From February 15–17, over 15,000 people attended Rooms - one of Japan’s biggest fashion tradeshows. Now in its 22nd season and 11th year the event has grown into something of a powerhouse in the Japanese fashion industry with offshoots including a Rooms boutique in Shinjuku’s Lumine department store, a Japan Fashion Week showcase named Rooms Link which includes exhibitions and runway shows, and other trade events such as the womenswear-focused Living Room.

In its latest installment Rooms, which is supported by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and held in the enormous Kenzo Tange designed Yoyogi National Stadium, included over 400 brands in the fashion, accessories, kids and product design sectors. A well-balanced mixture of established brands like True Religion, Onitsuka Tiger and Herchcovitch and talented young designers like Bunka Fashion College’s Asato Goto make Rooms an eclectic destination for buyers and fashion junkies looking for a cultured blend of design.

More than 15.000 people visited Rooms
More than 15.000 people visited Rooms

Hitomi Ueda of domestic jeans and casualwear label John Bull said that the company chose to show at Rooms for the first time “because we want to get new clients and also just to see what this tradeshow is like – it’s a kind of trial for us”. While Taku Yoshimizu of the wonderfully named givemebackmydaughter said his design laboratory company was recommended the Tokyo-based tradeshow by friends, clients and other organizations in the same field.

Although a long-running and successful tradeshow it suffers from a lack of interest from foreign buyers and press. Rooms is usually attended by 99% domestic visitors with a paltry 1% made up of Chinese and Korean guests and the occasional European or American. Despite this Rooms representatives said that the biannual affair was an ever-evolving project which “succeeds in terms of business” and “is giving a platform for young designers to show their work.”