Bed-in for Peace?

Bed-in for Peace?
aka…should have bought that Sleep Number mattress

Dateline: August 2011: Mondrian Hotel, Los Angeles

YYC Bed-in for Peace in LA
In Bed:
Masatomo Naka (Journey Trading Co.), Kyosuke Shima (just because), Yumyumcherry, Takeshi Amano (Paypal Wizard), and Naoshi Sawayanagi (Fashion Designer Extraordinaire—Order his Fall denim line at Traffic, Los Angeles!!).

While John and Yoko may have Beat us to the concept by a few years, what we lack in timing we make up for in sheer number. Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho.

Thus, following the Success of the 15 May 2011 Runway for Japan (produced by Project Team: SIX INCH Inc., Yuma Koshino Associates, MASA Trading (ask for Masakaze), WAG, Inc., and Footon Design) which was held at Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo—WE ARE DEDICATED to continue the work set forth in true California (King?) style!

Excerpts from the original show are available on YouTube: look long and hard at ‘Nanuk of the North’ in the OBELISK Parka Suit….

Runway for Japan Playbill

Tokyo based designer Naoshi Sawayanagi has once again pledged his time and creations for Runway for Japan, LA and delicious (Oiishi desu) Japanese Model Kyosuke has also kindly volunteered to Walk in the next ‘Runway’ as he did in May for J-designer, ‘Obelisk.’

Runway for Japan LA

OUR LA Runway Edition’s exact LAUNCH date is unfortunately–I apologise—TBA–but estimated for early 2012. Some of the GENEROUS SPONSORS ARE NOT YET AWARE OF HOW GENEROUSLY THEY WILL BE SPONSORING…. (^0^)…..

Of course, in addition to being Paypal’s Japanese Integration Guru…. (okay Takeshi-chan, I can only pander so much to Paypal….you know I hate it, but THAT SAID: Paypal is the Best Game in Town for E-Z payments and all that jazz), Mr. Amano is involved with the Social Networking Group, French Tuesdays, coordinating some of their Tokyo parties extraordinaire. He has generously contributed his time and advice as we prepare to launch our American Gala for Runway4Japan, LA–ya.

Please Stay Tuned for the details of FT’s September Party slated for 14 September in Tokyo—ooooh la la.

As an Ensemble effort, we are rallying to lace this pending gala to a ‘Mini Runway4Japan Show/Fashion Exhibition’ (read that: ‘Chic Fashion Designers and Drop Dead Gorgeous Models flowing through the ballroom like Moet into a chilled crystal Flute’)—nothing like a good, guiltless split: champagne and charity.

(and, FYI…in case you miss the flight or can’t spare the ten hour commute: LOS ANGELES)

With Eric Gazin of Auction Cause

In addition, we were fortunate to consult with Mr. Eric Gazin of AuctionCause as to how best proceed with online tandem fundraising for our cause. Mr. Gazin has for years been the Font of all things Fundraising and Auction-related for yyc and scores of other eBay buyers/sellers/donors and sponsors worldwide….but still didn’t hop on our Magic Mattress. (Move over Naoshi-chan)

With Chrysa and Monica!

For over (gulp) ten years I have had the pleasure of working with (read that: buying choice “goodies” at ridiculously reasonable prices from) Ms. Monica Petersen of SHOPMONICA.

Her site offers a wardrobe arsenal of upscale and edgy fashion Finds that rival any of the names found on Melrose. Of course, that said, I should probably make sure that no one reading this post wears a Dolce or Valli 42, Louboutin 39.5 or has a penchant for Chanel fantasy tweeds circa ’94P.

Monica is providing some much needed bones to all the rhetoric and helping define a charter that we can realistically expect to follow (….to THE DESIRED End). It’s easy to get lost in good intentions, but fortunately, Ms. Petersen has thought to ask the right questions before we approach the firing line to make more pitches for commercial and retail donations.

We are striving for accountability both in terms of transparency of funds distribution after the event — a personal issue for me as I determined the level that I was prepared to commit myself at the onset of this venture and a solid, realistic estimate of what we might deliver to prospective sponsors and participants who pledge to endorse us as we go forward with this venture. We are seeking a Win/Win.

The ‘business’ of retail brand fashion remains lucrative despite the ongoing efforts to rebuild the nation. Japan’s appetite for designer fare is legendary.

From an advertising standpoint (generally speaking, huge budgets are reserved specifically for this purpose by designers and their enlisted P.R. agents) American branded designers and retail establishments have a golden opportunity with this project to reach their targeted Japanese consumers with some of the best advertising money can’t buy.

By harnessing their ‘name power’ in marketing our RFJLA event in Tokyo as well as the USA, we are aiming to underscore the sponsor brands’ commitment to their Japanese customers as a byproduct of their support and participation.

Add to our mix of volunteers Ms. Chrysa Clark–Fashion Stylist, (did I mention gorgeous?) and very savvy Associate at one of this town’s MOST respected venues.

Ms. Clark’s perspective allows her to see many charitable efforts pass through well-intentioned Pitches for support–Chrysa has directed our attention to what she has seen effective/not so. Her personal connections are superlative and she has participated in many events. We feel very lucky to have her as a resource and look forward to accomplishing much in this project.

To wrap this up, before necessitating an increase in my bandwidth (and yours, thank you very much), while not present in Los Angeles, yumyumcharity would also like to direct credit and recognition to active and past participants who were involved in the “Runway for Japan” event of May 15–and those volunteers who continue with their commitment to raise money and continued public awareness and rally support through our joint projects.

with Tatsuya Katie and Shiro in Tokyo

James (Tatsuya) Lacey. Tatsuya is a model in Tokyo and and attended the Kando University of International Studies. He truly deserves the credit as Originator of the Idea: Runway for Japan.

It was through his strong desire to ‘contribute and do something’ to help the victims of the ‘gee-sheen’ (earthquake) and tsunami that the initial Show was conceived and produced.

He contacted a producer that he was familiar with through his modeling, Mr. Furukawa (see below), who encouraged him to explore his available resources. Mr. Furukawa later generously agreed to lend his name in support of the Production if Tatsuya could somehow orchestrate the Event. Tatsuya was responsible to acquire and print Logo’ed tee-shirts (enter Naka-san and Masa Trading –Arigato), rally and enlist Designers to support the Show (Tokyo Fashion Week was to have opened officially on 15 March JUST AFTER the devastating events of 3/11—thereby it was CANCELED), tap other Models to volunteer to walk the Runway, generate Publicity, and obtain Civic Permissions…

A hefty task with little Notice (note: James turns 21 on 15 August–OTANJYOBI OMEDETO).

For his part–as a testament to his motivation to contribute all that he could to the production, Shiro-san later also recruited his lovely girlfriend (Canadian/Polish–she is fluent in English) to assist in Narrating some portions of the Show.

Despite all odds, however, Mr. Lacey managed this Feat with the help of fellow student/model: Katie Sachi Huggins.

Katie devoted many hours of her time to the arrangements and details that made the production seamless– really an amazing Contribution! (I give her extra kudos because she’s half American!! Katie has a history of social commitment and volunteer experience.)

I feel fortunate that Tatsuya/ “James” and Katie included us at yumyumcharity and encouraged our participation. They offered translations at a Meeting that we subsequently held with Shiro Furukawa to determine the viability of bringing this effort to the USA–and, they have offered to facilitate ongoing integration with the Japanese project. Two Very remarkable individuals.

Ryota Shiga
Mr. Shiga’s home actually IS Fukushima and he delivered a very moving statement at the May Show on behalf of his family, friends and residents of the evacuated city which houses the damaged nuclear facility approximately 135 N.E. of Tokyo.

In West Hollywood wearing a beautiful design by Ryota Shiga

FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH, THE CRISIS SITUATION AT THE FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR FACILITY IS STILL UNRESOLVED AND IS NOT STABLE TO DATE. While the Japanese government struggles with exactly how to proceed with reactors 1-6, Tepco announced plans at the end of June to activate reactors 7-8 to compensate for the crippling lack of energy resources.

There is no end in sight.

Designer Yuma Koshino volunteered to assist in the production through Yuma Koshino Productions, Inc. and as a designer herself.

with Yuma Koshino in Tokyo

In late May I was very fortunate to meet with Yuma-san at her office in Shibuya with Masatomo Naka of Journey/Masa Trading. She took the time to walk me through some of the inspirations upcoming for 2012 Fall Collection. She has some brilliant creations.

As a stylist, I am anxious to play with some of her almost 3-D textiles incorporated in special pieces from her Fall selection–just incredible craftsmanship, very hands-on. As a committed participant in the project that she jumped on board with to aid Tatsuya (James) and Katie, I look forward to her direction and cues to make our upcoming Event even more authentic and successful.

And, of course,

Shiro Furukawa, Executive Producer of Six Inch, Inc. (don’t ask about the name, really–just smirk and go along with it all), Shiro-san studied Fashion Marketing and Distribution at Bunka Fashion College and recognizes talent when he sees it. He will then lasso it, brand it, and ride it into the horizon until he finds another project in need of his laissez faire Promotional skills. He claims to envision many ‘Runways for Japan‘ in many countries and all leading off into the sky. (I’ll let you sort that statement out for yourselves kiddos.) Now all Shiro/Six Inch needs are a few more good pilots like Tatsuya.

And for our Team L.A.–I must include Mr. Shinichiro Nishio (even though he is notably not in LA….YET).

Takeshi Amano and I practically abducted him at Tokyo Midtown. (And…Suprise…We are all now Facebook Friends.) Shinichiro is an aspiring English teacher with his sites set on an advanced degree. (He attended a session abroad in England–and is soon to discover ‘Baptism by Fire’ in the streets of Hollywood as we attempt to ‘go Global’ with ‘Runway.’)

He very patiently and good naturedly took on the role of language coach/interpreter/adopted Japanese son….(along with Naoshi-chan). Now if he can tweak my own linguistic talents beyond ‘Sore wa neko desu ka?’ we will be all set.

On that front I must also thank (and plead for the continued help and support of) Christopher Oslebo. He is a graduate of the International Relations Department of Stanford University and is fluent in Chinese, Spanish, English and pretty close to it in Japanese. On the ground in L.A. he assisted with the translations on this side of the Pacific that we lacked without Shinichiro’s skills.

Chris has also met with Eric Gazin (AuctionCause) in the past (circa 2005/2006) to represent yumyumcharity in our quest to pursue charitable contributions through eBay auctions. Fortunately, he also cuts a mean profile in denim (very handy with edgy Japanese designers on hand and a shortage of models), and he shows great promise with a BBQ grill.

Chris in West Hollywood wearing Naoshi denim


YYC Pray for Japan Aoyama storefront

P.S. ** I get to be Yoko at karaoke.

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