A tipster alerted us the other day to an interesting new addition to the official Tokyo Fashion Week calendar: American Apparel. Yep, the controversial purveyors of all things retro and cotton will stage some sort of show during fashion week in Tokyo and we were kind of confused about it.
Tokyo Fashion Week has experienced growth in recent years--last year, it became an official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and even more recently was purchased by IMG. Still, the news seemed odd: Why would a USA-manufactured brand--that has never shown during a fashion week before--show in Japan, especially during a fashion week that is more known for emerging designers than large companies like American Apparel? To confirm the news (you really never know with AA) and find out why, we reached out to the company and they explained everything.
"We wanted to do something new this year.. JFW seemed cool because it's a newcomer on the Mercedes-Benz fashion week scene and Tokyo is a city that is very open minded to new, creative ideas, particularly when it comes to fashion," Katherine Johnson, AA's Regional Manager for Japan & China told us over email. It's also not their first time working with Mercedes Benz--they collaborated with them on a Halloween party in Tokyo last year. "We approached the JFW organizers with the idea to do a presentation and afterparty and JFW really liked the idea." They're currently in the final stages of planning the show and finalizing invitation lists.
"Japan is an interesting market for us and a lot of our recent collaborations have been very successful here.. so it seemed like the perfect place to break the rules in a way.. I think we might be the first brand without an appointed designer that's showing at a high-profile Mercedes-Benz fashion week, so we're very very excited about it."
Breaking all the rules...how very American Apparel. Though, we imagine (and hope) that Japan is also a promising market for the company, and that this somehow leads to the indebted brand selling some actual clothes. Also, if you're planning on being in Japan during fashion week, we'd bet that after party will be worth a stop-by.