I have no intention of proclaiming any simple idealism, but lately I have really been thinking that what we are able to sell in the end are “brands created even if it kills us”. Or, conversely, there are still many brands about which I wonder, “Is this a brand the creators produced even if it killed them?” I understand that the expression ‘even if it kills us’ is not appropriate, but in this day and age if we do not face this with such a level of honestly, it is impossible to move people’s hearts and get them to buy something.

When I was talking with a president of a certain apparel company, which has been in the industry for more than 30 years, I heard the phrase, “Back then, they sold whatever clothes they could make.” That is the impression we get from looking back at the years of the bubble economy and the 1990s. Little did reporters who moved into the industry from 2006 onwards know that there really had been such an era.

The industry has been idling, still holding onto the feeling of that time. However, a number of contradictions have erupted up to this point, and we are increasingly unable to move forward. Despite this, when we go to exhibitions, we still see cheap copies and un-strategic continuations of the previous year; it’s tedious.

This is an age when, in addition to the principle of creating products even if it kills us, we cannot win if we do not incorporate the latest technology. But we feel resentment towards the not-inconsiderable number of brands and companies who do not even have that principle. (Hanami Isogimi)