Performance Days - Fall 2022


To Munich

In early November 2022, amid the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the unrest in the global situation, I headed to Munich, Germany. The purpose was Performance Days, an international sports apparel materials exhibition. The main purpose is to find materials to use in INEIVE's products, which are scheduled to launch next year.

We departed from the departure lobby of Narita Airport, which was still deserted and not as crowded as before, and headed to Dubai under the scorching sun for a nine-hour transit. I was surprised by the skyscrapers that I had a hard time looking up at and the height of McDonald's, which is about three times as expensive as in Japan.

Dubai skyscrapers lined up
Try boarding the ferry

Even after arriving in Munich in early winter, when the Christmas markets were starting to open, the high prices continued. Anyway, it's expensive no matter what you buy! I knew this beforehand, but I experienced firsthand the effects of high prices and a weak yen in Europe. In Japan's apparel industry, there has been a trend to bring production back to Japan due to the global logistics disruption caused by the coronavirus, and given the weak yen and the inflation situation in other countries, this trend is likely to continue.

The Performance Days venue is in a quiet residential area on the outskirts of Munich, about a 10-minute walk from the train station. I was worried that an international exhibition was really being held here, but when I actually entered the building, I saw a row of booths from manufacturers of all sizes from all over the world.

Trams run through Munich
The route from the nearest station to the venue

Happy reunion and searching for fabrics

Performance Days was held in Germany, and in Europe there are many fabric and material manufacturers in Italy, and there were also many Italian manufacturers exhibiting at the venue. We have long-term relationships with various Italian manufacturers, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, we had only been communicating via email for several years, so we had a lot of happy meetings with familiar faces at the venue. We were able to exchange various information while actually holding the fabric in our hands. By the way, Munich can be reached in about half a day by car from northern Italy (Verona, Bergamo, etc.), where the textile industry is thriving, across the Alps, making it a convenient location for Italian exhibitors like them.

Arriving at Performance Days venue
There were many booths lined up.
Business negotiations happening everywhere

When I spoke with a person in charge who was familiar to me, I was able to get a lot of honest information, such as, ``This is the fabric that this brand uses that is trending worldwide,'' or ``That brand prefers materials with these characteristics.'' will tell you. Also, the cycling apparel economy in Europe. Normally, email is the main means of communication, so I'm happy to have a heartfelt conversation like this, and it's also a valuable source of information.

In fact, the second most popular manufacturer after Italian manufacturers is Taiwanese. In the world of bicycles, it is a well-known fact that there are major bicycle manufacturers in Taiwan and that they are responsible for the production of bicycle manufacturers in Europe and the United States, but in the world of textiles for sports and outdoor use, the scale is also large, and there are major bicycle manufacturers. There are many textile manufacturers that supply fabrics to major manufacturers and brands. Compared to Italian manufacturers, they don't have many advanced fabrics, but the quality is good, and we use different fabrics depending on the purpose. From an island nation the size of Japan's Kyushu, they are expanding their business globally, which is extremely powerful. I am inspired by their energy and ability to communicate.


I had decided before I left that I wanted to use cloth for INEIVE's first jersey, the Root Woven Jersey. Stretchy fabrics are available in Japan, but it is difficult to find one that has enough performance to be used in competitions. At the venue, we were fortunate to be able to contact several fabric manufacturers. We immediately tried to communicate. I was surprised that their library was far more diverse than I had imagined, but I managed to select a candidate fabric from among them. Fabric samples will also be sent to Japan. Several other fabrics and materials encountered during these Performance Days have been used in INEIVE products after prototyping and testing.

November is when Christmas markets start to open

It was a time when plane tickets were extremely expensive, so I left Performance Days nervous, thinking, ``What if I don't have a good encounter?'' As a result, the exhibition was very fruitful in terms of both transactions and information gathering, and I was looking forward to product development after returning to Japan, and I took a brief look at the Munich Christmas market before heading back home. .

text : Kota Shizuhara / INEIVE