Capsule Show is stuffed to the brim with amazing showrooms sporting even more amazing designers. One showroom that features a strong curation of emerging brands from around the world is Medium Concepts. We headed over to their downtown space to chat with owner Paul Conrad about his role in in the delicate art of brand building. Paul, hailing from Tokyo, isn't afraid to look pasts trends and stick with the brands he believes to be the best of the best. Scroll down for a look into his space and to hear about his take on the business side of fashion. - MS, WATM
Tell us about your showroom, what sets Medium Concepts Showroom apart from others?
Our strengths are in the diversity of brands we carry. Lifestyle brands are the main pulse of the showroom, things that actually have a story– no gimmicky brands here.
What brands do you represent?
Why did you decide to take the leap and open your own business?
My background, growing up in Tokyo, gave me a very beautiful point of view on these young labels, since there is more appreciation in Japan then there ever will be in North America towards new. Japan wants/appreciates new, North America wants what is safe. We build in Japan first, then we start opening up North America. That what I saw after working in the industry for a few years with mono brands, then showrooms. Being completely bilingual allows me to set a foot down in Japan, since we understand each other.
What do you think about the state of business for young designers today?
I think it's tough, since there is a lot of gimmick out there. And anyone can open a social media platform, basing brands and their legitimacy off of an instagram following is insane. But everyone does it, and it will soon catch up, since quality will always win.
How do you measure success for yourself and your company?
When I see people out there wearing the brands we represent, that is the best measure of success. It's not monetary, it's that we translated that brands culture to the public, whether it be through press, marketing, or through our wholesale partners.
What's selling for AW14? What are some key trends, silhouettes or colors that retailers were looking for?
I don't know what they really are looking for. I only know what we think is good, and I'm fine with that. I can't be bothered by trends, since they come and go, and I'd rather sell shit I am into, then what the trends out there are.