#171- “Am I an ANGEL?” ... during L.A. Fashion Market Week

Today (April 5, 2012 in Japan), my article (About L.A. Fashion Market Week) came out in Senken-Shimbun (Major fashion trade newspaper in Japan, similar to WWD or California Apparel News).

I always translate the article into English from my Japanese to people who I interviewed with (I also send the copy of Senken-Shimbun to people from post office). It’s just my appreciation to people who helped me and provided the great information for readers in Japan.

This translation, I would like to share it with you as well.

You know what I am talking about (If you want, please read my old post on March 19, 2012, “Am I a BITCH?” … during L.A. Fashion Market Week).

The translation is rough. If you have good English, please edit (read) it yourself :)


On April 5, 2012 (in Japan)

Rapid increase “ECONOMY FASHION”
L.A. Fall Fashion Market Week

Popular clothing is wear at will

By Yoko Fujimoto, writer in Los Angeles

2012 Fall L.A. Fashion Market Week held in Los Angeles Fashion District in Los Angeles, U.S.A. during mid March for four days. At this time, there were five trade shows, SELECT, FOCUS, TRANSIT, Designers and Agents (D&A) and COEUR.

Traffic was light including Japanese buyers. Well-selling goods were hats, scarfs and accessories. The co-owner of D&A, Ms.Barbara Kramer and the co-owner of COEUR, Mr.Henri Myers point out the trend of buyers, “Usually buyers spend 30% for accessories & small goods of their total budget, but last couple of years they are increasing to 40-50%”.

SYMMETRY, scarf brand from L.A. which exhibited at COEUR first time said, “Our products made in L.A. and we use good quality materials, wool and cotton are from Japan. Popular for many Japanese buyers, because products are unique with strap. The key to popular is one scarf able to wear fashionably at will”. At COEUR, Gabriela Artigas which is accessory brand from L.A. is also popular for Japanese buyers. This brand said, “We use Japanese pearl and made in L.A. Large-sized designs are popular for buyers in U.S.A. and Paris, and small-sized designs are popular for Japanese buyers in Japan.”

What consumers want? “One dress could be a casual wear or a dressy wear come up with belts, accessories and shoes.The product’s materials don’t need a dry cleaning, which means they don’t need to spend time and money for taking care of it” said Pip-Squeak Chapeau from N.Y. which exhibited at D&A.

Ms.Liza Stewart who owns the showroom at California Market Center for long time produces lady’s brand, Butterflyzebra in L.A. She said, “Consumers are saving money, so they are looking for the products which able to wear causal & dressy and reasonable price with good quality materials.” So she made a brand with terry fleece and jersey to comfortable to wear, and the products have a color blocking influenced by 60’s or 70’s. She explained about buyers, “The economy is getting better and there are some new stores. Online stores are rapid increasing as well. Designer and buyers are thinking of how we can save overhead and make more profit, and consumers are thinking of how we are able to enjoy fashion with small budget.”

There is one successful denim company which is increasing their profit 30-40% every year for 8 years with an unique strategy, the name of the brand is Adikted Denim which exhibited at FOCUS. Western denim crossover with fashion denim which has a special feature with bleach-out patterns and studs & embroidery. The co-owner, Mr.John Halvorson emphasized, “We are opposite to the PR strategy which focus on celebrities, we are giving away our products to regular people on the street or at the event. We would like to hear the feedback from consumers who wear our products. We also started our business from midwest which is not the trendsetting area. The words of mouth helps our business, celebrities like Taylor Swift and Sandra Bullock are shopping our denim at stores. We set our price by fair business with good quality materials, we are going to sell our products to 99% regular people.”

Since five years ago, western style fashion has been popular in U.S.A. BEAGLE HOUSE N.Y., sells Japanese hats and scarfs which exhibited at SELECT said, “Milsa is doing well with western style hat”.

Next L.A. Fashion Market Week will start on June 11 for four days.


How is my article? I hope you get something from it.

At this time, I feel so sorry for many people and brands, because I couldn’t write about them in my article (an editor in Japan cut some of my writing off).

Please see below. I hope this info will help them and help you.

TRUU Collection/ www.truudesigns.com
They are new and have a very unique business. Custom design for all size (0-22).

PERI / www.perithelabel.com
They are focus on eco-friendly and California style.

November / www.novemb3r.com
They are using Japanese denim and made in Italy. They are really stylish.

jaine K. / www.jainekdesigns.com
Comfortable & stylish shoes by handmade. The designer, Ms.Jaine S. Kim has studied in Italy how to make shoes.

Bella Luxx / www.bellaluxx.com
My favorite brand! So comfortable and stylish.

CORRAL / www.corralboots.com
Very popular western boots. Mr.John Halvorson from Adikted Denim is selling this brand. He has such a great energy.

Nice scarf brand from France.

KOKORO / www.kokoro-co.jp
Ms.Wakako Hagiwara is a designer and an owner in Japan. They are very popular for Japanese women.

And, I got a glass of delicious sake, Dassai (www.asahishuzo.ne.jp) at COEUR. Thank you for sake, Ms.Yumi Ohira.

And+And, I got a miracle delicious chicken sandwich & a special drink from Genesee (www.houseongenesee.com) at COEUR. Thank you for the lunch, Teresita (who is a co-owner of Gabriela Artigas and an owner of Genesee) and Anita (who is a PR person and a friend of her)!

I hope I was an angel for some people during L.A. Fashion Market Week :)

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
April 4, 2012
Copyright © 2012 Yoko Fujimoto

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