy Now” system may be beneficial for them… though easier said than done.
Another approach would be to leave an intense enough impression, so that the clothes are recognized in the stores months after the show. The key in accomplishing this is not in the use of celebrity models. It is in presentation, location and direction which convey the style and season theme of the brands.
Though “Koche” was already a high-profile brand, this show has contributed in leaving an even stronger impression in Japan. There are some Japanese brands with an equally distinct style, which also attracts many fans.
Dressing models and walking them down a runway is no longer enough to present a brand. It has become crucial to consider the background of the brand along with the environment surrounding it, in order to truly convey its appeal.Text: Kaori Tomabechi
Picture: Kaori Tomabechi
Translation: Yukie Haneda
KOCHÉ STANDS AT THE CROSSOVER OF HIGH FASHION, STREET CULTURE AND CONTEMPORARY ART.
THE COLLECTIONS ARE PRODUCED BY SOME OF THE MOST SPECIALIZED ARTISANS, INCLUDING THE FRENCH MAISON D'ART LESAGE, MONTEX & LEMARIÉ, ITS INTENSE AND DISTINCT ATTITUDE OFFERS A VERY CASUAL, YET HIGHLY LUXURIOUS APPROACH.
MODERN, ELEGANT AND REFINED, KOCHÉ PROPOSE AN INTRIGUING NEW ANGLE TO FASHION.
KOCHÉ IS PRESENTING ITS COLLECTION DURING THE OFFICIAL PARIS FASHION WEEK AND HAS NOW MORE THAN 30 SELLING POINTS ALL OVER THE WORLD.
3-14-17 Minami-aoyama Minatoku Tokyo 1070062 Japan
H BEAUTY&YOUTH 11A.M.－8P.M.
PIZZA SLICE 11:30A.M.－11P.M.