Forever 21 store opens in Japan April 29, 2009
Tokyo Girls Collection X Uniqlo X SNS Stylewalker
As we reported in March about the Tokyo Girls Collection fashion runway show and mcommerce, Japan is leading trends when it comes to creative new solutions for buying among young people. For example, in the past 8 years the Tokyo Girls Collection has become a huge fashion success, this year attracting more than 40,000 young girls in their teens and early 20’s from across Japan to experience the bi-annual stadium runway show held at the National Stadium Gymnasium 1. It featured 70 top models from popular Japanese fashion magazines, and more than 30 top brands representing what is called “real” clothes, or ready-to-wear, affordable styles similar to what’s available in the popular mall Shibuya 109.
The producers come from a forward-thinking agency called Branding, Inc. and have created several different platforms for shopping among today’s youth culture in Japan -ideas which we believe will eventually spread to the United States. For example, Branding own’s several online retail fashion sites, including Fashionwalker.com, Girlswalker.com, and Stylewalker.com. At the Tokyo Girls Collection show, fans can buy the clothes worn on the models via their mobile phones based on what they like as models walk down the runway.
Taken a step further now, Stylewalker uses a mobile SNS service called the Stylewalker SNS whereby you can dress your personal avatar in selections from the sites Doll Store and see how the outfits look, then opt to buy then online in real life. The most recent collaboration is the Uniqlo collaboration with Tokyo Girls Collection in a section on Stylewalker. Basically, some styles from the Tokyo Girls Collection shows are now available in the Uniqlo section in the Doll Store which you can get via mobile phone.
Such collaborations (similar to H&M and Second Life) all brings up the growing importance of new commerce solutions not only for trade shows and fashion runways, but via mcommerce. Tokyo Girls Collection and Stylewalker SNS and their collaboration with Uniqlo is a clear model for success, making shopping not only easier to a mobile phone generation, but also more interesting in terms of selecting, dressing, and sharing one’s personal avatar in new designs before considering a real-life purchase.
Forever 21 to Open in Japan
While many fast-fashion retailers are coming over to the United States, Forever 21, Los Angeles-based retailer, is about to open it’s first store in Japan on April 29, starting with a 19,000 square-foot space in trendy Harajuku. It will consist of 4 floors and be located near other fast-fashion giants such as H&M, Uniqlo, and The Gap.
Forever 21 buys products from various manufacturers who come up with the designs, whereas fast-fashion retailers such as Uniqlo, create designs for their store themselves. Like other fast-fashion retailers, prices are low and pieces are trendy, which appeals to many young consumers and especially trend-conscious Japanese. The store’s turnover is daily, which results in extremely fast inventory. It will be interesting to watch how Forever 21 does in Japan compared with other fast-fashion retailers.