We mentioned earlier that as part of our visits with our brands this time, we had asked each one both to film a greeting for our customers and their fans, and to let us photograph their stores. This is generally not done for anyone outside of the media, so we weren't sure what to expect. Surprisingly, they all agreed! (Yes, every brand we carry!) Some of these stores - like the by-appointment-only Victorian maiden Press Room or the original Innocent World Osaka store - are intentionally kept out of the media and aren't well documented even inside Japan. We've now got them extensively covered, and we'll be posting the photos and videos for you soon.
Maki and Asuka will be speaking directly to you on video. So will the lead designer of Putumayo. Speaking on behalf of Atelier-Pierrot will be model and Laforet store manager Ayaka. Maxicimam, Victorian maiden and Innocent World all elected to deliver their message via one of their cute shop assistants (VM also included a written message from their lead designer). Everybody's in full company dress and everybody looks ridiculously cute and/or beautiful. We'll be posting these one by one once we've finished translating, editing and subtitling, along with posting the photos from each shop.
What else have we been doing here? A lot's been going on behind the scenes that will benefit our customers in ways that we either can't quantify or talk about yet. (This is the part that involves us being busier than we thought we would be - we've really been maximizing our time with the brands.) Hopefully it's enough to say that the future looks pretty bright. Last year when we were here, it was all about trying to convince skeptical brands to let us sell their clothes in America - they didn't know us, not all may have even thought there was a market here, and we were just getting started. Now it's all about us working together to find ways to build the fashion internationally, and to build on what we've already done. And you're probably going to see some results from that over the next year.