Market Visit December 2010 / January 2011

Fashion Mission Hits Tokyo

Exchange rate helps unique and quirky British designs sell well

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) organized a Fashion Sector Market Visit to Tokyo on 8-12 November for the British industry to meet local buyers, agents and the media, as well as to make contacts and learn more about the opportunities in Japan.

Rachael Bayfield, head of trade, UKTI Japan, said: “Japan is the third biggest consumer of fashion and accessories from the UK, after Europe and the US. Unique and quirky designs distinguish UK brands from other competitors; the favourable exchange rate is also encouraging buyers to think ‘British’”.

For many designers, Japan is one of the earliest markets to invest in their brands. To fully exploit Japan’s business potential, experts say it is vital to visit the country to better understand the people and the culture.

It takes time and patience, but as many British companies have found, it repays the effort many times over.

Here’s a selection of items exhibited by some of the firms at the exhibition space of Vulcanize London in Aoyama.

Lucas Jack uses recycled 18-karat gold

Smart Turnout classic men's clothes and accessories

Mimi Berry designer bags and purses

Pink Lining bags for “yummy mummies”

Nicky Thomson’s knitted fashion and interiors

Heritage Research — handmade originals, modern cut

Rakish Heels: “luxurious, glamorously different”

Irwin & Jordan: Savile Row tailoring, contemporary cuts

Sibling technicolour knitwear label for men