“This year we looked back on more than three decades serving the interior lifestyle industry in Japan,” says Mr Yasushi Kajiwara, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt Japan Ltd. “It has been fascinating to see the industry evolve during this time, but in particular, it is encouraging that designers and end users are paying more attention to sustainability. This year’s fair put a spotlight on this issue with a special zone dedicated to upcycling and eco-friendly materials. It was pleasing to hear the positive response from fairgoers, who increasingly recognise the importance of upcycling in the wake of supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.”
In collaboration with manufacturers and architects, the ‘What is upcycling?’ showcase was introduced to demonstrate how repurposing waste materials has become a vital piece of the puzzle in the shift towards an eco-friendly future. Furniture manufactured from deadstock was displayed to illustrate how previously unwanted materials can be transformed into high quality home furnishings.
While the fair’s sustainable exhibitors were well received, plenty of attention was also directed at new designers. In particular, this year’s fair gave a platform to up-and-coming creators at the special showcase ‘Blooming’, which doubled as a café. Visitors could find a range of products to help them feel ‘at home’, including wall frames, flower vases, fragrances, blankets and tableware.
Many exhibitors reported a steady flow of new, high quality buyers visiting their booths, with an uptick in demand for locally sourced Japanese materials and design concepts. In this regard, plenty of footfall befell the dedicated zones namely “Bespoke Material Japan” and “Meet Design” displaying versatile, high-end raw materials for the luxury market.
Buyers praised the fair not only for its wide product coverage, but also for the opportunity to discover new trends at the seminar programme. This year’s Lifestyle Salon featured 12 forums covering seasonal trends in living space design, with upcycling in the contract business topping the agenda. In a continuation of the sustainability theme, the programme focused on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and bringing elements of the natural world into living spaces.
Key European exhibitors retain their connection to the Japanese market
Although international exhibitor participation was reduced at this year’s fair due to travel restrictions, many international brands were still queuing up to gain recognition in the local market. This was most evident at two returning European Pavilions from Germany and Finland. “In a difficult climate for international brands who face strict travel restrictions, we are extremely pleased to have hosted two pavilions of high quality European exhibitors. This is a positive sign that demonstrates that many international brands still recognise the importance of the Japanese market. We expect to see an uptick in these exhibitors at future editions when travel conditions are eased,” adds Mr Kajiwara.
The next edition of Interior Lifestyle Tokyo will take place from 14 – 16 June 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight. For more information, please visit:
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Background information on Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,300* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 30 subsidiaries around the world. In 2021, the company had to contend with the challenges posed by the pandemic for the second consecutive year. Annual sales will be approximately €140* million after having been as high as €736 million in 2019 before the pandemic. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com
*Preliminary figures for 2021