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Anna Wintour, who recently arrived in Japan for Fashion’s Night Out on Saturday, spent her first full day in Tokyo meeting some of the city’s local fashion designers. On Thursday morning, Motonari Ono, Akira Naka and Tamae Hirokawa of Somarta presented a few looks from their most recent collections to Wintour, Condé Nast International’s Jonathan Newhouse and Wintour's daughter Bee Shaffer.
"Being chosen as one of the designers to represent Japan [to Wintour] was a lot of pressure, and I wanted to make sure I did a great presentation," said Hirokawa, who along with Ono and Naka, regularly shows in Tokyo.
"At first I thought [Wintour] would be intimidating, but she wasn't at all. She really watched and listened closely," Ono said. "She said she had a very strong image of Japanese fashion being like it was in the 80s, with a lot of black, but today she was able to understand what Japanese fashion is like now."
Ono also received some praise from Wintour for the pieces he presented. "In my brand we use a lot of lace and ribbons that are made in Japan, and she noticed that the quality of the materials was very high," he said.
Naka said that during his presentation he talked about using fashion to help people think positively following the natural disaster Japan experienced in March, and that Wintour agreed with his sentiments. "Anna believes in the power of fashion," he said. "It's great that people in the fashion business care about Japan and are taking action for it. I really felt positive energy."
After the presentations, Naka said that Newhouse approached him and spoke positively about his collection.
Later in the day, Wintour, Newhouse and Schaffer also met with Sacai designer Chitose Abe, who showed the trio about 20 looks from her upcoming spring collection. According to a Sacai spokeswoman, Wintour commented that the collection was "pretty" and "original”.
"The fact that [Wintour] decided to come and see a collection like Sacai, a small collection based in Japan, further exemplified her deep commitment to fashion," Abe said.