The 23rd edition of Interior Lifestyle Tokyo, held from 5–7th June at Tokyo Big Sight, concluded successfully with a record-breaking 705 exhibitors (473 domestic, 232 overseas) from 32 countries and regions, and welcomed 25,456 visitors. The fairground was vibrant, with buyers from around the world searching for high-end design products, trends and new ideas to meet their diverse lifestyle needs. Numerous business-seeking participants gathered at the stage for the talk-show event Lifestyle Salon 2013 throughout the three days.
Etty Meerovitch, owner of Habitat Israel, says: “I was very impressed by the fair’s organisation and presentation. Interior Lifestyle Tokyo is an interesting, innovative, selective and well-oriented trade fair. I found new companies, new contacts and new products. There were Japanese companies that I didn’t know of before as well as a good selection of international brands.”
Many exhibitors gave positive reviews on the visitor range at the show. New exhibitor Noriyuki Momota, CEO of Momota Touen Corp, says: “We have worked on the branding of our products overseas, and now we are prepared to promote them to the Japanese market. Interior Lifestyle Tokyo matched our product image of high-end design, so we chose to participate at this fair. Our main target visitors were buyers of speciality stores, and we had excellent business leads. I think this fair has the power to invigorate the interior design industry. We are very glad we took part, and are looking forward to the next edition.”
Regular exhibitor, Tamie Tsuruzaki from NEED’K says: “We are here to promote our products for the next season. Buyers used to think we just sold curtains, but through our continued presence at this fair, they have come to realise that we also offer space design ideas through a variety of items such as carpets, lighting products and cushions. Now people visit us for inspiration. We see great benefit in exhibiting at this fair, where we can reach our targeted buyers.”
This year, Interior Lifestyle Tokyo saw a dramatic increase in the number of overseas exhibitors. Designer Indra Marcinkeviciene, one of the exhibitors at the Lithuanian Pavilion spoke about its successful debut at the fair: “It was our first time exhibiting our products in Japan, and we are happy that many visitors, including buyers and hotel managers came to our booth. Next time we would like to take part independently and bring more products to promote in Japan. It was a great kick-off for us to exhibit at this fair.”
Among the various highlights, Japan Style in the Atrium drew the most attention. Originally organised for Ambiente, one of the world’s largest consumer goods fairs held in Frankfurt, Germany every February, it has recently been developed for this show and the sister fair IFFT/Interior Lifestyle Living, held every autumn at Tokyo Big Sight. As the selected partner country at Ambiente 2014, Japan is pleased to show its strengths and to reinforce the promotion of the Japanese culture with the Japan Style showcase at Interior Lifestyle Tokyo.
The theme for Japan Style was ‘Super Ennichi’. The Atrium hall was covered with colourful tape to express Ennichi, a Japanese festival where a range of stalls (food, games, souvenirs, etc.) are lined up. The exhibition area showcased Japanese products that reflect the traditional high-level skills and techniques that fused into the modern lifestyle.
Many visitors participated in the demonstrations and workshops. Hiroshi Shibata of Fujiki Denshiro Shoten Co says: “We participated at Interior Lifestyle Tokyo to meet our target visitors, such as buyers from specialty stores. Many people visited our booth and we were happy that we found our clients and potential new business partners. We took part in Japan Style because we feel that Japanese products still have a lot of market share in the world. We are looking forward to exhibiting at this fair again next year.”
Interior Lifestyle Tokyo successively welcomed Creative Direction, a group of four leading figures in the interior design industry. The clear-cut zoning and the various special highlighted events were highly-praised internationally owing to their contribution. The Next and Talent zones that support young designers and organisations to find business opportunities through encounters with quality visitors at the fair, were busy throughout the three days.
Exhibitors at Talents had a chance to be chosen for the Young Designer award, which will enable the awardee to exhibit at the coming edition of Ambiente. This year there were two award recipients – Studio Surume and Kobe Ishou Sourenjo. Studio Surume was chosen for the quality of products that expressed the aesthetic appeal of Japanese design.
A total of five awards were given out at the Interior Lifestyle Tokyo including the Design Business Award, received by Jun Nakagawa, 13th president of Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten Co, who says: “By receiving this award, we believe that our efforts to create and establish the Dainihonichi community for the past four years has now been recognised. We are a group of small companies that exhibit under the umbrella of Dainihonichi and we have a strong bond, almost like a big family – we are more than just business partners. We’ve been organising our own events but it’s been eight years since we have participated in such a huge exhibition. We feel that Interior Lifestyle Tokyo has such a great impact on the interior design industry that we firmly wish to contribute to the vitalisation of this fair.”
The next Interior Lifestyle Tokyo will be held from 4-6th June 2014 at Tokyo Big Sight, West Hall.