Diginfo’s YouTube clip on the latest Tokyo Girls Collection event March 7

Tokyo Girls Collection has become a huge fashion success in its 8 years, and last week on March 7, the event in Yoyogi raised the bar even higher. The show, titled “Sparkling Girls” attracted 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.

What’s very interesting about Tokyo Girls Collection is that it represents the success of a new business model in fashion as the show is opened up to fans for $40 tickets, and combines fashion with direct ecommerce. Fans can buy the clothes worn on the models via their mobile phones based on what they like as models walk down the runway.

During this show, the Sparkling Girls theme was mostly ’80s with bright colors and angled patterns, plus skirts, shorts, dresses, and loads of accessories including oversized bags and fedoras. As always, the models are treated like rockstars by the audience as they walk down the extra long, high runway through the crowd to various music based on the themes of the show.

According to the event producer Branding, Inc., which also owns the online retail fashion sites Fashionwalker.com and Grilswalker.com, Tokyo Girls Collection 2009 brought in more than 57 million yen, or $580,000 on the spot. So instead of waiting 6 months for next season’s orders taken at invite-only industry events, the brands are showcased and available right away to consumers in a fun, fashionable environment. Tokyo Girls Collection events have become so popular that they also host various other events in-between the runway shows including fashion competitions, pop song performances, conferences, and networking opportunities for young girls. Which is a dream for sponsors ranging now from electronics to soft drinks, beauty products, and automobiles.

This year also had an environmental component as eco-friendly fashion and the environment continue to play a larger roll among young women concerns. Part of the proceeds of the event and sales of the Tokyo Girls Collection event T-shirts went to various environmental organizations including a large tree planting initiative in Japan.

This all brings up and interesting point: Since coming back from the last season of trade shows, many people have been talking about how shows must evolve to stay competitive in the fashion industry. Tokyo Girls Collection is a clear model for success, indicating that much can be accomplished by opening the doors to the public and showcasing current season apparel that’s available now -on the models on the runway, and as easy to purchase as a phone text away.

For more information, Diginfo News posted an excellent YouTube clip of the event.