Japanalia admiration society gathers at Hartford Fashion Week launch party



There was a Japanalia lovefest on Thursday for one of the pioneers of Hartford’s fashion scene.

As a cornerstone for its launch party at Chango Rosa Tacos in Hartford, Hartford Fashion Week honored Eiko Sakai, a fashion designer who sold her Japanese-inspired creations in the capital city area up until 2014 when the store closed.

Thomas Foran gave HFW the idea to honor Eiko as a way to show there was fashion in Hartford before Hartford Fashion Week.

Eiko arrived and was greeted by a bouquet of flowers and a room full of former customers who had pulled there Japanalia styles out of the closet for the party. Those dressed in Japanalia also were invited to take a parade of fashion for cameras and guests to exhibit the work by the trained kimono maker who turned to modern creations.

According to an article in the Hartford Courant in 2014, “Eiko Sakai and Dan Blow (her then husband) began selling their fashions from their home in Glastonbury in the early ’80s before opening a shop in a small space in Hartford’s Barry Square. They moved their workshop and showroom to South Whitney Street in Hartford in 1986, and operated an additional retail store, called ‘Japanalia/Eiko’ in West Hartford from 1991 to 2009. The current (closed in 2014) location is on the corner of Whitney Street and Farmington Avenue in Hartford.

Hartford Fashion Week will be held Friday and Saturday night in the Colt Armory in Hartford.

For more information, visit Hartford.fashion