This spring, Baroque Japan Limited (Head Office: Meguro-ku, Tokyo; Chairman and CEO: Hiroyuki Murai) is set to organize “NEXT IS YOU”, a new competitive project following its in-house auditions to cultivate the next new star.
Under the theme “Leader of the Next Japan,” the new contest will call for proposals and talented individuals from both in and outside the company to enter in the Business Plan and Fashion Icon categories.
◇ Official website: NEXT IS YOU
■ NEXT IS YOU Objective
Baroque Japan held its first in-house auditions to cultivate the next new star in 2015. The grand prize of this event went to Mari Nakamura, who has since realized the dream of launching her own brand and currently serves as director of the Baroque Japan brand, RIM.ARK.
The new contest, “NEXT IS YOU”, is an expanded version that invites entrants from both in and outside the company. Amidst a drift toward the common and the substandard in Japanese fashion, the project seeks to recapture a Japan that creates brands with a strong message that fascinates the youth across the globe.
■ Contest Outline
The Business Plan category calls for startup businesses that reflect the theme, “Leader of the Next Japan”, and demonstrate novelty, potential popularity, and originality against a backdrop of the present market environment. Entrants are welcome regardless of age or nationality, as an individual or as a corporation. Business plans will be accepted through email for the initial screening. About 10 outstanding plans will be selected to enter the final round, where entrants will have to make a presentation to a panel of celebrity judges. The winner of the grand prize will receive a cash reward of 2 million yen plus funding and business tie-up support.
The Fashion Icon category calls for men and women under 25 living in Japan. In the first screening, entrants will compete for Instagram “likes.” In the second screening, they will act as buyers and select products for e-commerce, and will compete for sales and profits. In the final screening, they will have to produce original items and compete for orders. The winner of the largest number of orders, and thus the grand prize, will receive a cash reward of 1 million yen plus the opportunity serve as brand producer and aim for the launch of a new brand.
■ Call for Entrants
The details of the two categories are provided in the official website found below, along with the guidelines for entry.
<Business Plan category>
Initial screening: February 7 (Tue) – March 15, 2017 (Wed)
Final screening: Presentation event in Tokyo (April 12, 2017)
Selection of winners: Selection and announcement of outstanding plans (from April to May 2017)
<Fashion Icon category>
First screening: February 10 (Fri) – March 20, 2017 (Mon., holiday)
Second screening: Around May 2017
Final screening: Around October 2017
Announcement of grand prize winner: Around November 2017
■ About RIM.ARK
Mari Nakamura won the grand prize of the first in-house audition to cultivate the next new star, held for Baroque Japan employees in 2015. At the time, as a retail staff member at one of Baroque Japan’s stores, Nakamura realized the dream of launching her own brand and now serves as the director of RIM.ARK.
RIM.ARK’s brand image is that of a woman with confidence, who isn’t glamorous but is unafraid of exploring her true self, a self with dignity, strength, and firmness of character. Designs that are simple and basic, void of excess, and embraces current fashion trends embody the RIM.ARK style, a minimalist chic style that reflects quality and intellect.
Having started out as an online shop that offered a spring/summer collection in 2016, RIM.ARK immediately won a following from women of all age groups and saw many items sell out. In light of its popularity, the brand was expanded to a brick-and-mortar store, the Baroque Japan select store, SHEL’TTER, in September 2016. The rapidly growing brand will be available at its first stand-alone physical store in March 2017.
RIM.ARK Director Mari Nakamura
◇ RIM.ARK official website:
■ About NEXT IS YOU—Message from the Chairman and CEO
Make your dreams come true!
Baroque Japan Limited is excited about launching the next generation content development project, “NEXT IS YOU”, designed to send a message to the world in the future. The new contest is an expanded version of our in-house auditions to cultivate the next new star. This time we are calling for talented individuals from both in and outside the company.
Amidst a drift toward the common and the substandard in Japanese fashion, the project seeks to recapture a Japan that creates brands with a strong message that fascinates the youth across the globe.
Just as the new president of the United States wants to, “Make America great again,” we at Baroque Japan feel it is our mission to make Japanese fashion great again.
Any and all are welcome to join, especially those who think outside the box, who want to be different, and who have big aspirations to live up to their talent and genius.