Tokyo Girls Collection just got that bit closer to world domination. The live YouTube channel provides links to an online shopping site where viewers can purchase items worn by models during the Tokyo Girls Collection show on March 5. Google Japan announced Thursday it partnered with the people behind the twice-yearly stadium fashion show, complete with “real clothes” and screaming fans, to live broadcast this Saturday’s upcoming event on custom-built YouTube channels to help export Japan’s distinctive women’s fashions overseas.
The seven-hour long broadcast will also be kitted out with links to TGC’s pre-existing e-commerce site that allows Japan-based viewers to purchase outfits they see and adore, further opening up buying powers to consumers not present at the show. The tens of thousands of mostly young women at the show can, of course, already point their cellphone cameras at favorite looks, snap away, head to mobile Internet sites and order them straight off the runway for home delivery in the impulse shoppers’ ultimate dream.
It’s an interesting move for the giant U.S.-based Internet search engine, the owner of YouTube. This tie-up simultaneously caters to and globalizes the local market, and may help Google make inroads here where users tend to gravitate to Yahoo Japan, the dominant portal here. “We started looking at what kind of opportunities there are to disseminate Japanese culture globally,” said Miki Iwamura, Google’s director of marketing in Japan. “We have a big content industry in Japan,” said Ms. Iwamura about the vast number of Japan-based content providers on YouTube that include companies like videogame and toy company Namco Bandai. “Those content partners can be used as leverage on a global platform so I think in terms of the content quality Japan has a unique opportunity.”