This October, Japan’s avant-garde superstar designer is waiting for you on the runway.
Celebrated for her cutting-edge abstract designs, elaborate topknots and unswerving loyalty to monochrome colors, avant-garde designer Junko Koshino has been making the headlines for creating Japan’s most innovative runway shows for nearly six decades. From designing her own continuously evolving fashion label to crafting costumes for world-famous opera performances, the Broadway Show “Pacific Overtures” (for which she received a Tony Award nomination), and most recently, the taiko sensation Drum Tao, Koshino’s range of work extends to any possible definition of the word “design” – and that includes even fireworks.
Now, coming up on October 9, Koshino has partnered with Japan’s oldest department store, Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store, to hold a unique fashion show that will feature some of Koshino’s latest and most exclusive works – from her Maison de Junko’s AW2019 collection to her Japonesque collection inspired by the Rinpa School of art that flourished in Japan in the 17th century. The show, displaying movable works of art right in the heart of Tokyo, is free for the public and will feature some exclusive events you should not miss.
Junko Koshino: The Face of the Brand
Born in Osaka, Koshino has led a life inspired by art and design since her young days. Her mother, Ayako Koshino, was a designer and a successful businesswoman who raised Koshino and her two sisters – Hiroko and Michiko (both names should ring a bell) – alone after her husband passed away during World War II. Inspired by her mother, Koshino launched her career as a designer before even reaching the age of 20 when she won Japan’s prestigious SOEN Fashion Award, known as a shortcut to the fashion industry for young talent.
After opening her first boutique in Japan in 1966, Koshino’s career took off and a decade later she was ready to go global. In 1978, she made her debut at Paris Fashion Week; in 1985, she became the first Japanese designer to hold a fashion show in Beijing; in 1990, she held a fashion show at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, followed by another in Cuba in 1996, in Poland the year after, in Myanmar in 2009, and again in Beijing in 2015. Furthermore, Koshino produced the Japan Festival fashion show and the opening of the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in 2008, becoming one of the key Japanese designers to globally promote Japan’s fashion and art. Since 2015, she has been closely involved with the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Rimpa School, a classical Japanese artform that inspired some of her most recent “Japonesque” looks.
Thanks to her dynamic but down-to-earth personality, Koshino, along with her sisters Hiroko and Michiko, is today celebrated as a legendary figure who has managed to successfully position her brand at the top of the fickle global fashion industry. She is known for defining leadership in Japan and helping to promote the country’s culture overseas. Today, aside from her busy fashion agenda, Koshino also serves as a member of the Culture and Education Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a special envoy for the 2025 World Expo in her native Osaka.
Fashion, Music, Art: One-of-a-kind Fashion Show at Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store
In line with her versatile character and work, this October Koshino will be celebrating her work by launching a free public fashion show at the historical department store Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store. Held twice on the afternoon of October 9, the fashion show will present Koshino’s latest prêt-à-porter lineup, Maison de Junko Autumn/Winter 2019, and her exclusive haute couture collection inspired by the Rinpa School of painting, an art movement from 17th century Edo Period Japan that has inspired numerous creative fields, from fine arts to crafts and architecture.
Made using traditional yuzen dyeing and nishijin-ori weaving from Kyoto, the stunning Rinpa-inspired collection has to date only been presented at exclusive events such as Paris Fashion Week.
As is typical for Koshino’s fashion shows, the event will also feature a special entertainment session in between the two collections. Acclaimed soprano Sara Kobayashi, who since her debut in 2006 has been capturing the hearts of audiences across the globe, will be performing during the show, offering a rare opportunity to see her perform for free.
The event will also have a special pop-up store where clothes from the runaway can be purchased on the spot as soon as the fashion show is over. For three days until October 11, the store will offer prêt-à-porter works and customized items of the Rinpa collection (delivery will take place later).
Excited to meet the audience, Koshino will also be at the store in person on October 9.
“I’m thrilled to run a fashion show at Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store, a department with such a [long] history,” Koshino comments. “We have only one life and each day has only 24 hours. Let yourself be moved by each moment, each experience, because this is what makes our lives rich – look, eat, wear everything with curiosity. Live for the present,” she said in a comment before the event, adding that she looks forward to seeing everyone at the fashion show.
About Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store
Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store’s roots go back to the 17th century Edo Period Japan when it started as a store selling traditional attire. In 1904, it was officially declared as Japan’s first department store where art events would regularly take place. Serving both as a luxury shopping emporium and as a center of Japanese cultural promotion, today the store houses a number of renowned domestic and international top brands and a designated art floor equipped with an art gallery and exclusive stores. It is said that Japan’s first fashion show took place at Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store in 1927.
The store further provides private consultation services at its Personal Shopping Desk where experienced staff specializing in various fields are ready to assist customers with any personal requests, questions or concerns.
Fashion show and pop-up store details
Junko Koshino 2019 Autumn & Winter Collection Fashion Show
When: Wed, October 9, 2019
Time: 1pm and 4pm
Where: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store, Main Building 1F Reception Space, 1-4-1, Nihombashi, Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Junko Koshino Pop-up Store
When: Wed, October 9 – Fri, October 11, 2019
Time: 10am to 7pm
Where: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store, Main Building 3F Personal Shopping Desk, 1-4-1, Nihombashi, Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo