a shaded view on fashion, Midwest, Tokyo, Japan, Isetan, Venom, Walpulgis, Fancyhim, Parlour, Gyoza rou, Shinjuku, Koenji, S.C.U.M., Fad Gadget, Ulterior, Haus Arafna, DAF, Rock Bar Mother, Kuro Benz, Mouth, Scoute.org, A-Magazine, Sang Bleu, Arena hommes plus, Encens, Lurve, Diet Butcher Slim Skin, Phenomenon, Givenchy
Taka Arakawa is the founding father of what is now BLOW Presents. Taka kicked off BLOW Presents with its first show in S/S 09 featuring Komakino, Gemma Slack, and Craig Lawrence. It is safe to say that without this initial event and without Taka’s inspiring motivation, we would likely not be here. So, although Taka has since returned to Tokyo, Japan to do PR for Japanese concept store Midwest, we can still feel him watching over the BLOW Presents team as we prepare for the S/S 11 shows !
Check out our interview with Taka below!
You recently moved back to Japan after living in London for many years. Tell us all about Tokyo:
Favorite Club: Walpulgis, Fancyhim, and Parlour.
Favorite Restaurant: Gyoza rou. I love dumplings and they do amazing ones in Shinjuku.
Favorite Location: Koenji.
Favorite Bar: Rock Bar Mother
Favorite Vintage Shop: Kuro Benz and Mouth.
Favorite Emerging Japanese Designers: Diet Butcher Slim Skin, and Phenomenon
Next Samples Sales: GIVENCHY
What are your main duties within Midwest?
I do the PR for the menswear as well as for the store itself.
What is the concept/ idea behind Midwest and fashioncore-midwest.com?
The boutique carries all of the current fashion trends and is the core of the fashion industry.
You are a blogger yourself and your blog is included in changefashion.net, tell us more about it.
I never considered myself a blogger because nowadays blogs have the same power as the media. I use my blog more as a diary in the sense that it is a mixed media code based on my own ideas and thoughts.
What is exciting about the Japanese fashion scene at the moment?
A few young designers have started forming a community and they have been trying to change the whole fashion scene in Japan. There are so many underground labels that are not well known internationally despite the fact that they create pieces that are more interesting than the mainstream pieces.
For example, Phenomenon did an amazing runway show last fashion week. It was really strong and beautiful, and I felt as if I was watching a European Menswear show. I got the same feeling from watching that show that I did when Raf Simons first turned up. I know that it is only a matter of time before they become internationally renowned.
What are the major differences between British and Japanese Fashion weeks?
Fashion week in Japan is definitely more commercial, so there are not as many spaces for young designer to show their collections.
Fashion wise, is there a city or place in the world that particularly interests you at the moment and why?
I will always be fascinated by London because of the young energy in the city.
Where, how or from whom did you learn the most about fashion?
My aunt was actually fashion model and so she has always been one of my main influences. I was also a big fan of Jean Paul Gaultier when I was younger, and my aunt even took me to one of his exhibitions.
If you could change one thing about London Fashion Week, what would it be?
I would make Mens Fashion Week separate. I think that there should be a separate date around the same time as Mens Fashion week in Paris rather than the last day of London Fashion week.
From your point of view, what are the main differences between Fashion PR in London and Tokyo?
The main difference is that the press we have in Japan is more catalog rather than editorial, which makes the entire system different.