By Duncan Mackay

AOKI HoldingsApril 1 - Tokyo 2020 announced today that AOKI Holdings, one of Japan's largest fashion retail chains, had become its 18th official bid partner.

As part of the deal, Junko Shimada, one of Japan's most prominent fashion designers who has a deal with the company, will produce the official uniforms to be worn by Tokyo 2020 officials for future presentations, including the final decision at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Buenos Aires on September 7.

"We are fully behind Tokyo 2020's efforts to bring the world's greatest sports celebration to the heart of one of the most forward-thinking cities in the world," said Akihiro Aoki, President and chief operating officer of AOKI Holdings.

"It will be our pleasure to dress the bid with smart attire that expresses both the professionalism and celebratory spirit that characterise Tokyo 2020."

Shimada began her studies as a designer at the Sujino Gajen Dressmaker Institute of Tokyo more than 40 years ago before moving to Paris, where she still lives. 

She created her own design studio in 1981 and opened her first boutique three years later on rue Etienne Marcel in Paris.

Junko Shimada with Lady GagaJunko Shimada with Lady Gaga, who wore her “I Feel Love” collection

Shimada now has more than 20 exclusive shops for her main line and she also creates luggage, glasses, scarves, kimonos and golfwear under different licensed brands.

Among her clients are eccentric pop star Lady Gaga, who modelled her "I Feel Love" collection in 2009, which included a leather fishnet headmask.

"With less than six months to go until the Host City election, I am pleased to introduce AOKI as the 18th official Tokyo 2020 bid partner," said Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020. 

"We are excited about working with AOKI, as well as other future partners who share our goal of welcoming the world to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

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