Despite the many recognizable fashion faces in Tokyo this weekend, Wintour was the one who “ascended to rock star status,” according to WWD (of course she’s ‘big in Japan’). Apparently, shoppers were following her, yelling her name and constantly snapping photos. But the Conde team wasn’t just there for photo ops. They were there to support Japan in reinvigorating their retail business post-earthquake and take in Japanese fashion.
According to WWD, Conde chairman Jonathan Newhouse broke into song at one of the FNO events and Wintour, after visiting with several local designers, told the Wall Street Journal all about her enthusiasm for Japanese fashion and the role it has globally. Plus, she had some interesting–and commendable–things to say about the criticism placed on women in positions of power in response to Japanese Cabinet Minister Renho’s controversial Vogue photoshoot from last year.
On Japanese street style compared to that of the New York and Europe:
This is just original and fearless and independent and individual. It reminds me, in a way, of the streets of London. They have fun with it.
It’s just fantastic to see so much creativity on the street. You really don’t see that so much in New York. It tends to be a much more blue-jeans-and-T-shirt world.
There was a lot of hair, a lot of hair going on. Mostly colored hair. And actually, I have to say that the young men tend to take a little bit more risk than the women. It was fantastic.
On how Japanese designers could build a broader audience by being more like Michael Kors:
I think what they really need to work a little more on possibly is more global recognition. That does mean really visiting New York, visiting London. I think today, particularly, the customer is very interested in personal contact.
Somebody who is like a Michael Kors, who is here with us to celebrate Japan’s Fashion’s Night Out, goes on a trunk show, which is an old-fashioned way of when you brought your trunks to the department stores to show your clothes to the customer — I mean, speaking just for the Americans, they love it. They love to know the designer.
On Japanese minister of government revitalization Renho being reprimanded by lawmakers for posing inside Japan’s parliament building for a Japanese Vogue photo shoot:
When women are in positions of power, and they’re featured in a women’s magazine like Vogue…they tend to be incredibly unfairly criticized. It’s an incredibly old-fashioned approach. Just because you’re in a position of power, and you look good and you enjoy fashion — does that mean you’re an idiot, or that it’s not seemly to be in a woman’s magazine? If a man is in GQ, they don’t get the same kind of criticism.