Art Avant garde business development Culture Design Entrepreneurship Fashion International Mars Moon NewSpace newspace ecosystem Space Space Applications Uncategorized Wearables

Karl Lagerfield, Chanel and Space



KL nationalpost


For the Fall- Winter 2017/18 Ready to Wear Chanel show watched by well over almost one million and two hundred views the theme was Space.

Then Karl Lagerfield explains his reasons for designing Chanel’s Space inspired FW17 show.  Lagerfeld spent 6 months creating the final frontier and the show was highlighted by a rocket launched in the finale with Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man‘.  His reasoning is very basic:  it is the final frontier, and there was a French Astronaut that he liked.  His reason is there is a lot that we do not know and he liked the sparkle, not just at night but during the day.

Karl L.jpeg v1.jpeg


He worked with a tight team and the detail was in the management under his leadership.  His work colleagues would talk about his ability to work with new things, new ideas, young people, how he hates nostalgia and is a visionary.

Will people dress differently in the future?  Probably not much.  This is the key point in his understanding of space too.  For instance, if he has mastered his field, then clearly understanding the market and how essential clothing is to us.  What and how it shapes us, how it makes us feel and how it inspires us.  Lagerfield speaks much of his privileged world and how vision and reality turns out differently.  He talks about visualising our future and not our fears and is also very protective of his inner thoughts of his ideas.

When I was thinking of Karl Lagerfield with my Team Manager at EU- Japan Centre little did we know that his time would come.  It is moments like this, when we reflect and think that when we meet or know of visionaries to really explore the depths of peoples’ ideas and see how we can make it happen.  Chanel aimed for the stars in 2017 and when we think of Karl Lagerfield’s legacy it is immense.




Back in the 60s he designed shift dresses and cap toe go-go boots.  Those references were in the Fall 2017 Chanel show.  Chanel transformed the Grand Palais from a functioning brassier to an iceberg filled room, and never before in a fashion world – to witness a rocket launch.  The idea is that his pieces are made for walking on the moon.  The style, colours as well as the silver glitter is something we can all most likely resonate with.

Bearing in mind the lack of gravity and chilling temperature in space, Lagerfield’s ideas including metallic Mylar space blankets with nubby Chanel tweet cuts into suits, shirts, trousers, dresses and tights.

Chanel v1.jpg


According to Instyle, Lagerfield went as far as interviewing Astronaut Thomas Pesquet while he was in space – on a long distance phone call.  Lagerfield got in touch whilst Pesquet was aboard the International Space Station for a Q&A and was taking notes for Lagerfield’s theme Chanel show.

“I am very flattered that Karl Lagerfeld draws inspiration from space for his collections,” said Pesquet. “It means space makes people dream, that people are interested in exploration and science, and that’s a good thing, because we are doing this for them. We don’t do this for fun, but to be useful to society, at the end of the day.”


Touching on fashion, Pesquet got frank, “Thankfully [Lagerfeld] did not draw inspiration from astronaut’s outfits, because obviously here, we tend to wear European Space Agency polo shirts and pants with Velcro fastenings, which is not that great.” Instead, Lagerfeld’s fall ready-to-wear collection saw a myriad of chic planetary hard case clutches and glitter moon boots—not a Velcro strap in sight.




As an entrepreneur, when we see a potential problem, there is a potential market.

Space fashion is not new and has been trending probably before NewSpace well got into the picture, think of Star Wars, Star Trek including the Jetsons.  The difference now, is how can we make NewSpace accessible to the market.  I have been trying to define and re-define newspace and now I am truly working on the grassroots definition of NewSpace: ‘Non-traditional space players and non- traditional space markets’.  At this point I think if we can think of combining, fashion, space and technologies including wearables like watches, booster shoes, AI -intelligent clothing, 3D printing and experiments of different materials, I think we could explore far more than if we were to limit only to operations up on space.

As emphasised in my previous blogs, both the EU and Japan are exploring space applications and so why not in fashion and arts?

global village space


According to Fashion United the global fashion market is 385.7 billion dollars, that is almost about the same for the Space market.  My point?  Anyone that has an ingenious idea of combining the two is going to not only create a new sector but also be pioneering in the field.

When one looks at the finale of the Rocket launch at the fashion show, we can almost look ahead into the future where as interplanetary species, living on the Moon or Mars and thinking of what will we wear?

Karl Lagerfield has already given us some ideas.  And his legacy will influence in ways which we may not know, in the same way his designs has.  This legacy will live on.




What makes a successful NewSpace entrepreneur?

Got ideas to share on Newspace?

Share them with us via Twitter @newspace2060


#NewSpace2060 @EUJapanCentre


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Future of space travel in Nagoya

PDAerospace v2

source: PDAerospace


I was on the train and the countryside seemed to stretch miles away. Where I am travelling to only a few hours away from Tokyo, but in every sense of the word, it is a different place – countryside, small corner shops, temples and shrines, but most importantly one notices the sense of peace here.

I am greeted and driven to a relatively massive building. People are working at their desks and typing away. One sense is it is still too early morning for action, but the teams of engineers and business analysists were already busily working at their desks.

As I sat down to better understand PDAerospace, I am reminded of their mission: ‘Bringing Space Closer’ and as I listened to their mission, I have gained a better sense of what they are trying to achieve.

It appears that Founder and CEO Shuji Ogawa’s passion in space started in a much earlier age as it was borne from his childhood. In an interview with NewSpace People, he describes PDAerospace‘s services, ‘…will be space tourism containing a suborbital space flight over 100km above the Earth (Sea level) by fully reusable spaceplane. According to our current plan, the first customers will reach space by 2023 with the price of 14,000,000 yen (140,000 dollars) per person.’

When compared to other space flight providers like Virgin Galactic, SpaceXBlue Origin (price yet to be revealed), we could say it is still high and not within the reach of ordinary people. However, if we were to reflect with ordinary space flight the vision may well be to reduce the cost as demand for space flight increases in the future. PDAerospace is embarking on a wholesale change for space travel and human space flight and that also includes medium to a longterm vision of hyper and supersonic flights. Imagine flying from Tokyo to LA in 2 hours. That is a dream come true for many seasoned business travellers.

One of the joys of speaking and engaging with Newspace startups is that I know they are visionaries and they are the early adopters of technology. They are shaping the future and the way we perceive our realities. PDAerospace, are in many way among the likes of Virgin GalacticBlue OriginSpaceX, with a view of changing and shaping future human space flight.

When discussing the idea of EU- Japan Collaboration, it appears that PDAerospace already has a lot on their plate and of course they are interested in working with European counterparts though in the most immediate sense there are more pressing domestic matters, like law and policy that needs addressing.

Housed in the well regarded and historically, the manufacturing hub of Japan – Aichi prefecture, I think PDAerospace could provide new inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and startups in the region.


What do you think makes a successful NewSpace startup?

How can we develop the NewSpace ecosystem?

Got ideas and would like to share?


We would like to hear from you.  Share your thoughts at #newspace2060 or by email newspace2060 and get featured in sharing newspace updates with the NewSpace ecosystem.


Originally written at


 #NewSpace2060 @EUJapanCentre

Art business development communications Competition Design Earth haiku International Japan Uncategorized

BE Bold

Boldawards v1

source: BOLD Awards


BOLD Awards recognizes top companies, projects and individuals powering breakthroughs around the world.

Crowdsourcing Week & H-FARM came together to organize the most innovative Awards program. Hosted in Venice, Italy @ H-FARM, this will be a unique awarding event which combines the power of the crowd and the hard work of individuals.
The Awards showcase the best in the world from innovative businesses and individuals with diverse range of industries including Advertising, Innovation, Crowdsourcing, Student Projects, Robots, Crowdfunding, Sustainability, Space Frontier, Blockchain, ICO, AI, Online, Young Achiever. The BOLD winners will be recognized for their achievements by an outstanding panel of judges from leading industries, entrepreneurs and business leaders, media and academics from across 4 continents.

We are aiming to engage more than 10,000 nominees from the public and private sector with only the top 50 being selected to join us in Venice, Italy, on April 5, 2019.


H-farm Techcrunch v1

source: Techcrunch


For 13 years, H-FARM has been the innovation platform that supports the creation of new business models and the digital transformation and education of young people and Italian companies. H-FARM is the most important innovation centre in Europe, established in 2005. A one-of-a-kind hub where Human Factor, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Education are combined together. H-FARM has been the first in the world to adopt a model that brings together investments, business consultancy and digitally augmented educational programs all into one place. BOLD Awards will be hosted in the events room and the evening will continue on the terrace together with lots of surprises.

At NewSpace2060, we have entered the EU-Japan NewSpace2060 Illustrated Haiku Competition 2019 for the Space Frontier Bold Award.

This category is open to any aerospace-related organization who has made a significant contribution using collaborative techniques to advance R&D or developing strategies leading to new technology development and exploitation.  The award will also recognize the lasting benefit created in the aerospace field and legacy of the project resulting from a high level of collaboration which goes beyond delivering the technical aspects of the project.

Nominees will be picked based on the following: Level of Impact 40%, Scalability 30%, Transparency 20%, H-factor 10% (Human & Social).

NewSpace2060 is about engaging NewSpace startups and instead of running a technical competition, I decided to curate a competition that would be open and accessible to all through the medium of haiku and illustration.

It has been an interesting and challenging experience, yet the goal is about space outreach, engaging entrepreneurs and young talent to show case their creative skills.  I believe that NewSpace is open to all and I particularly want to encourage ‘A’ in the discussions of ‘STEAM’ when we discuss space.

EU- Japan NewSpace2060 Illustrated Haiku Competition 2019 is currently exploring art exhibition opportunities to show case talents from around the world, be it entries from entrepreneurs, children or adults, scientists, non-scientists, anyone interested in the theme of ‘Improving Life on Earth as in Space’, haiku, illustration or space is welcome to enter.

Supporters of the EU- Japan NewSpace2060 Illustrated Haiku Competition 2019 are invited to support us for the Space Frontier Bold Awards here.


Written by Helen Tung
Emergent Tech Advisor/MINERVA Fellow, EU- Japan Centre
Creative Convenor, EU-Japan NewSpace2060 Illustrated Haiku Competition 2019


#BOLDAwards #NewSpace2060  @EUJapanCentre



Art business development Earth Entrepreneurship International Japan Moon NewSpace newspace ecosystem Space Startups Uncategorized

Exploring Space, Exploring Astrax


Atrax v1


Most entrepreneurs that I meet in NewSpace are talented, enthusiastic and energic people  There are few that I would say really are at the peak of that mountain of entrepreneurs and here is where I would like to introduce Taichi Yamazaki, CEO and Founder of Astrax.

For the people and by the people are the first few words that come to my mind when I look at this video of parabolic flights offered by Astrax.   You see ordinary people from all walks of life, students, bridges, dreamers coming together to share a common experience that is truly out of the ordinary.  The difference is, by the end of the video, you sense that actually this experience of space, be it closer to earth than outer space, is still an important and aspiration goal that could and perhaps even should be open to everyone.

Some would call it democratisation of space – where space is open and accessible.  It is very much along the lines of what NewSpace is about.

astrax studio v1



Astrax has great vision and it touches upon every aspect of life.   Whatever you can think of on earth, why not replicate it on space, more specifically on the Moon.

I thought I was a dreamer until I met Astrax and realised dreams really have no limitation and are only limited by our imagination.  When I hear and listen to people speak of Astrax, I find first and foremost how these people are truly the kind of people whom you would consider as your neighbour, basically ordinary folks with big dreams.




This grassroots passion is so important for space and there are a few reasons for that:

a.  Space is about people

Imagine if we waited another 50 years and we still never made it to the Moon.  At this point, it is probably one of the most depressing thoughts one could have.  On the contrary, what if humanity is truly mobilised to explore space together.  Again not just for the elitist, not just for the billionaires or those currently working in space, but everyone – the chef, farmer, salesperson, teacher, nanny – everyone.


b.  Space is about connecting us with humanity

Time and time again and more recently I gave a talk at the International Christian University and a student asked a very good question, and one that perhaps is asked often.  “Why go to space, when we have so many problems on earth?”  I don’t have a perfect answer, but I think space or at least exploring space plays a role to uplift humanity, to give us aspirations and to enable us to explore new territories when in the past we may not have considered to venture out.

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c.  Exploring space reconnects us with earth

In my person blog, I would explore consciousness and reconnecting with ourselves.  I think exploration allows us to reconnect us with earth.

When Astrax members speak of space tourism, space travel, space hotel, space food, actually there isn’t a massive gap in what they are trying to do.  They only want to serve and deliver the same things they are doing on earth.  Whilst it is not today that we can achieve and deliver such things, but perhaps a few more years and even longer, the dream I think is what sustains explorers, scientists and pioneers to pursuit such goals and empower others to do the same.




I think Astrax plays a greater role than just being a NewSpace startup.  They are touching the lives of ordinary people who may have never dreamed of going to space and somehow turned that around in realising their dreams through understanding what we can all achieve the same goal.



Written by Helen Tung
Emergent Tech Advisor/MINERVA Fellow, EU- Japan Centre
Creative Convenor, EU-Japan NewSpace2060 Illustrated Haiku Competition 2019


#Astrax #NewSpace2060  @EUJapanCentre

business development communications Culture Design International Japan Slush Uncategorized

Visiting X-Nihonbashi

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It was around 3pm, strolling along the streets of Nihonbashi, one could sense history in the air.  Nihonbashi first emerged in the 17th century from the residential and commercial areas called ‘chonin-chi’ that gathered around Edo castle.

The Nihonbashi Bridge is an iconic symbol of the region.  It was first built in 1603, the same year that the Edo Period shogunate was established and the Bridge acted as the terminal point for Japan’s five Gokaido roads, enabling crossroads, following of goods and services in and out of the city that would serve to become the Tokyo we know today.  Deemed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, one could sense how well the buildings and environment are preserved as much as new developments arise.

source: /


Perhaps of significance is the role of Nihonbashi and its’ role in the economic boom, and how Nihonbashi developed business, arts, culture and cuisine.  Many people would know of Nihombashi which would include the Mitsui Echigoya Kimono Shop, now known as Mitsukoshi amongst others.

So as I was on my way to X-Nihonbashi as many people have spoken to me and telling me this is where the NewSpace hub is developing.  I was previously invited to an event before and I could not make it, so on this occasion, I was very curious to know how was this place like.

source: /


Firstly, I was surprised and impressed by the central location.  It is literally across Mitsukoshi and on the main street.  Secondly, it was on one of the top floors, which I guess gives one an idea of where they place themselves.  Thirdly, was the space itself.

My first impression was a co-working space and one could clearly see that it is the home of BDSpace, JAXA (J-Sparc) more specifically and perhaps a few others.

My understanding is that the vision for X-Nihombashi is no different from any other co-working space for startups and entrepreneurs.  It is about gathering people, holding events, seminars and providing opportunities for businesses to flourish.

What was interesting for me is looking at X-Nihombashi from the context of two things:

Firstly, as part and parcel of the Nihonbashi Revitalisation plan and secondly, as part of, or more accurately an extension of the Life Science Innovation Network Japan (LINK-J).

Nihonbashi Revitalisation Plan

The Nihonbashi Revitalisation Plan aims at ‘Restoring Vitality to Nihonbashi in the 21th Century’.  Their mission as led by Mitsui Fudosan is to “…united government, business and local community to energise and bring about new attraction to Nihonbashi under the concept of ‘Proceeding to Create While Retaining and Reviving.”

Alongside buildings, hotels, resorts, logistics facilities, Mitsui Fudosan has developed a Venture Co-creation project.  Launched in April 2015, it aims to provide office space, for entrepreneurs to “Co-Create” and overcome challenges as a new venture.  One can see that the support is there to create a community for startups.

How about NewSpace?

Link - J v1



Life Science Innovation Network Japan (LINK-J)

If we take it a step back and look at LINK-J on their website, we can see that there are members and there are numerous activities such as seminars, workshops, events, blogs and news.

My sense is that X-Nihonbashi for space could adopt a similar model of success that has already been achieved in LINK-J.

Having engaged in discussions with the management at X-Nihonbashi, we are on the same line of thinking when it comes to NewSpace.

NewSpace requires non-traditional space players and entrepreneurs interested or engaging in space as part of the much needed ecosystem.

A few months ago, my assessment was not as clear as it is now.  And having a venue and an ideal location is a great starting point.  The next steps is finding entrepreneurs interested and willing to engage, interact and make things happen.

LInk - J v2

source: Biz/Zine


Some events are already happening:

startup weekend v1

source: Doorkeeper


  • Slush Tokyo is coming to Tokyo 23 February and so there would be plenty of entrepeneurs local and abroad present in Tokyo so would be a great opportunity for networking
  • X-Nihonbashi could benefit from international exposure of startups and entrepreneurial events and it could be an ideal location for such a hub


It seems like X-Nihonbashi is designed as space for Newspace to grow naturally and I would say it is a consciously thought out.  Rather than setting up a preconceived idea of what the Newspace environment ought to be,  I think as long as the community and key players are open to new ideas, players, startups X-Nihonbashi could play a very important role to fostering NewSpace, knowing the Newspace sector.  I should also note that X-Nihonbashi is not proactively marketing themselves, rather they prefer to be known by word of mouth and grow organically.

When I started my journey of finding where is the NewSpace hub in Japan, I really wasn’t sure, and perhaps X-Nihonbashi could be one of those hubs.

Next week I would be visiting Nagoya and Kyoto to meet NewSpace startups and entrepreneurs.  So let’s see what we find.

Written by Helen Tung
Emergent Tech Advisor/MINERVA Fellow
EU- Japan Centre
#X-Nihonbashi #startup weekend #NewSpace2060  @EUJapanCentre