The dust has settled after the final show of Tokyo’s fashion week on Oct. 19, with Rakuten being the new official sponsor taking up the mantle after fellow online retail giant Amazon, who followed Mercedes-Benz. Featuring 42 brands on the official schedule, and a handful more off it, the week ran from Oct.14 to 20. And as it jostled with the Rugby World Cup for attention, it brought with it a familiar question: How should the week pitch itself to attract the global audience it deserves?
Tokyo fashion week’s battle for identity has always been between that of the runway versus the fashion on streets and it’s happened on all fronts. Online, collection coverage has been eclipsed by TokyoFashion.com and Vogue’s excellently curated street-style reports, while runway front rows buzzed with talk of up-and-coming street stars instead of runway looks.