The USA is not enough. Until recently, Magic had only focused on its home market the USA with its shows on the west and the east coast. But now it has extended its feelers towards the east. In collaboration with JFW-IFF, it has launched the IFF Magic Japan that debuted in April 2017. Here, Christopher Griffin, president of Magic Japan, SOURCING at Magic and SOURCING@COTERIE, explains more about the plan to introduce Magic Japan as a truly international trade fair for the fashion industries.


Why did you start a new fair format in Japan?

There are two main reasons for us to start in Japan. First: Japan was very high on our US exhibitors list of foreign markets they requested we enter.  Japan is the third largest fashion market in the world after the USA and the EU. Japan’s fashion trends influence the fashion markets of not only Asia but all around the world. And second: the Tokyo fashion community did not have a show they felt confident in, many had stopped exhibiting and we saw an opportunity to unify the market.

What was the first round like? Who attended the show? 

We were very pleased with the launch – the show was sold out, and we had record attendance. The show was visited by buyers from: American Rag Japan / Barney's Japan / Beams / Ships / Corso Como / Isetan / Joyce / Liberty /Merci / Printemps / Tomorrow & Co. / United Arrows / Anthropologie / Bloomingdales / Need Supply to name only a few.

Can you please explain the specification of the market there? What potential do you see there? 

The Japanese buyers have been coming to MAGIC for years – we knew our brands were doing business there already – it was a logical place to launch MAGIC.  Tokyo has a vibrant fashion community and it’s an amazing city – who doesn’t like to go to Tokyo?  It’s also a convenient hub for buyers from all across Asia.

What practical advice do you have for brands that want to exhibit there? What do they exactly need at their booth or for the communication with retailers? 

All US brands were curated – we wanted to make sure they were ready for Japan – proper sizing (small sizes), ability to ship, quality of their products in both design and construction.  We provided translators so they did not have to speak Japanese.

The next edition will be coming up in September. Any changes or add-ons planned for the next round? 

Yes, we created new areas for footwear, handbags and outdoor sports/active wear.

Are there any new formats planned in Asia or Europe? 

It took 83 years for MAGIC to go outside the US, so our focus for now is 100% MAGIC Japan.

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