Thursday, July 25, 2013

#219- My two articles on July 25 in Japan (@SENKEN-SHIMBUN & @Weekly Gendai)

Yesterday in Japan (July 25, 2013), my two articles came out in Japan.

Article #1 is in Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion trade newspaper).

Article #2 is in Shukan Gendai (Kodansha, major Japanese publishing company’s weekly magazine).

#1: You are interested in Denim or Fashion business? Then, please read “Article #1: Kingpins Show in L.A.” below.

#2: You are interested in Psychic or Japan?  Then, please read “Article #2: Another big disaster in Japan?” below + below.

If you are not into fashion or psychic, stop reading right here. Have a nice day :)


*** Article #1: Kingpins Show in L.A.

July 9th and 10th, I was at the KINGPINS SHOW ( the KINGPINS SHOW is a boutique global denim and jeans supply chain show).

Again (I wrote about this many times in the past), I love KINGPINS SHOW, because the owner of this show Mr. Andrew Olah is the best = this show is the best!

Again + Again (I wrote about this many times in the past), Like attracts like…This word is for this show.

Anyway, I already talked (wrote) too much, so let’s get started!

Here is my translation (Japanese into English) of my article in Senken-Shimbun.

Ok… Here you go!

On July 25, 2013 (in Japan)
By Yoko Fujimoto, writer in Los Angeles

Headline: KINGPINS SHOW in L.A.
Good quality Japanese products are popular

Second Headline: Premium knit denim is growing

Denim and jeans supply chain show “KINGPINS SHOW” held in downtown Los Angeles (L.A.),U.S.A. two days mid in July. 47 companies exhibited at this show, and major denim brands in L.A. visited.

The owner of this show Mr. Andrew Olah emphasized, “U.S. premium denim market is still in the hard time, so we need to produce fresh products. Otherwise this market is not going to change at all.”

Kurabo pointed it out, “Skinny jeans are very good in the U.S. market, so we still have good sales with piece-dyed products. Fresh products are twill weave and dobby.” Rainbow Textiles was “stretch corduroy which soft and quick recovers stretch has need by consumers. Our sales are doing well with regular buyers.”

Toyoshima International America (which dealing with major brands such as True Religion, J Brand, Theory etc) exhibited first time in L.A. show, but they had great attentions from the major denim brand designers in L.A. such as Mr. Adriano Goldschmied, Mr. Tadd Zarubica etc. “The price point is very high, 30% more than the other company, but many buyers said great quality” revealed. Their fresh products are organic cotton, Indigo jacquard and cashmere treatment cotton which has everything from technic to quality.

The president of One-Any Co.Ltd., Mr. Daisuke Kiyoshi was very delighted and said, “Many buyers told me that Japanese products are very appealing and great, because they are so detail oriented such as salvage with spupima cotton. To touch, feel, everything is good. I am very happy to hear that as a designer.”

First time exhibitor Silvadur sold to denim designers for differentiation of their products, “after 50 times wash, the denim has still antibacterial effect on the material.”

Italian Job is also first time exhibitor, “We have been dealing with Levi's, Diesel, AG etc., we have many unique products such as cotton with leather treatment, special treatment for wool dye, blocked dye etc.”

Invista said, “Many companies (more than twice as much) are using Knit denim which is LYCRA with cotton. They are expensive that they charge $5-10 a yard compare to regular company $3.5-8,but this material is good for a new style pants.” Bluefarm Textile’s fresh product is Indigo jacquard.

Mr.Adriano Goldschmied analyzed, “Next trend will be baggy and relaxed. Sophisticated consumers are looking for made in U.S. denim.”

The president of California Fashion Association Ms. Ilse Metcheck who held the seminar explained, “At this time average teenager has 7 jeans, so when they grew up in 2018 they will purchase more jeans, and this market might be 560 billion dollar market. The denim market future is bright.”



(By the way, as I always mention, I don’t put any images/photos in my blog, because my concept of my blog is “Enjoy writings without any photos/images” and I always care about the copyright. You know what I mean?)

Senken-Shimun article’s photos by Yoko Fujimoto

Photo #1- Italian Job’s popular items
Photo #2- Organic cotton by Toyoshima International America
Photo #3- Knit denim by Invista
Photo #4- Bluefarm Textile’s indigo jacquard


*** Artcile #2: Another big disaster in Japan?

“Do you believe about the big disaster in September? Warning by an American who predicted 3.11”… this is the headline for Shukan Gendai (weekly magazine by Kodansha, major Japanese publishing company).

On this Monday (July 22), I’ve received an email and a phone call from the editor of Shukan Gendai in Japan.

This phone call was the phone interview about my friend and celebrity psychic, Mr. Ron Bard (if you want to know about him more, please visit his website or twitter page. please use google! )’s new prediction for Japan etc.

I have been helping Ron for his Japanese tweets sometimes (I am translating into Japanese from his English. Only for important & urgent messages to Japanese people. Our mission is  “Save Japan”) since March 1, 2013.

At this time, Ron predicted many things about Japan (including disaster in Japan, similar to 3.11 natural disaster), so Shukan Gendai featured Ron’s story & his predictions.

I don’t have a copyright of this article, so I can’t translate into English here, but if you have a Japanese friend who reads Japanese, ask them to read the article for you… or just visit Ron’s website or Twitter page and read his predictions.

By the way, I would like to share my thought (I wrote 16 tweets in Japanese the other day, please see below) about the psychic and fortuneteller.

So I translated my Japanese tweets into English… 140 words in Japanese into 140 words in English… it was hard to do it… Anyway, here you go!

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #1:
When I was a writer with anan in late 1980 (very popular fashion magazine in Japan at that time), I interviewed 13 fortunetellers for a feature article about fortune-telling. I remember that some fortunetellers told me, “You have a talent of fortune-telling”.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #2:
I remember about it, because psychic Mr.Ron Bard told me the other day, “Everyone has a talent of psychic. It’s up to us, we use it or not.”

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #3:
I have a good instinct. Of course, I am a human being, so I sometimes wrong. But most of the time, my instinct is right :)

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #4:
I believe my words (thought) more than other people’s words (thought), because my path will be with my words (thought). I mean I decide my path by my words (thought).

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #5:
But, sometimes we feel weak or we feel sick as a human being. So at the weak time, some people rely on God and ask for God’s help , or people think about the predictions or fortune-telling.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #6:
More than 10 years ago, I was almost scammed by a fortuneteller. That day, it was my late father’s memorial day and I had a bad headache, a Caucasian female fortuneteller stopped me at the South Coast Plaza, and said to me, “if you have dirty money, you will get serious illness” and she tried to steal a lot of money from me.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #7:
Since then (I was almost scamed by her), I lost interest for predictions and fortuneteller things. Because “answer is in me”… this is it.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #8:
But, there are many things which human power can’t resolve in this world. And some miracle things happen sometimes.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #9:
I am so glad that I met him for an interview, because he answered to my question perfectly. I asked him “Even I have a bad prediction, I believe I can change my future by my own power. How about you?” His answer was, “YES, YOU CAN”.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #10:
For example, Ron told me, “If someone has a prediction to have a cancer, but try to prevent. This person will not have a cancer.” I am so glad to hear this story, because I can live my life with my thought (hope).

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #11:
But, this person might be complain to you, “I didn't get cancer, your prediction is wrong”. Ron told me, “I don't care about my reputation. I care about person and I am wishing the person's happiness.”

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #12:
If the big earthquake or the disaster occur, but I believe we are ok. Because we are preparing with our mind, our food & goods & our safety system, and we have belief to be safe.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #13:
I read some articles regarding 3.11 on Japanese newspaper about the comments from the survivors, “right before the earthquake, my late husband told me to go to see my friend by the bus” or “I was praying, I am ok.”

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #14:
No matter what predictions are, I think it’s up to us to use it or not for our life. Some people says, “I believe only good prediction and I don’t believe bad ones.” I guess, this is the best way.

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #15:
When I was watching the news about the Boston Marathon Explosions, I thought “what if we had the prediction about it and many people escaped from it, the damage wasn't bad like that?”

My thought about psychic and fortuneteller #16:
Eventually we decide our path by ourselves. We believe others (psychic and fortuneteller) words or we don't believe others. It doesn't matter, most important thing is that we use the good information for our life.

Thank you for reading!

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles July 25, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Yoko Fujimoto

Thursday, July 11, 2013

#218- When Mr. Ron Robinson (a president of Ron Robinson at Fred Segal) was in high school…(@SENKEN-SHIMBUN /daily newspaper for fashion business)

As I promised with you in my previous post, I translated the article of Mr. Ron Robinson’s story about his high school period into English from Japanese.

Today (July 12th in Japan / Japan is ahead 16 hours of Los Angeles), the new teen magazine “Senken Petite-h” by Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion trade newspaper) came out in Japan.

I wrote a special interview article about Mr. Ron Robinson (who is a president of Ron Robinson at Fred Segal / APOTHIA at Fred Segal / Ron Robinson Inc. in this magazine.


Here is my translation in English.

“Senken Petite-h” magazine
July 12, 2013 (summer issue)

Back in high school

“I got what I want by myself.”


The president of Ron Robinson at Fred Segal / APOTHIA at Fred Segal
Mr. Ron Robinson

Interview & Text & Photo by Yoko Fujimoto (A freelance writer in Los Angeles)

“Fred Segal” is a long time established, famous, celebrity endorsement boutique in Los Angeles (L. A.). They have stylish and fashion forward products such as clothing, accessories, lifestyle goods etc. This boutique is also popular for Japanese tourists.

While Mr. Ron Robinson (who is a president of Ron Robinson at Fred Segal & APOTHIA at Fred Segal) was in high school, he was into fashion and he was wearing Levi's 501.

Then he wanted to work in Los Angeles of his dream. He quit University of Texas at El Paso and he started working as a sales person at Fred Segal when he was 19 years old (in 1968). At his age 29 years old, he got his own store, Ron Robinson at Fred Segal. Since then, he is a president of Ron Robinson at Fred Segal & APOTHIA at Fred Segal.

I interviewed him about “when he was in high school what he was thinking about?” and “what he did in high school? “. Here is his story.


“I got what I want by own money.”

While I was in high school I was always thinking about “how can I get what I want”, because our family was not super rich and I am the first son of four brothers, so I had to get my favorite things by myself since I was a kid (in 1950's).

Around age 9 years old, I really wanted to purchase a cool bicycle (it was $58) at the department store “Sears”. So I played a slot machine (with my mother’s help) and I made some money, and I used the money for a layaway payment for the bicycle.

Around age 13 years old, I washed cages of hamsters at the pet shop (where my parents’ friend was the owner) after school and on the weekends. I just made $1 for a day at that time.


“I had fun to earn own money by our company with my friend.”

While I was in high school, I earned own money.

My hobby was to dismantle clocks and machines and my father was a store manager of the major chain store of stereo system at that time, so I and my friend installed my father's customer's car stereo into their car. My name and my friend's name's initials is L and R, so our company's name was “L&R Installation Company”.

Our best time was, when we worked on the luxury car such as Corvette. We said to our customer, “we need to test your car stereo system, so we are going to drive your car” and then, we drove to the hamburger shop and we had a good attention by girls. We charged each customer $80 at that time.

I had this business during my high school period. “Time is money”, I learned this with my business.

I wanted to meet girls, so I was also selling the lemonade, but I didn't get any profit from that business (smile).


“I wanted to be a rich and I wanted to do something I like, this was my dream.”

My superhero was a “Superman” (comics) and I admired a superman, so I wanted to become a doctor or a veterinarian to help people.

But when I visited at my classmate (who is the son of Farah / fashion brand)'s house, I was so impressed by his lifestyle, “Wow, what a luxury lifestyle!”, and I strongly thought that I would like to be rich by myself more than my family!”

By the way, my mother and my uncle owned the maternity boutique and my father used to work at the major men's suit boutique as a store manager, so I was into fashion business. I guess I was unknowingly influenced by my parents.

My next dream is, I am going to purchase a jet and I would like to fly around the world.


Mr. Ron Robinson’s profile:

He was born in Texas, El Paso. He graduated at Coronado High School in Texas, El Paso and he quit University of Texas at El Paso when he was in sophomore of the business major.

He worked for Fred Segal for 9 years and became a vice president and has owned stores with his brand RON ROBINSON and APOTHIA at Fred Segal (APOTHIA established in 2000. APOTHIA is developing in Japan as well.) for over 35 years.

Two photos are from his 18 years old period. (Photo captions are:  He was thinking about girls all the time / In a car, he just graduated from high school.)

One more photo is his present. (I took his headshot in front of his boutique.)


Do you remember how you got your first bicycle?

I do.

When I was 8 years old, I wanted to have a pink bicycle, so I wrote about my wish in my note book every day for two weeks (“I want to have a pink bicycle. I hope dad will buy me a pink bicycle!”), and then my wish came true! My father bought me a pink bicycle...

By the way, as I wrote about “who is a good business person?” in my previous post, I would like to add one more thing… “Treat an employee like your friend”. The fabulous business owners always treat their employee nice.

Mr. Ron Robinson is very sincere and kind. After our magazine interview, he introduced me to his young employee and Mr. Ron Robinson treated his employee like his friend. It makes sense that his store is always fun & positive, because of Mr. Ron Robinson.

I hope you enjoyed Mr. Ron Robinson’s story like I did.

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles July 11, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Yoko Fujimoto

Friday, July 5, 2013

#217- Are you a fabulous business person?

I used to work at Entrepreneur Media Inc. (Entrepreneur Magazine) as a staff writer, so I can tell who is a good business person and who is not.

For 6 and a half years I have been working in Entrepreneur Media Inc., and I have been working as a freelance writer on the side… I am a good business person, huh!  ha ha… :)

[Who is a good business person?]

#1: Quick response!

I am noticing that successful (busy) people always reply to an email right away, which means they respect & care for people and they think quick (smart) to everything.

#2: Think like a business owner!

Of course, most of successful people are business owners. But…even though people are not a business owner, they always think like a business owner, which means they will bring a big picture and a good solution.

#3: Passion! Passion! Passion!

You know what I mean :)

[Who is a bad business person?]

#1: No response…

I am noticing that bad business people always reply to an email slow or no reply, which means they don’t respect & care for people. And they think slow (not smart) or they are not thinking at all.

#2: Think like a just employee…

Most of people are not business owners. And they don’t think like a business owner. So they don’t care company is wasting money (expenses) or they don’t care company is losing business. They just need a monthly payment from their boss, which means they can’t bring a good customer service or they can’t bring big money to a company.

#3: No Passion…No Passion…No Passion…

You know what I mean ;)


Why am I writing this?

I had some bad customer service experiences from some places lately.

Bad business #1: “If you don’t trust us, then don’t come to our store!”… This line came from the customer service person of the stylish grocery store on the phone.

Bad business #2: “Everything we discussed has been communicated directly to the community and they appreciate your feedback so they can better their customer service. Any further issues should be reported directly to the community.”… I suggested some business solutions for the corporate office of my place, but the corporate administrative assistant didn't send my words to her boss… even though I am a resident at the apartment building, I am thinking (worry) about the expenses and security etc. of my place… which means I am thinking like an owner of my place (the apartment building).

Bad business #3: I have sent an email to one business owner regarding a simple question. This person replies to a profitable thing for him, but he doesn't reply to an email for me… that's not nice…


Ok… I would like to share a positive story now.

As I wrote a story about my fabulous lunch with Mr. Ron Robinson (who is an owner of Ron Robinson at Fred Segal) on June 7, 2013 (, Mr. Ron Robinson's story will publish on the new Japanese teen magazine “Senken petie-h” next week.

I interviewed Ron about “when he was in high school”.

He told me, “I was always thinking about how can I get what I want?” and he has everything he wanted.

His high school time story is amazing.

By the way, Ron always replies to my email right away. When I had to interview someone for a Japanese TV news program (similar to 20/20), he said “YES!” right away, so I could have a great TV interview next day, and he was on Japanese TV (if you want, read my old post on October 16, 2011 “Great messages from the richest 1% in America”

And Ron is a business owner, but even though he was in high school, he did think like a business owner and he had an own business in high school.

And + And, Ron has a lot of passion for his business and his personal life.

By the way + By the way, this new Japanese magazine “Senken petie-h” will publish on July 12th in Japan, so after this magazine came out, I will translate the article about Ron’s high school time story into English from Japanese in my blog.

Stay tuned…!

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles July 5, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Yoko Fujimoto