New People and Consulate General of Japan Present Cool Japan: Old Meets New in Kyoto with Sou Sou Fashion Designer at 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival

SOU • SOU Founding Designer Explores Ideas Of Creating Modern Designs Based On Japanese Tradition With Discussion And Fashion Show

San Francisco, CA, August 24, 2011
– The Consulate General of Japan, in cooperation with NEW PEOPLE, San Francisco's dynamic entertainment destination showcasing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture, are proud to present, Cool Japan: Old Meets New in Kyoto, a unique fashion show and cultural discussion set to take place on Saturday, August 27th as part of the 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival.

The Fashion Show (1:15pm - 2:15pm): A SOU • SOU fashion show, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 1:15pm - 2:15pm on the Pagoda Stage at Japantown's Peace Plaza. It will feature innovative apparel and footwear products from the SOU • SOU brand, designed by Takeshi Wakabayashi, as well as a new collaborative line launched with NEW PEOPLE! Catch a variety of prominent local individuals who will act as models, including Japanese Consul General Hiroshi Inomata, famed food critic Patricia Unterman, and Graham Leggat, former Executive Director of San Francisco Film Society.

Designer Talk (4:00pm to 5:30pm): Invitation only event at NEW PEOPLE SUPERFROG Gallery (3rd Floor) SOU • SOU designer Takeshi Wakabayashi will discuss his ideas of, “Creating modern designs based on Japanese tradition.” Kyoto, where Wakabayashi resides, is an ancient capitol of Japan and a stronghold of traditional Japanese arts and culture with an accumulation of artisanship and related technology going back centuries. The city has also become a bustling center for modern creative design, where these cultural and industrial assets are to survive. Wakabayashi will also discuss how these innovative ideas are being passed to the young generations, based on his ongoing career as a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design.

“I'm very proud to present this special event in cooperation with NEW PEOPLE as part of the 'Cool Japan Project,' sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” says Consul General Hiroshi Inomata. “I invite the San Francisco Bay Area, potential business partners, and J-Pop Summit visitors to discover some great examples of Japanese innovation and high-quality products in the SOU • SOU brand, which also won two prizes at the Visit Japan Campaign - Japan's Attractive Souvenir Contest 2010.”

Consul General Inomata will also host a reception party following the end of the lecture at 6:00pm at the near-by Hotel Kabuki in the Mezzanine Lounge. A variety of SOU • SOU products will also be on display and more information will be available on the Cool Japan Project.

Wakabayashi 's SOU • SOU brand has developed a unique line of Japanese classic “Tabi” shoes based on a design originally favored by Japanese construction workers. SOU • SOU's combination of form-fitting soles and colorful graphic patterns has attracted a huge following, from dancers to the sneaker-obsessed. Designed to be fresh and fun, each shoe is handcrafted in Japan and made for durability using traditional techniques and puts a vibrant, modern twist on the ultra-comfortable, traditional Japanese work shoe.

The 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival is a showcase for Japanese pop culture events and is highlighted by live bands and DJs, fashion shows, a vocaloid music conference, theatrical film premieres, dance workshops and performances, and assorted arts, crafts and food vendors. Full details and programming schedules are now available at

More information about the Consulate General of Japan is available at:

NEW PEOPLE opened in 2009 and has become a unique must-see attraction of San Francisco's cultural landscape. The 20,000 square foot contemporary venue features the latest examples Japanese popular culture expressed though film, art, fashion, and a variety of specialty boutiques and ongoing monthly events. NEW PEOPLE is located at 1746 Post Street in the city's Japantown.

About NEW PEOPLE, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, California, NEW PEOPLE, Inc. ( offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan through its unique entertainment destination as well as through licensing and distribution of selective Japanese films. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment (, a film division of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the "Kingdom of Pop" for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include Death Note, Gantz, Kamikaze Girls, and The Taste of Tea.

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