"KAKEHASHI Project" Young Professional Creators (Akiko Iwata, Yasutoshi Ezumi, Mayuko Ban, Takuya Morikawa, Shinsuke Morishita)

Dispatch in April 2014 (Fashion)

Young Professional Creators (Akiko Iwata, Yasutoshi Ezumi, Mayuko Ban, Takuya Morikawa, Shinsuke Morishita)

Period:April 13 – 20, 2014
Number of Participants: 5

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation in Tokyo
Orientation in Tokyo
 

Photo taken on Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
(Learning about U.S. history and culture)

Photo of Orientation at Parsons The New School for Design
Orientation at Parsons The New School for Design
(Lecture by Simon Collins, the project's advisor in the U.S.)

Photo taken with advisors and teaching staff of Parsons
Evaluated by advisors and teaching staff of Parsons
 

Photo taken at Parsons The New School for Design
Parsons The New School for Design
(Tour given by Kichisaburo Ogawa)

Photo taken at The High Line
The High Line (elevated park)
(Learning about U.S. history and culture)

Photo taken at The News Inc. showroom
The News Inc. showroom
(Evaluated by Stella Ishii)

Photo taken at Oomaru Seisakusho 2
Oomaru Seisakusho 2
(Evaluated by Ryuhei Oomaru)

Photo taken at Dover Street Market
Dover Street Market
(Tour given by Hanako Sasaki)

Photo taken at Ace Hotel New York
Ace Hotel New York
(Learning about U.S. history and culture)

Photo taken with Masako Kaufman
Evaluated by Masako Kaufman
 

Photo taken in Times Square
Times Square
(Learning about U.S. history and culture)

Photo taken at Parsons The New School for Design 1
Presentation at Parsons The New School for Design
(Preparation)

Photo taken at Parsons The New School for Design 2
Presentation at Parsons The New School for Design
 

Photo taken at Parsons The New School for Design 3
Presentation at Parsons The New School for Design
 

Photo taken at Parsons The New School for Design 4
Presentation at Parsons The New School for Design
(Question and answer session)

Photo taken at Parsons The New School for Design 5
Presentation at Parsons The New School for Design
(Taking photo with Simon Collins)

Photo taken at Parsons The New School for Design 6
Presentation at Parsons The New School for Design
(Interaction with the audience)

Voices from Participants

1. What impressed you most in this experience of promoting the charms of Japan in the U.S.?

  • What struck me the most was that in the U.S., if something is good they say it's good. In Japan, on the other hand, people say it's good only because someone else says so. The same goes for fashion, and I used to find this aspect of the apparel industry suffocating. Then I went to the U.S., presented my work, and had opportunities to communicate with many different people. This experience released me from the discomfort. I may have a chance to show my work in the U.S. in July 2014, and if I do I hope to create a business opportunity and engage in international exchange in the true sense of the term.
  • I learned through the opportunity to make presentations in the U.S. that there is strong interest in the work of young Japanese creators, and I realized that Japanese culture and technology are a powerful force that can compete on the world stage. I also received some great advice and guidance from the fashion professionals I met on this trip, and learned about the various factors necessary to break into the international market and the efforts made by fashion brands.

2. What would you like to pass on to people in your community and school after you return to Japan?

  • On this trip I was made aware afresh that in the fashion industry, Japanese fabrics and products are highly appreciated in the U.S. In future, as I build my own fashion brand, I hope to share this advantage with Japanese producers and clothing dealers and work with them to create something new. Although the textiles and apparel industries are said to be facing hard times, the trip made me optimistic about the long road ahead. I intend to share this knowledge with others in Japan and abroad.
  • Returning from New York I hope to share with others in the fashion industry the things I learned about branding, such as the concept and practice of branding and the media, sales and market-in strategies. It is not enough to design good clothes; how you present them—branding—is also important, and this is my message. I learned the importance of self-branding as well, something I will be thinking about going forward.

3. Please freely describe your experience in the KAKEHASHI Project.

  • On this trip we had the opportunity to speak to fashion professionals we would normally not have a chance to meet. It was a truly precious and exciting experience. This was my first time in New York and I was struck by the scale of the city. In our everyday life we hardly take the time to stop and think about the appealing aspects of Japan, but the opportunity to make presentations in the U.S. encouraged me to give careful thought to this issue, and I realized just how many attractive qualities our own country has. I was pleased to share them in New York and delighted that the audience took an active interest in what I had to say.
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the KAKEHASHI Project. Thanks to the generous support of the staff of the Japan Foundation and various organizations in the U.S., we were able to meet some great people and see many fine things. Thank you very much.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Youth Exchange Bureau
TEL : +81-(0)3-5369-6022 FAX : +81-(0)3-5369-6042
infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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