Tokyo Fashion Week Shows Growth Amid Subdued Atmosphere

TOKYO — Japan’s biggest fashion event, Tokyo Fashion Week counted over 40 brands as participants in its latest edition, including a few that have started to see success overseas. And while attendees agreed that overall the season wasn’t one that people would be talking about for years to come, there were still plenty of positive aspects. The most recent season marked the first with Rakuten as the event’s headlining sponsor. The company took over the position from its biggest competitor, fellow e-commerce giant Amazon. The sponsorship ties in with Rakuten’s re-branding of its fashion business, which was formerly known as Brand Avenue. Now called Rakuten Fashion, it has an updated logo and a simpler, more user-friendly look that is similar to other online shopping sites for fashion items. Rakuten is using its association with Tokyo Fashion Week as a way to increase the profile of the relaunched platform. But as the sponsorship has only just wrapped its first season, it’s too soon to tell how Rakuten will shape the event overall. Without the big-budget shows of Amazon’s At Tokyo program, which in the past included brands such as Sacai, Undercover and N. Hoolywood, the most recent season had a somewhat subdued feeling

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