TOKYO – The Japan fashion season is set in motion this week with the first major trade show of the year, filling the floor of the cavernous Kenzo Tange-designed Yoyogi National Gymnasium from February 12th through Valentine’s Day.
Launched in 2000, Rooms entices around 15,000 visitors each year to trial 400 carefully selected brands that meet the organizers' standards of originality and creativity.
Womenswear will dominate the cathedral-like space. But with a drive to uncover the best new designers, buyers and specialty-store owners can expect to find the eccentric and avant-garde among the acres of coveted kawaii clothes.
Rooms, now in its 26th edition and run by Takanao Muramatsu, is based on the concept of giving new designers a unique space to exhibit their ideas. Thus, rather than booths or stalls, the trade show is divided into rooms so that designers, journalists and buyers can have cozier interactions.
Rooms, which takes place twice a year to kick off each fashion season, also includes an array of art exhibitors and ‘yellow booths’ – a discounted exhibitor space allowing students and younger brands a chance to build their reputations.
Among the better-known exhibitors presenting their collections for the first time will be the boutiques Beams, United Arrows, H.P.France, Barneys Japan, Ships, Tomorrowland, American Rag Cie, Sazaby League, and Restir. Department stores Isetan Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya, Sogo & Seibu, Printemps Ginza, Matsuya, Daimaru Matsuzakaya, Hankyu Hanshin, and Tokyu will also be present.
And in the ever-growing market for online fashion shopping, Amazon, Elle, Zozo, and Yoox will be showing their wears in their very own self-decorated rooms.
Rooms runs February 12 – 14 at Yoyogi National Gymnasium from 10 am until 6 pm.
Visitor registration is limited to buyers and members of the press who bring a completed form, available online, with their business card to the registration desk at the venue.