Sunday, October 23, 2011

#161- Fashion+Food+Music+Book+Art = A Fun Week

Many economic words, “The Wall Street Protesters”, “Top 1% of the Richest in America”, “The Proposed Tax Increase for the Wealthy”, “Neoliberalism”, “Market Fundamentalism” later, my words changed into “Dress”, “Tops”, “Jewelry”…YES, this week, I was in the L.A. Fashion Market Week in downtown L.A. and I enjoyed the party at Fred Segal (RON ROBINSON’s store) on the 20th, Thursday night.


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At the L.A. Fashion Market Week (Oct 17th-20th):

I always have fun during the L.A. Fashion Market Week.

As usual, I visited many fashion trade shows, showrooms, fashion show and I interviewed many fashion designers, jewelry designers, owners of brand, owners of trade show, owners of showroom, buyers and PR people of brand for Senken-newspaper (major Japanese fashion trade newspaper, similar to WWD or California Apparel News).

Here are some highlights from the L.A. Fashion Market Week.


*** Fashion story: My scoops are top secrets before my article comes out on Senken-newspaper, but I can share some brands info with you.

* Highlights #1: Butter by Nadia / Miracle Dress!

One size jersey dress is a signature wrap dress. This dress is able to wear 30 ways (styles)! This is the “perfect dress for recession time”. The fashion designer, Ms. Nadia Tarr was at the SELECT show and she told me, “I was a dancer, so I love comfortable and beautiful shape dress.” She is so sweet & smart like her clothing line.

* Highlights #2: Bella Luxx / So comfortable top!

I got one black top from them in August, and I wore the top and went to their booth at the SELECT show. I told them, “OMG, this top is my favorite for this fall! So comfortable and stylish! I am going to wear this one to the Fred Segal party this week!” Then, Shauna(marketing person) said, “Oh, thank you so much for sending me copies of Senken-newspaper. I am so glad that you like the top. Here are some tops for you! ” Yes, I got light grey and dark grey tops of Bella Luxx. I wore light grey top with purple pants at the Fred Segal party (my friend M asked me, “What is the name of the brand? Nice grey!” YES, I did PR!).

* Highlights #3: Lydia Marcos Designs (LMD) / Positive power jewelry!

One of a kind jewelry by handmade. The owner and designer, Mr. Mark Kahnamouie is a former designer of Chrome Hearts. Wood = Jewelry. I wrote about this brand in August on Senken-newspaper, if you want to know about them, read my old post on August 10th, 2011 in my blog. I talked to sales people at the new trade show, COEUR. I wore a red heart ring (which they gave me in July) during the fashion market week and at the party at Fred Segal. YES, I am a writer and a PR (Volunteer)! ha ha ha : )


*** Food story: When Ed (the owner of the D&A show) is here, he always treats me lunch, but I was busy with fashion show etc and Ed was busy too, so I ate lunch by myself this week.

* Highlights #1: Barg Kabob plate+Yogurt Soda=1 pound gain

On Monday afternoon, I was walking around to find the chinese noodle for lunch, but I couldn’t find it and I found the middle eastern restaurant, Lilit’s Restaurant in front of California Market Center. I love fillet mignon! I ordered Barg Kabob plate (natural fillet mignon marinated in special sauce & skewered, basmati rice, grilled tomato, grilled jalapeno, shirazi salad, humus and pita breads) and Yogurt Soda. Soooooooo gooooooood! I don’t know how many times I said to them (the owners / Lili and her husband), “Oh…so delicious!!! I love your food!!! Oh…so good!!!”

They were smiling and laughing at me, because I was saying “delicious!” over and over! Other customers also were smiling at me too. I felt like I was not eating lunch by myself. The gentleman (who gave me his business card, he was next to my table) was talking to me during I was eating. (By the way, why Iranian man always ask woman, “Are you married?” Is this question common for woman in Iran???) Anyway, I ate everything on the plate and I showed my empty plate to Lili, and she laughed at me so hard. I am sure that she didn’t think that a small Japanese woman can eat that much. I told them that I am going to write about their food in my blog.

Here is their info: Lilit’s Restaurant / 109 East 9th St. Los Angeles, CA 90015 / Phone: 213- 489-5156

* Highlights #2: Every morning during the L.A. Fashion Market Week, I ate breakfast twice (at home at 6:30am and at the trade show, SELECT at 9:00am). Oh…SELECT show has sweet breakfast! On Tuesday morning, I ate two chocolate croissants, an apple danish pastry, a blueberry muffin and a cup of coffee (with a lot of sugar and milk).

* Highlights #3: Bang - Bang Chicken and Shrimp + Strawberry Lemonade + Linda's Fudge Cake + Cappuccino = 2 pounds gain

I became friend with Yukiko-san who is a president of BEAGLE HOUSE N.Y. (She sells some popular Japanese hat & scarf brand’s products in U.S.A.). I always see her at the booth at the SELECT show and interview her (chat with her). We went out dinner first time on Tuesday night. We went to the Cheesecake Factory (during the recession, we wanted to eat reasonable dinner) at Americana at Brand. Yukiko-san recommended “Bang - Bang Chicken and Shrimp (A Spicy Thai Dish with the Flavors of Curry, Peanut, Chile and Coconut. Sautéed with Vegetables and Served over Steamed White Rice) ” and we ordered two of them. I didn’t know that they serve Thai curry. Soooooooo gooooooood!!! Amazing food and fun conversation later, we ordered two large cakes and coffees.


*** Funny moment:

I always have some funny moments during the L.A. Fashion Market Week.

This week, I met a woman (her name is Susan) in the parking lot at California Market Center. On Monday, when I parked my car, the huge car suddenly came next to my car, her car was too close to my car…I was like, “No…please don’t park your car too close to my car”. My eyes were at woman's face in the car, and then the woman backed her car and parked her car carefully next to me.

I said to her, “I am so sorry, I was worry about the scratch on my car. My neighbor hit my car in the apartment parking lot in the past, so I always watch other car next to me.”

She was smiling and we chatted a little bit. She told me, “Come to our showroom at Gerry Building”. YES, I went to see her and we had a great time with her & her friends (the owner of the showroom and staff).

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At the Fred Segal (RON ROBINSON’s store) at Melrose:

Music+Book+Art, all in one at the party at Fred Segal at Melrose on Oct 20th.

Mr. Ron Robinson (the president of Fred Segal / Ron Robinson. Inc.) wrote me an email on Oct 11th, “Yoko, I do not know if you received this invitation? This is an amazing book, we are launching it on the West Coast, the cost is $1500. One of the most beautiful books on collectible guitars ever. There will be actual guitars on hand from Eric Clapton (the Blackie, which sold for $1,000,000 at auction.) Please come by and we can share a beer and listen to some music. All my best, Ron”.

This book party was for “The Guitar Collection: The Solid body '54 Edition Limited Edition by EPIC INK.”

It seems like a dream for musicians & guitar collectors, this book comes with companion book Stories, custom-made guitar case, certificate of authenticity, and signed museum-quality print.

Karen (who is a vice president of Fred Segal / RON ROBINSON) told me at the party, “We have $3 million guitar up there, so we have a security guy tonight”. Wow, one security guy was standing near by the wall (three guitars displayed on the wall).

I felt positive power from the wall! YES, I got a great power from this party.


* Highlights #1: Editor of the book!

When I arrived at the party, I asked Karen, “Which person is the editor and where is the author?” As I am a writer, the editor is the boss for us (writer/ author). I really wanted to congratulate to the editor for this book. YES, I met the editor, her name is Ms. Amelia Riedler (of becker & mayer http://beckermayer.com/ ). She is so sweet and we talked for a while. She seems like so humble, I really like her professionalism as an editor.

* Highlights #2: Author and President/Publisher of EPIC INK

One of the authors (there are four authors), Mr. Alan di Perna was so nice to talk with me. He has such a great passion for music and writing. He told me that it took one year and a half to write his part (50 pages out of 250 pages). The President/ Publisher of EPIC INK told me that this book is his idea, it took three years to finished (published) this book. The guitar collection and the musician’s stories are a great idea for music lovers (readers).

EPIC INK ( http://www.epicinkbooks.com/ )

* Highlights #3: Great painter & musician, Mr. JD Shultz was there too!

Mr. JD Shultz ( http://www.jdshultz.com/ ) is a painter and a musician. He showed me some his art work in his cards, so colorful, cute and fun! I felt such a positive & fun energy from him and his art. He explained to me about his innovative use of acrylics, painted on the reverse side of plexiglas, produce images that explode off the surface. He plays rock and soul music, and he gave me a CD “Human Brother - Vision Days On The Life Ride”. It’s so nice music. I can’t stop listen to his CD since Thursday. His music gives me a great & positive power. He is a true artist. He entertains people and makes people happy in the world. I am so glad that I met him and know his paint & music.


*** Special note:

Mr. Ron Robinson has such a wonderful business, fabulous life style and nice friends & customers. He always has stylish products & party at Fred Segal (RON ROBINSON store).

I had a great time at his party again.

Visit Mr. Ron Robinson’s store and see the book at http://www.ronrobinson.com/STYLOBJECTS-s/115.htm

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Life is really beautiful.

I hope you are having a beautiful day too.

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
October 23, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Yoko Fujimoto

Sunday, October 16, 2011

#160- Great messages from the richest 1% in America

Do you want to lose weight? If you do, read my today’s blog. You will lose a couple of pounds for sure!

I lost two pounds (now, my weight is 91 lbs. 3 pounds to go back to my original weight 88 lbs. Yeah!) within five days.


*** On last Saturday, the 8th

On last Saturday, the 8th, I got an email from the producer (Mr. N) of the Japanese major TV station, TBS TV (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc.) regarding the project for the special news program, “Hodotokushu” (similar to 20/20 or 60 Minutes) in Tokyo, Japan.

I had worked on this news program with Mr. N in the past for “Obama vs. Hillary” subject, “BSE (Mad Cow Disease)” subject, etc.

Mr. N wrote me, “This project is in urgent!!! Could you find someone who is a very successful businessman & the richest 1% in America regarding the Wall Street Protesters? And could you interview & shoot someone by the 12th, Wednesday and send us the material on the 12th?”

He knows me, I love “Urgent (Challenge) project” and I always make it.

But…wait a minutes…in my mind…“Now, it’s already Saturday afternoon…and this coming Monday is Columbus Day, which means, nobody is working for a couple of days until Tuesday…Oh no…!”

Me: Sounds like fun project! But, let me find out, I can find someone or not. Then I will tell you I will do it or not. It’s already Saturday here and Monday is holiday, so it's difficult to make contact people within a couple of days to ask & do interview on camera. I will try my best and I will let you know by tomorrow.

Mr. N: Oh…Thank you so much for accepting my project.

(In my mind…Excuse me…I am not saying “Yes”…Mr. N knows me well, I can do it no matter what happens.)

I made a list of 37 people (top 1% richest people in America) in L.A. area out of the top 400 richest people in America, just in case, if I can’t find someone from my contacts.


*** On last Sunday, the 9th

I called and sent emails to my 68 contacts…until Sunday morning. OMG…two successful people from my contacts said “YES” to this TV interview!!!

One person is my former boss, the CEO of Entrepreneur Media Inc., Mr. Peter Shea.

The other one person is the president of Fred Segal (Ron Robinson), Mr. Ron Robinson. I always interview him and write about him & his business in Senken-newspaper (Japanese major fashion trade newspaper).

YES! Anything is possible! I got the two TV interviews and shooting on Tuesday, the 11th.

I made an arrangement for the shooting (I got a cameraman) on the 11th and prepared for the interviews (I made a note of 17 questions for the interview) & shooting (I was thinking of the places where are the nice views in Newport Beach, Venice Beach and Hollywood.)

And I watched “PAN AM” (I can’t miss it, even though I was sleepy.) I love TV drama : )


*** On last Monday, the 10th

I have a good kind of OCD, you know what I am talking about. I am a perfectionist.

We (Mr. N and I) talked about the questions for the interviews and we also talked about the shooting (how many places & things we need to shoot, etc).

I perfectly prepared for the interviews and shooting (in my mind).

And…I watched “The Lying Game” (my favorite TV drama at this time) on time.

If my mother was at my place, she would tell me, “You should go to bed soon!”…Yes Mama, but I wanted to watch TV…

Oh…no…“Multimillionaire”, “Neoliberalism” and “Market fundamentalism”…so hard to pronounce them. I need help…!

Question #6
They seem to consider that a multimillionaire like you is an enemy. Are they your enemy?

Question #7
Some people think that Neoliberalism and Market fundamentalism have produced the gap of wealth and poverty, that’s why those people who cannot get wealth are increasing dissatisfaction, what do you think?

I wanted to make sure that my questions are ok, so, I called my best friend, S. She was so sweet, she helped me well.

Sorry Mama...I slept only three hours.


*** On last Tuesday, the 11th

In Newport Beach:

We (with cameraman) went to Newport Beach around 9:00am and shot gorgeous views of Newport Beach, and then we went to Entrepreneur Media Inc. at 10:30am.

I used to work at Entrepreneur Media Inc. for 6 years and a half (as a staff writer for Entrepreneur magazine Japanese edition. I was the only one Japanese at the company). I have so many fun memories of Entrepreneur Media Inc.

Peter is so sweet. He hasn’t changed at all. He is a very successful businessman and a very smart person. He has such a wonderful life story and he is a true Entrepreneur.

As you know, Entrepreneur magazine is # 1 for entrepreneur magazine category, and # 3 for business magazine category in U.S.A.

We had a great interview and chat. Peter’s motto is “Don’t give up”. Yes, I agree with him!


In Costa Mesa:

We had ramen (Japanese noodle) for lunch. I always create the great energy from good food. Yes, we got a great power lunch.


In Venice Beach:

We went to Ron’s house in Venice Beach.

OMG…I felt like, I was on vacation. Of course, he is the president of Fred Segal, he has such a nice taste for everything! His house is so gorgeous and we had a great TV interview and we shot his house.

Ron’s motto is “Do what you love”. Yes, I agree with him!

After this interview, we went to Fred Segal, Sunset Plaza (West Hollywood) and Beverly Hills for shooting.

10 hours, I worked. It was fun day.


*** On the 15th (at 1:30am in L.A. / 5:30pm in Japan)

I watched this segment, TBS TV “Hodotokushu” on the website, the free Japanese TV “KeyHole TV”.

The show went well.

If you want to know about this show, please read my report below (I translated the part which I did on this show into English from Japanese).


******** Feature story (The Wall Street Protesters):

Interviews with the two 1% richest people in America

*** Interview with Mr. Peter Shea ***

In California, Newport Beach

View: the Newport Beach area.

Narration: Protesters against top 1% richest people. What the rich people think of this movement?

View: The building of Entrepreneur Media Inc., entrance area (includes magazines), Mr. Shea was walking to his office and working at his office.

Narration: Entrepreneur Media Inc. publishes Entrepreneur Magazine and books for entrepreneurs. This company is a leading publishing company in America.

View: Mr. Shea’s face.

Narration: The CEO of this company, Mr. Peter Shea, he is the rich person in the top 1% category in America.

View: Mr. Shea’s face.

Narration: We asked his opinion about the statement of the protesters.

Mr. Shea’s interview: Company strives to make better society. I don’t understand why we as successful businessmen would be the enemy to them? Last 40 years, I developed many companies and created thousands of jobs.

View: Mr. Shea’s face.

Narration: Mr. Shea was born in the poor family and he started working at 12 years old.

View: Town in Los Angeles.

Narration: Mr. Shea has variety of jobs experience, such as a short order cook at the restaurant, a policeman, and a printer salesman. And he got many business opportunities to be successful.

View: American flag.

Narration: Mr. Shea made an American dream came true, so his view to protesters with a critical eye.

Mr. Shea’s interview: I think most of the protesters are just lazy. Basically, the United of States has capitalism, so if we work hard, everybody has an opportunity to be successful.

Mr. Shea’s interview: They don’t wanna work. The protesters spoiled by the government.

View: Obama’s speech.

Narration: Mr. Shea commented on the proposed tax increase for the wealthy by president Obama, “that is totally stupid.”

Mr. Shea’s interview: People like myself, we are paying tax more than 50% of the country. I have to ask the question, how much do you want? If we have to pay all our money for tax, then nobody don’t wanna work and nobody don’t create the jobs.


*** Interview with Mr. Ron Robinson ***

In Los Angeles, at the Venice Beach

View: Venice Beach.

Narration: Here is Venice Beach in Los Angeles. This place is famous for many movies.

Mr. Robinson: Hello, Welcome!

View: Introducing his gorgeous house.

Narration: Mr. Ron Robinson is a president of Fred Segal which is well known as a stylish boutique for celebrities. He is also a successful businessman started from the bottom.

View: Jacuzzi in the patio.

Mr. Robinson: Please come out outside. This is our Jacuzzi deck. So it’s a nice place to hang out, get a little sunshine.

View: Fred Segal at Melrose.

Narration: He owns six boutiques in Los Angeles and he sells fragrance and goods in the world.

View: Mr. Robinson’s face.

Narration: Mr. Robinson is also in the top 1% category in America, but he said, we should listen to the protester’s voice.

Mr. Robinson’s interview: Protesters have a voice, “Let’s make some adjustments. When the adjustments correct, I can pay my tuition bill, I can go back to work, I can afford to own my home and I can feed my kids”, that’s what protesters are saying.

View: Mr. Robinson is showing the magazine which he featured in.

Narration: He is to be positive about the proposed tax increase for the wealthy.

Mr. Robinson’s interview: United States citizens paid for two wars (Iraq war and Afghanistan war) and for the banks to bail out. Now, it’s my turn. If I can do something about this country and I can make change, I should help my country.

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I hope you enjoyed my blog and lost some weight!

Have a wonderful week!!!


By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
October 16, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Yoko Fujimoto

Saturday, October 1, 2011

#159- “The Last Message” from my English text book…

The other day, when I read my old English text book (New Horizon English Course for 3rd grade junior high school / for 15 year-old), I nearly fell off my chair.

The last chapter (Lesson 12) surprised me so much.

The reason #1: I don’t remember this chapter. Did I study about this chapter??? Is this my text book (or my brother’s)???

The reason #2: I am wondering this science fiction short story is good for children?

The reason #3: The story of atomic energy is too much for Japan now… but it’s good for everyone in this world for our future…

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The title of this story is “The Last Message”. (Sounds like “THE 2012 STORY”???)

The story starts, “It happened at the end of the 20th century. People on the earth were able to talk with people on another planet by radio. The name of that planet was Friend, and it was just like the earth.”

The girl from Friend sent the message to the boy on the earth, “We know that the earth is a beautiful planet. We can watch your television programs. Though they look like our old movies, they’re very interesting. They tell us a lot about your life.”

She talked about how people live on her planet. She said to the boy on the earth, “Our cars, trains, and planes are all driven by atomic energy.”

Ok…from here, it’s scary…

A few years later, the girl sent a message to the boy on the earth again.

She said, “We’ve been in great trouble since I sent you my first message.”

OMG…her story… They’ve built so many atomic power stations that the air and water are full of radioactivity. Sometimes they’ve had bad accidents. Almost everyone has become ill on her planet, Friend…

Her last message was, “Right now someone on television is talking about another accident at the power station near my city. Listen! Can you hear that big noise? Hold on, please. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Oh…No…She never came back…

A few years ago, she said, “We’ve been at peace for more than two hundred years.”

But a few years later she said, “This great energy (atomic energy) has changed our life a lot. But there was something we forgot. Though it was easy for us to think of peaceful uses of atomic energy, we didn’t know that we’d be at war with nature.”

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What do you think of this SF?

I hope this SF is not for us (for the earth)…we need to think carefully for our health and happiness…I am wishing happiness for everyone.

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
October 1, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Yoko Fujimoto