Tokyo Fashion Week as a visitor to Japan

Undeniably influential to the development of the modern fashion landscape, Tokyo is widely considered a mecca for fashion enthusiasts for its distinct range of aesthetics and environment that allows for the proliferation of upcoming and unique brands. The twice-yearly Tokyo Fashion Week, sponsored by Rakuten, is where this distinct culture comes out in full force with a number of different runway shows, exhibits, and events every day for the span of a week. In conjunction with this, fashion enthusiasts, both industry and hobbyist alike, adorn their most extravagant and eye-catching attire to suit the occasion. 

Fashion Week 2024 A/W

Fashion Week 2024 A/W

Joshua Mueda

Occurring twice a year in mid-March for that year's Autumn/Winter collections and then late August to early September for the following year's Spring/Summer collections, Tokyo Fashion Week operates much like Fashion Weeks in other major cities throughout the world like Paris, New York, and Milan. 

Select brands, both up-and-coming and well-established, have the opportunity to display their newest collections via runway shows or other forms of presentations. For many smaller labels, a Fashion Week feature symbolizes a kismet opportunity to establish themselves on the global stage. 

For Tokyo Fashion Week, many of these brands will be based in Asia or have major operations within Japan. This can be a great way for those with an interest in Asian fashion to discover new brands. However, there are often international brands on display and a medley of visitors from all over the world who come out to participate in watching runway shows, exhibitions, and other events. 

Events are usually held in the city’s most recognizable fashion-centric neighborhoods, including Omotesando, Harajuku, and Shibuya, though there are many events and showings held in more obscure locations. 

Runway look at Viviano 2024 S/S

Runway look at Viviano 2024 S/S

Joshua Mueda

Maison de R Runway Show F/W 2024

Maison de R Runway Show F/W 2024

Joshua Mueda

After show photography at Dr. Maaya 2024 F/W

After show photography at Dr. Maaya 2024 F/W

Joshua Mueda

Fashion Week presents itself as an opportune time for fashion bloggers, influencers, journalists, and hobbyists to document the goings on in the industry. As previously mentioned, a majority of these events are limited to industry personnel on an invite-only basis. In fact, some locations of shows are kept secret except until invitation recipients are notified. 

However, many of these shows have their locations posted on the official Rakuten Fashion Week website, allowing those wanting to take street snap photos to wait outside for individuals like models and other industry personnel to come out. If you get the chance to receive an invitation to a show, it's a one-of-a-kind experience that most visitors to the country cannot boast about!

Under the circumstances of Fashion Week, pictures of Tokyo’s (and often, the world’s) most fashion-savvy individuals are more than expected. A combination of well-established fashion-media personnel and rookie street fashion photographers can be found taking pictures after these events close. Keep track of the schedule of the Fashion Week events and their locations to snap some pictures and meet some people with similar, fashion-centric interests!

In fact, wandering the streets of neighborhoods where these events often take place, such as Aoyama, Omotesando, Harajuku, and Shibuya, will entail encountering Tokyo’s uber-fashionable. It’s during Fashion Week, especially, that these people will be pulling out the stops with their most eccentric outfits. 

For those wanting to catch up with new collections and such, there are a number of exhibits hosted by brands that can be entered without invitation or cost. Often, these exhibits will be held in the flagship stores of these brands. Of course, information on this can be found on the official Rakuten Fashion Week website for that year. 

Street snaps at Mikage Shin 2024 F/W

Street snaps at Mikage Shin 2024 F/W

Joshua Mueda

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