Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo 2021 SS – Overview

This season’s fashion was a bit more reserved, streamlined and functional than in previous years with masks making a common style, and the runway felt subdued as if this is all that 2020 has left to offer after the pandemic shut down the world.

While not as hyped as its “Big Four” counterparts, Tokyo Fashion Week is a hub for innovative design and cutting-edge fashion. The city alone is lauded for its bold street style, a place where there are no rules and self-expression is at the forefront of fashion. Home to designers and labels like Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons, Tokyo has established itself as a fashion-forward playground, a melting pot of design, culture and trends.

It is then no surprise that Tokyo Fashion Week follows suit, a display of talent inspired by the city’s rich fashion heritage and design aesthetics to deliver a diverse spectacle highlighting Eastern style with some nods to the West. With the March RFWT 20AW cancelled due to COVID-19, this week’s events see around 70% of brands presenting their collections online, which is what the fashion world has come to expect this year.


Miriam Sanz and Yohei Oki are the creative minds behind the Spanish-Japanese label Shoop Clothing, offering a blend of contemporary unisex collections. Shoop will present their SS21 collection on October 17th at Tokyo Fashion Week, a collection “inspired by current events, relating to both before and after the pandemic, and due to this the new necessities that have come about in terms of the clothes that we wear.” This will be the duo’s debut at Tokyo Fashion Week, as their previous presentation in March was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with the collection, the pair will unveil their latest collaboration with footwear giant Asics, a unique and adapted sneaker that according to Shoop, “decontextualizes the classic running model, taking it to the street and offering different options of wear, thereby promoting responsible consumerism.” The pair has been fully reconstructed and newly assembled to include a feature of spats that allows the wearer to combine the piece as they wish, either with the sneaker itself, or separately. The silhouette will be available exclusively at SVD and Tokyo retailer GR8 in two independent colorways.

Zin Kato

For SS21, the Zin Kato women’s collection titled “Resurrection” unveiled at Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, was presented along with a musical performance by Tatsuya Dejima. Filled with feminine touches of ruffles, bows, fringe and delicate fabrics, the color palette for the initial looks was darker in tonality reflecting the current state of the world, and for the second half of the collection, a white color palette was used to symbolize a spirit of rebirth and resurrection. This is a collection filled with textural beauty, movement and hope.

Yuki Hashimoto

For SS21 at Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, the Yuki Hashimoto menswear collection was inspired by the art of Olafur Eliasson –internationally known for his efforts to create a sustainable world through art, according to the collection notes. The result is a handsome men’s activewear collection fused with tailored elements and a duality or “two-sided” nature in their look and functionality which is achieved through a few simple changes made to each look.


The TAAKK SS21 collection presented at Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, titled “Destroying the Common Illusion,” was inspired by Belgian artist René Magritte’s visual representation of the idea of destroying the common illusion, according to the collection notes. The result is a collection created by Takuya Morikawa with inventive and unexpected fabric treatments which present a transformation of the norm. One beautiful example is the blazer/shirt/jacket created for the season ahead.

Throughout the collection there is a a play on softness as seen in the color palette of pale pastels, the relaxed styling of each look, and in the use of fabric with sheer portions in several looks. Even when the color palette darkens to deep blue and black, delicate floral imagery softens each look and adds great visual interest.

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Jeffrey Johnston is a Japan based event photographer and publisher/writer and has been fortunate enough to travel and see the world. Been exposed to the limitless possibilities of photography over 12 years ago, he was able to see things differently. He currently shoots in the areas of people, fashion, event & news photography in Japan. He maintains a Facebook page with samples of his work. He can also be found at Shogunmaster.com about contract work or with questions or comments on his photography.


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