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Japan Brand highlights lifestyle design     

The Arimatsu scarf fuses the traditional Shibori (squeezing) technique of tie dye with modern technology.

New York – Home furnishings manufacturers from across Japan are being represented at Japan Brand, a free public exhibit opening Jan. 25 at Felissimo that also serves as a marketing platform to the U.S. market.

Retailers and wholesalers have been lined up to examine the products, most of them high-end and many of them hand-made. Japan Brand will also display a selection of products at the New York International Gift Fair in the General Gift division this week. The full range of goods will be on display at Felissimo (10 W. 56th St., between 5th Ave. and Avenue of the Americas) on Mondays through Saturdays (with the exception of opening day this Sunday) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Feb. 7.

The commercial and cultural exhibit showcases contemporary products, some echoing classic forms, and organized by 30 local Japanese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, as well as societies of commerce and industry.

Textiles include towels and bath robes from the towel-making Imabari region, decorative pillows from Kyoto, scarves and wraps from Arimatsu and apparel from Fuji Yoshida, a historic production center for textiles.

Laquered “enn” stainless steel tableware.

Japan Brand also includes furniture, a variety of knives and other utility tools, tableware, glassware, accent pieces and eyeglass frames from the company that created Sarah Palin’s specs.

“I first saw Japan Brand at the Tokyo Designers Week in 2007 and remember the excitement this exhibition brought to the Japanese and international audiences alike,” said Haruko Smith, director of Felissimo New York. “Our team has worked together to create a very special experience that will be a treat not only to the eyes, but also to the minds of anyone interested in cultural adventures.”

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