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Fashion Tech & Education

Fashion Tech & Education

In this Fashion Tech News feature project, we will consider “Fashion Tech and Education. X-Tech,” the trend of creating new value, systems, and businesses by combining technologies such as AI, IoT, and Big Data with existing businesses in existing industries, has been gaining attention in the fashion industry as well. In response to this trend, fashion-related vocational schools and universities are increasingly integrating technology into fashion education by offering new courses and classes related to fashion tech and virtual fashion. What are the objectives of these educational institutions? And what kind of people are they trying to send out into the industry? What are the challenges and the possibilities? We will consider these questions together with the voices of those involved in the front lines of education.
Fashion Law

Fashion Law

In this Fashion Tech News feature project, we will think about “Fashion Law." Fashion law is a field of law that deals with various legal issues related to fashion, and is attracting a great deal of attention amid the development of globalization and information technology. In Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) launched the “Study Group on Fashion Futures – Fashion Law WG” and published the “Fashion Law Guidebook 2023: New & Basic Knowledge to Open Up the Future of Fashion Business” in 2023 as a result. The guidebook compiles practical information that should be known from the perspective of fashion law, and has attracted a great deal of attention, especially from industry insiders. In this special issue, we discuss the so-called “Imitation” issue, which was a major topic in the Fashion Law Guidebook, as well as issues of concern in the field, such as how fashion brands and designers should relate to fashion law, together with the vice chair of the study group, Miyuki Ebisawa, an attorney at Mimura Komatsu Law Firm. The panelists discuss these issues together with Miyuki Ebisawa, an attorney at Mimura Komatsu, who served as vice chair of the Study Group.
Sericiculture & Silk Production

Sericiculture & Silk Production

In this special feature of Fashion Tech News, we focus on sericulture and silk production to ponder the changes affecting the silk industry. Once upon a time, from the opening of Japan's ports in the early Showa era before World War II, sericulture, which produces the cocoons that serve as the raw material for Japan's raw silk, was a major industry supporting the country's modernization. There was a time when Japan's raw silk boasted the world's top production and export volumes. However, approximately 150 years have passed since the symbolic Tomioka Silk Mill, a symbol of modernization, began operations in 1872 (Meiji 5). The number of sericulture households, which peaked at 2.21 million, has now dwindled to a mere 163. Likewise, raw silk production, which was once over 750,000 bales (1 bale = 60kg), has plummeted to 168 bales. With the advent of synthetic fibres, such as nylon, price competition with cheap foreign raw silk, and the slump in demand for traditional Japanese attire domestically, the share of domestically produced raw silk is less than 1%. Therefore, in this special feature, we will look back at the historical changes related to sericulture and silk production based on data, and consider the issues and potential of sericulture and raw silk in the future, along with voices from the field.
Fashion Design & Technology

Fashion Design & Technology

In this special feature on Fashion Tech News, we will consider the evolution of fashion design and the surrounding technology landscape. With the environmental impacts and business challenges that the fashion industry is grappling with, current initiatives involving technology for sustainable solutions and novel fashion designs are being explored. Not only established fashion corporations but also tech companies, startups, and other organizations are gaining more attention each year for their expansive contributions across various sectors. These include AI and tech-assisted apparel production, development of eco-friendly materials using biotechnology, entry into the worlds of the metaverse and digital fashion, and more. In this feature, we will reflect on the 2010s, when these initiatives began to seriously take off, and together with Daijiro Mizuno, a professor at the Center for the Possible Futures of Kyoto Institute of Technology and author of "Sustainable Fashion" published in September this year, we will discuss what the future of fashion design and technology should look like.