Tatsuhiko Akashi
Founder and CEO of MEDICOM TOY Corporation

Since starting your company, what are the biggest challenges you’ve faced? What has been your steepest learning curve?

In 1998, two years after establishing the company, I moved the production of goods from Japan to China. It was tough but it was also essential as it meant we could compete with the international standards of mass production.

The fashion industry has experienced a lot of ups and downs in recent years. What do you think about the current state of the industry and what do you see as the largest issues facing the industry today?

New brands are continually arising from within the fallout of bipolarization of "mega maison" brands and fast fashion brands. In Japan, brands such as CHRISTIAN DADA, SHAREEF, KIDILL and STOF have attracted lots of attention. Also streetwear brands that have been around for numerous generations are still acquiring new fans. However the gap between physical and online stores is proving tough to bridge.

Do you have any expectations for where the industry is heading?

On the whole, I just hope that we continue to see the growth of the younger upcoming brands.

What’s been your highlight of 2017?

Overall it was a good year with the highlight being the fact we had our record year in terms of sales.

What are your short-term and long-term goals for your brand, and personally?

Looking towards next year we’re hoping to further increase sales by 120%. Regarding the long-term future of the company, I really hope that we can continue to provide creative hubs from which young artists can connect with others and propel themselves. For me personally, I am set on passing down a legacy of creative thinking and unique content creation to the future generation.

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