Finland Lifestyle Week -event was organised in Tokyo on 7–9 November. A total of 34 different Finnish brands were present to display their products and goods and to make new contacts with potential Japanese partners. The event consisted of a Finnish pavilion shared by interior decoration and furnishing companies at Interior Lifestyle Living fair in Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center, and of Fashion from Finland -showroom introducing Finnish designer brands at the fashionable Omotesando area in central Tokyo. The event was part of Finnish Lifestyle Asia –program and organised by a Finnish trade promoting organisation Finpro.
The central idea of the event was to introduce Finnish lifestyle and design to the Japanese audience. Both at the fair and at the showroom Japanese buyers and distributors were able not only to try out high-quality and distinctive clothes made out of natural material but also to admire Finnish colourful prints and wooden furniture. Coexistence with nature and respect towards it are one of the core values embraced by many Finns, and they resonate well with the Japanese mind-set.
Finnish pavilion could be discerned from afar due to its blue-white colour scheme that set it apart from other countries at the huge exhibition center. The pavilion area attracted lots of interested visitors, and the atmosphere was full of excitement. The Finnish companies had built beautiful exhibitions with a strong Nordic feeling. Many interior decoration companies, such as Vallila and Kauniste, had already gained a foothold in the Japanese markets but some were still sounding out the interests of the Japanese buyers as was the case for a relatively young furniture design company LumoKids.
Jonna Wibelius (from left) and Masahiro Kimura from Finpro, and Sophia Jansson from Moomin Characters Ltd. were introducing Finnish lifestyle at the talk event held at the Interior Lifestyle Living Fair
A talk event held at the fair on 8 November gained popularity as well. Finnish Lifestyle Asia Program Director Jonna Wibelius from Finpro held a presentation on Finnish design and lifestyle. The rest of the talk event was reserved for an introduction of the life of Moomin creator Tove Jansson by her niece Sophia Jansson, chairman of the board at Moomin Characters Ltd. She also discussed how the nature in the Finnish archipelago influenced her aunt's work.
Ambassador Jukka Siukosaari welcomed the Japanese guests at the showroom reception
At the Omotesando showroom the audience got to follow short speeches given by the fashion designers of the participating brands. Many of the brands had a long tradition in the fashion business but there were also many fresh companies present such as designer menswear brand Formal Friday. Whether young or old brand, ecological and durable materials were emphasised by their designers. A guest reception was also held on 8 November, and the opening address was delivered by the Ambassador of Finland Jukka Siukosaari. The representatives of Finnish fashion companies were very excited about the market opportunities provided by Japan and business contacts were established on both sides.
The following companies participated in Finland Lifestyle Week: Aino, CWP, EcoFurn Finland, Finarte, Formal Friday, Frenn, Gemmi, Golla, Hukka Design, Iittala, Ivana Helsinki, Kalevala Koru, Kauniste, Kiteen huonekalutehdas, LANGØ Design, Lapponia, Lovi, Lovia, Lumi, Lumokids, Magisso, Moomin Characters, More Joy, Mozo, Nanso, Nomen Nescio, Pisa Design, Pomar, R-Collection, Secto, Soften, Turo, Vallila and Vejits.