I've been sitting on this post for a while but I finally found time to sort through my Tokyo pics and compile this little photo diary of my trip below. As you know, I was in Tokyo for a 4 day tradeshow called Roomslink Tokyo
. This was my first ever tradeshow and the weeks preceding the trip were a bit of a manic dash to complete samples and print lots and lots of linesheets/flyers/press releases. I arrived feeling very nervous but excited to finally be in a city that has fascinated me since childhood. This was the view from where we were staying... it seemed right out of Lost in Translation.
Except I wasn't filled with melancholy...
Everyday, we commuted into Shibuya where the tradeshow was being hosted. I was pretty excited to be experiencing the archetypal Tokyo subway commute... and I couldn't help but be amazed at how calm and collected everyone was despite the crowds. I even got to witness a white gloved assistant packing the trains to full capacity during rush hour
This is me being a poser on the Shibuya crossing. I've been a city dweller my whole life but even I found this piece of urban engineering something to behold.
This was the entrance to Roomslink. Very cool and club like...I had one rail and 2 mannequins in my booth and the first thing we did upon arrival was steeaaaam everything. Roomslink is a super organised fair and they had little steamers in cute flowery bags that you could borrow. We decorated our Book of Deer display with flowers and pics from our SS14 photoshoot. My booth was prime positioned for people watching. It was situated smack bang in the centre next to a coffee cart so I got to check out all the cool people walking around. We had an array of visitors, ranging from local fashion students to buyers to bloggers. I was very fortunate to have my Japanese brother-in-law manning the booth with me. This made engaging with visitors much easier. The most essential moment of any meeting in Asia is the exchanging of namecards and I was happy to leave the show with a small pile of contacts to follow up on. The tradeshow was a good experience not only in potentially broadening Book of Deer's exposure but hopefully in also building relationships with people across more sectors of the Fashion industry. I not only enjoyed hearing feedback from buyers but also students and other designers. The majority of brands were from Japan but there were also brands from Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong. I discovered some brands to add to my favourites list....Migh-T by Kuniko Watari from Osaka, Painkiller from Bangkok and 202FACTORY from Korea.
I already knew that food is a major attraction of Tokyo but I didn't expect the food at the tradeshow to also live up to the hype. There were new vendors each day, ranging from bicycle carts selling bread to gourmet ice lolly stands. Presentation is key in Japan and everything was packaged so beautifully! ..But the food outside the tradeshow? Well that was even better! Each meal was an oppotunity to try something new and I think it's safe to say I took advantage of the excuse to be greedy. Now as the main purpose of this trip was work, I didn't have much time to explore Tokyo's many shopping districts... most regretfully I had to skip Harajuku. I did manage to spend one glorious evening at the famous Shibuya 109 mall though. This mall is a complex of small themed boutiques targeting the early 20s consumer. The main trend seemed to be the pop, graphic, cartoony attire favoured by celebrities these days but there were also a lot of shops serving the kawaii, fairytale look. I did notice that regardless of fashion subculture hems were very very short, heels very high and knee high socks popular across the board. Prices weren't cheap despite this being a young person's shopping mecca but me and my sister left with a decent haul. I got an adorable velvet pinafore and 2 cute hats. My sister got some dance tops and printed tights. And so concludes my trip to Japan! It seems quite surreal now as the whole thing passed in a flurry of stress, excitement and frantic activity. It's safe to say I will be back, Tokyo!.. and I hope to be announcing some Japanese stockists before long.