Rakuten has been growing its fashion footprint consistently in recent years. Back in August 2019, Rakuten partnered with the Japan Fashion Week Organization to become the headline sponsor for TOKYO Fashion Week, renaming the event to Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO, and acting as the event’s title sponsor ever since. In addition, the company launched the “by R” project to support Japanese fashion brands and designers in September 2020.
Since launching its Rakuten Fashion strategy in 2019 — aimed at promoting Japan’s fashion scene globally — Rakuten has continued to facilitate cultural exchange within the global fashion industry by empowering apparel designers, whether up-and-coming or well-known.
Backing brands “UNDERCOVER” and “beautiful people” for Autumn/Winter 2021
On his feelings regarding this season’s show, UNDERCOVER founder and designer Jun Takahashi commented, “Since we are holding the show in Tokyo, we want to convey the fun and power of a ‘live’ show.”
Through ‘by R,’ during Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO 2021 A/W, we hope people will fully enjoy the spectacle and otherworldliness of fashion.Hidenori Kumakiri, beautiful people designer
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of this seasons’ shows were held without a live audience and featured streaming sessions online in place of the in-person experience that were common during pre-pandemic times.
Beautiful people designer Hidenori Kumakiri also commented on his expectations. “Through ‘by R,’ during Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO 2021 A/W, we hope people will fully enjoy the spectacle and otherworldliness of fashion.”
While this season came with the added wrinkle of having to creatively showcase fashion in the middle of a pandemic, it also followed through in proving that there is certainly no shortage of talented designers who are fully capable of representing Japan in the global fashion world.
Rakuten’s fashion initiatives will continue to uplift local designers in upcoming seasons, in the hopes of broadening their horizons and supporting their aspirations.