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Inspiration LA is Bringing the Best True Vintage to Los Angeles

The Thread

Inspiration LA is one of the country’s largest True Vintage events, bringing in vendors and buyers from all over the world. Taking over the massive Pasadena Convention Center, Inspiration is shaping up to be one of the premier events of the year with some of the rarest and most expensive product. We had the lucky opportunity to ask event founder, Rin Tanaka, a few questions about himself and his event. Here’s the full interview:

Who Are you? (Name, Age, Location, etc) 

Rin Tanaka, 52, living in Long Beach, CA.

How did you get into vintage? 

When I was 12-13 years old, I went to Harajuku, Tokyo and I entered to vintage clothing stores, named “Chicago” and “Santa Monica,” and etc. Since then, I have been loving any VINTAGE products, not only clothing, but also vintage guitar, audio, bikes, cars… I am interested in vintage SAX! I have been just doing same things in last 40 years.

Tell us about your event, Inspiration LA. How did you start the event? Why did you want to start it? 

That’s the long story behind why my “Inspiration LA show” was started. But its original concept was my “book signing party.” I, as an author, have published 25th titles in last 25 years,but I didn’t  have any publishing parties in my local, LA  until 2009.
But I found one issue soon. Over 2000 people would have come to my event…. Wow too many! So I had to organize the EVENT, not party by myself.
I simply love any VINTAGEs. So lots of vintage clothing dealers from worldwide has been gathering in LA for my “Inspiration” show in last 13 years, except 2021&2022. Thanks so much!

What are you most excited about for Inspiration LA? 

That’s the “Opening Time”: 10am on 4.7. About 250-300 professional dealers from worldwide will be waiting the opening doors in  the lobby of Pasadena Convention Center. And they will spend big money to buy rare pieces in next few hours. PCC will be changed to the “Battle of “vintage.”  That’s crazy! Hahahaha, but they are serious, because of Professional!

Do you think True Vintage is becoming more popular in the USA than Japan? 

That’s difficult to answer….
As I know, any vintage in very good condition has been bought by Japanese in last 30-40 years, with higher prices. I am not interested in if it’s “popular” or not, but “quality” is everything for me in vintage fields.

Are there any vendors/buyers you are excited to see coming out for Inspiration LA?

Now many crazy “vintage” people (exhibitors & audiences) are entering into LA! Probably 2000-3000 people will gather on 4/7-8. I am 100% ready for the show. So Can’t wait by 4/7-8! 

What is your future goal for Inspiration LA? Anything you want to add/change for the future? 

Now I am planning to build up the “Inspiration Tokyo,” held at a venue in Tokyo Japan on Nov. 2024. That’s the my future plan. As you know, Tokyo is the biggest “Vintage” market in the world. And that’s my home town from 1986 to 1998. I have thousands friends there.After 4/8, I will start its setup Jobs!

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