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10.17.2009

The Tokyo Girls Collection and a Big Time Racketeer

According to the 22 October issue of the Shukan Shincho (weekly Shincho), out in stores now, Fashion Walker, organizer of the fashion phenomenon Tokyo Girls Collection, is in dispute with a big time racketeer who has been arrested 8 times.

Takenouchi, the racketeer, is said to have commented,
"I didn't think this company was this dumb. I have an arrest record and more than once, too. You'd think they would have done something quickly."

He visited the head office of Fashion Walker without an appointment on 22 April, and is said to have demanded that the company recognize his standing as a shareholder. He had with him a document certifying the transfer of shares to him from an existing shareholder.

According to Corporate Law or Kaishaho, if the company does not take action to deny recognition of the shareholder, then it is automatically recognized that this new shareholder is entitled as he declares.

Sokaiya racketeers like Takenouchi are called "sokaiya" because they attend general shareholders meetings (kabunushi sokai) and challenge the management in a deadlock debate over issues, holding up the meetings. Their racket is to get the companies to buy back their shares from them.

Takenouchi is quoted in the article as saying that he initially wanted 6 million yen per share or a total of 600 million yen (approx. $6 million), but now, he will accept 5.25 million yen per share.

Fashion Walker and Takenouchi are in dispute as the company is challenging the original transfer of shares to Takenouchi and is arguing that the delay in taking action was caused by their needing time to confirm the legitimacy of the transfer.

The latest Tokyo Girls Collection, held in Yoyogi on 5 September, attracted more than 23,000 attendants.

What sets TGC apart from other fashion shows is that it is a real clothes fashion event. Whatever the audience (consumers) see on the runway can be purchased then and there from the mobile commerce site. It is _the_ real clothes, fast fashion event of Japan.

The 9th TGC this past September was a major turning point for the event in that such market leading select shops BEAMS, United Arrows and BAYCREW'S group company JOINT WORKS joined regulars CECILE McBEE, FREE's MART and UNIQLO.

Fashion Walker looked to have everything going for them, and that nothing would stop them from an IPO - but the down side of extensive media coverage attracted a very unwelcome guest, it seems.

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