It’s that time of year again – the time when fashionable young Japanese head for the famous-throughout-Japan biannual LaForet Harajuku Grand Bazar sale. The Summer 2011 LaForet Grand Bazar kicked off on Wednesday July 20th, and will run through Monday July 25th. With deals of up to 80% off, the Bazar is always packed with excited shoppers – as well as shop staff shouting sale info at the top of their lungs.
As we’ve done in the past, TokyoFashion was on hand Wednesday at 9am to capture the opening of the Bazar. Usually, excited shoppers begin lining up early in the morning (or the night before), and a wall of people stretches up along Omotesando Dori toward Harajuku Station. This time, however, the impending arrival of Typhoon Ma-on kept many of the early birds away. We were surprised by how few people were willing to brave the wind and rain. In the end, the worst of the typhoon ended up missing Tokyo, so shoppers who made it to the opening had the last laugh (and their first choice of the best sale items).
LaForet always goes all-out in creating original promotional campaigns for each Grand Bazar. The Summer 2011 Grand Bazar campaign theme is “Wear your spark! Cheer up, Japan!!” As a part of the campaign, LaForet is raising relief funds by collecting “Cheer Up” messages for the victims of 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. After you send in your “Cheer Up” message via your PC, smart phone or cell phone, LaForet will read it, post it on their special website, and then decide how much they will donate for that message – anywhere from 1 to 100 yen – to the Japanese Red Cross.
The campaign is off to a solid start. As of July 21st, 289 messages were collected and 15,860 yen raised. You can view the messages (and submit new ones if you can read enough Japanese to navigate the interface) here.
This Grand Bazar’s campaign is also notable for its promo video. The beautiful theme song “True Voice” (from the album “Hatsukoi”) was produced by Tetsuya Komuro and is sung by Miu Sakamoto – daughter of the legendary Japanese composer/musician/all-around-music-god Ryuichi Sakamoto. You can also hear the song at the special Grand Bazar website where the “Cheer Up Japan” messages are displayed.
Below are pictures we took on opening day of Grand Bazar Summer 2011. We’ll try to update with more photos over the weekend, when the biggest crowds are expected. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them!
Update: Here’s a short video from Grand Bazar on Saturday. This is just one of the entrances to LaForet Harajuku, but it gives you an idea of the non-stop shopping that’s going on inside:
And here are the pictures (more coming soon)…
For more info:
Campaign website photos courtesy of LaForet Harajuku