28 September 2007
Black Barrett Has Great First Month
Neil Barrett's second line has already made a big mark with young male consumers read on >>

According to Senken Shimbun, Neil Barrett's Japan-only second line Black Barrett by Neil Barrett has already experienced unprecedented sales in its first month. With currently distribution to 26 locations, the minimal brand has struck a chord with men in their 20s. Sanyo Shokai — the company behind the brand — are attributing Black Barrett's presence in magazines for the big start. Customers bought up 60% of the stock of the short black duffel coat shown in the main ad in just two weeks.

For reference, please read our Brand Profile of Black Barrett by Neil Barrett here

28 September 2007
Sanki Gets License for Blauer, Coast Weber & Ahaus
Sanki to exclusively import, sell two Italian casual brands read on >>

Sanki has won the exclusive right to sell and represent Italian casual brands Blauer (the maker of NYC police uniforms) and Coast Weber & Ahaus in Japan. The brands will continue to be sold in their current select shop locations but shops will be opened in department stores in the near future.

28 September 2007
Black Fleece Attracting New Customers
Thom Browne's Black Fleece is getting Brooks Brothers new attention in Japan read on >>

Brooks Brothers' Thom Browne-designed Black Fleece collection hit Japan earlier this month and is already attracting much attention in the Japanese market. Black Fleece fashion shoots appeared in the October issues of both Popeye and Men's Non-no, and fashion bloggers like Elastic are chatting about the brand as their current lust. Isetan's Shinjuku flagship store is the key retail location, and Brooks Brothers is reporting interest from high-income luxury consumers who have not previously been interested in the brand. Shirts and ties are apparently the best-selling items. As the preppie and "trad" boom hits almost all sectors of the Japanese fashion market, the timing is good for Browne's design ethic. (Although we are yet to see many exposed ankles.)

Brooks Brothers is reporting 14.2 billion in income for the July 2007 fiscal year — an increase from the previous year.

Keywords: Thom Browne , Brooks Brothers , Isetan
20 September 2007
Department Store Revenues Up for August
Japanese department store experienced positive growth for August 2007 read on >> According to the new numbers from the Japan Department Stores Association, Japanese department stores experienced revenues of almost 520 billion yen in August 2007 — 1.4% greater than the previous year. Tokyo department stores saw a 4.5% increase over August 2006. Analysts attribute the healthy sales to good weather and high sales of summer items.
Keywords: department stores
19 September 2007
Shibuya Girls Collection Draws 3400
Huge crowd celebrates the younger version of TGC read on >>

shibuya girls collection
Around 3,400 teenage girls attended the Shibuya Girls Collection in Shinkiba on September 17. Internet media company Xavel — the company behind cyber apparel retailer teenwalker.com — has created SGC to be the "Tokyo Girls Collection (TGC)" for a younger audience. Opposed to TGC, however, SGC seems to be strongly targeting both young men and women who see Shibuya as a fashion base (mainly darkly tanned gyaru and gyaru-o subcultures). 

Sixteen brands — including Cecil McBee for girls and Gennaro for guys — offered fashion shows, while comedians and bands performed between the "collections."

Related Story: Tokyo Girls Collection: Populism and Real Clothes

18 September 2007
Duffer of St. George Flagship Shop Opens in Shibuya
Duffer of St. George license-holder Joix Corporation has opened a flagship store for the English brand in Shibuya read on >> On September 13, Joi'x Corporation opened the flagship store for British brand The Duffer of St. George on Cat Street (between Shibuya and Harajuku). The store is 91 square-meters and done up as the living room and library of an early 19th century British traditional manor. 
18 September 2007
Printemps Ginza Reopens after Remodeling
On September 14, Printemps Ginza reopened to much fanfare. read on >>

On September 14, shopping complex Printemps Ginza reopened after a remodeling effort to strengthen its image as a fashion retail space for women in their 20s and 30s. There was apparently a 700-strong line at the opening launch, with some customers waiting since the break of dawn.

Printemps is attempting to attract a young customer base who normally shop in Shibuya by including popular inexpensive fashion labels like Cecil McBee, Jayro, and Sly. The attempt to make the building's brands "accessible" to younger women echoes the recent trends towards "real clothes" seen at the Tokyo Girls Collection. This certainly strikes a different market position than the more regal, adult-oriented department stores in the Ginza area. 

18 September 2007
Formal Wear Sees Sales Increase
Japanese men from their 30s to 60s are suddenly taking up the tuxedo. read on >>

Senken Shimbun is reporting that men's formal wear — from tuxedos to tails ("morning coat" in Japanese) — has been selling very well in recent days. Select shop United Arrows and manufacturer/retalier Kind Ware have both seen a 50% increase in formal wear sales over the last year. 

Although men in their mid-30s have been the key consumer base for the formal boom, this trend extends all the way to the dankai Baby Boomer generation.

Japanese society may offer fewer opprtunities to dress in formal wear than the West, but tuxedos are becoming popular options for men attending weddings and parties. In a larger sense, this trend seems to connect with aristocratic aspirations on the part of Japan's growing elite on the right side of the income disparity divide

14 September 2007
Rena Lange to Expand Bags, Accessories in Japan
Importer Sann FrГ©res will introduce more Rena Lange bags and accessories in Japan from 2008 S/S. read on >>

Importer Sann Fréres will introduce more bags and accessories from German brand Rena Lange in Japan from 2008 S/S. Rena Lange only began to make products in this category from S/S of this year.

The Rena Lange flagship store is currently located in Osaka's Herbis shopping complex. This store and the twelve other retail locations will start remodeling in October.

Keywords: handbag , Sann Freres , Osaka
14 September 2007
Kid Robot Coming to Japan
America's premier toy gallery Kid Robot to open a Tokyo store read on >>

America's premier limited-edition toy gallery Kid Robot has decided to open a store in Tokyo next year. No further details are available about specific location or dates.

Although the store first found fame through imported toys from Japan and Hong Kong, but they have recently expanded into original collectible toys as well as a line of apparel. Barneys New York carries certain pieces of the Kid Robot's collection. 

Kid Robot currently has shops in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

Keywords: Tokyo
13 September 2007
Itochu Plans Expansion for LeSportsac in China
Itochu to extend American bag maker LeSportsac's presence in China read on >>

Senken Shimbun is reporting that Itochu Corporation will expand American bag maker LeSportsac's presence in China over the next three years. There will be 15 LeSportsac stores in China by the end of the year. Itochu will also focus retail strategy on opening locations within airport duty free stores. Revenues from China are hoped to reach 800 million JPY in 2008, 1.5 billion in 2009, and 2 billion in 2010.

Itochu's sales in China started in February of this year through Hong Kong-based apparel firm Novo Concept Holdings. The airport stores, however, will be of Itochu's own doing.

The firm behind LeSportsac — Brand Science — is a jointly owned by Itochu and American apparel company Accessory Network. Itochu, however, owns LeSportsac trademarks and sales rights for the entire world. Total global sales for 2006 are expected to hit 30 billion JPY, with 20 billion of that total from Itochu's sales regions. Japan brings in 7.2 billion JPY in sales for LeSportsac.

Keywords: LeSportsac , China , duty-free , Itochu
13 September 2007
Tokyo Fashion Week Review in IHT
International Herald Tribune sums up thoughts on Tokyo Fashion Week read on >> We had been looking for a good summary of Tokyo Fashion Week to recommend, and the International Herald Tribune's article "Tokyo Fashion Week surprises with a sensual cheeriness" gives a pretty nice round-up of the most discussed collections.
Keywords: Tokyo Fashion Week
12 September 2007
ADIRON Picks Up Sales Rights for Biasia
Japanese handbag distributor ADIRON has obtained the exclusive sales rights for Italian bag brand Francesco Biasia. read on >>

Japanese handbag distributor Adiron has obtained the exclusive sales rights for Italian bag brand Francesco Biasia. They have chosen a strategy focused on sales in upscale department stores, with some early sales in select shops. A freestanding store for Ginza is also in the works. 

Biasia currently pulls in around 1 billion JPY in sales through Japanese department stores and an additional 500 million JPY in other Japanese retail locations. At present, there are 19 Biasia shops, with three more on the way. Adiron hopes for 3 billion JPY in revenues in five years. 

Adiron currently handles such brands as Marie Claire Paris and Upla. 

11 September 2007
Babywear Milli Company Ltd. to Open NY Store
Japanese babywear maker Milli Company Ltd. will open a store in New York in October. read on >>

Japanese babywear maker Milli Company Ltd. will open a store in New York on Spring Street called "Sense of Wonder" in October as part of a larger effort to increase sales to the United States. Milli established Milli New York Company Ltd. in 2005 and has already been providing goods to distributors and children's specialty stores. They are aiming for 50 million JPY in sales for both brick-and-mortar and net retail in the U.S. and plan for five American stores total in the near future. 

11 September 2007
Dolce & Gabbana Open Biggest Japanese Store Yet in Osaka
D&G go big in Osaka's Shinsaibashi read on >>

On September 8, Dolce & Gabbana opened their largest Japanese store yet in Osaka's Shinsaibashi neighborhood. The two-floor store is 1000 m2 in area with ladies on the first floor and men's on the second.The new shop is surrounded with identical foliage as seen at the D&G Milan office. 

Keywords: Osaka , Dolce & Gabbana
11 September 2007
Sumitomo Corporation Buys Nara Camicie Japan
Sumitomo Corporation acquires Japanese importer of Italian shirt/blouse brand Nara Camicie read on >>

Sumitomo Corporation has acquired Nara Camicie Japan — importer and seller of the Italian shirt/blouse brand Nara Camicie as well as Renato Nucci — in a deal that will be completed on September 18. The official buyout figure has not been announced, but Senken Shimbun estimates the amount to be between 1.5 and 2 billion JPY.

Sumitomo also owns Barney's Japan and Eddie Bauer Japan, Inc. This latest acquisition is seen as an attempt to increase brand assets. 

Sumitomo plans to create a more "reasonable" line called "Rosa Label" within Nara Camicie, as well as put more NC stores within shopping buildings.

Nama Camicie has been in Japan since 1989 and now has a total of 52 stores.  

Keywords: Nara Camicie , Sumitomo
10 September 2007
Yahoo! Fashion Poll on Fashion Interest
Results from a poll on the new Yahoo! Fashion site. read on >>

Yahoo! Japan Fashion launched at the end of August and is attracting interest as a "legitimate" web portal for Japanese fashion consumers. At the moment, the site offers three "web magazines," one of which is almost identical to CanCam in tone and models.

Since August 28, Yahoo! Japan Fashion has asked readers to answer a survey on "What opened your eyes to fashion?" Although not a scientific poll, the answers are quite interesting (translation ours):

What opened your eyes to fashion? Out of 1146 Votes

1. Influenced by fashion magazines - 23% (259 votes)
2. Influenced by friends - 14% (159 votes)
3. I like somebody (and wanted to impress them) - 10% (112 votes)
3. I still haven't awoken to fashion - 10% (112 votes)
5. I wanted to be attractive to the opposite sex - 10% (110 votes) 
6. I was complemented for my fashion taste - 7% (77 votes)
7. I wanted to stand out - 6% (68 votes)
8. I hated the clothes my parents bought for me - 6% (63 votes)
9. I am obsessed with a celebrity - 5% (53 votes)
10. I moved to the big city - 5% (50 votes)
11. Influenced by sibling - 5% (47 votes)
12. I wanted to improve my luck - 4% (36 votes) 

This gives further support for our theory on the importance of fashion magazines on the market. We hope you will not only take a look at our tutorial on Japanese fashion magazines, but keep track of the new titles in our Magazine Rack on a constant basis.   

06 September 2007
Bonpoint to Increase Retail Locations
French high-end children's apparel maker Bonpoint will open four more retail locations in Japan this fall. read on >>

French high-end children's apparel maker Bonpoint will open four retail locations within Japanese department stores this fall. Their full line will be available in the Tokyo branch of Takashimaya as well as Iwataya in Fukuoka. Smaller stores will grace Hanshin's Umeda branch and Tokyu's Shibuya hub.

Bonpoint first came to Japan in 1999 through sales at Isetan. In spring 2006, the brand opened their flagship store in the Daikanyama area. Roadside stores in the upscale neighborhoods of Omotesando and Ginza are now in the works. 

Although Japan has experienced a critically low birthrate in recent years, there are high expectations for growth in the children's luxury apparel market based on the idea that affluent retiring grandparents of the Baby Boomer (dankai) generation will spend lavishly on their few grandchildren. 

Keywords: Isetan , Shibuya , New Rich , luxury , Omotesando , Bonpoint , children's , Daikanyama , Tokyu , Takashimaya , Hanshin
06 September 2007
Ralph Lauren Opens New Space in Isetan Men's
Impact 21 has opened a large Ralph Lauren shop on the eighth floor of Isetan Men's. read on >>

Impact 21 has opened a new Ralph Lauren Purple Label/Black Label hybrid shop on the eighth floor of Isetan Men's. The location sells four RL lines and features mostly imported product. At around 221 square meters, the store is the largest space for a single brand within the Isetan Men's complex.

The Ralph Lauren shop opened as part of Isetan's new lifestyle-focused design for its eighth floor — now titled "Isetan Men's Residence" — where men can "refresh" in the library or day spa. 

Keywords: Isetan , Ralph Lauren
03 September 2007
Sunco Luggage to Import/License Delsey
Sunco Luggage has signed an exclusive importing and licensing agreement with French bag/luggage brand Delsey read on >> Sunco Luggage has signed an exclusive importing and licensing agreement for Japan with French bag/luggage brand Delsey. Sales will begin in early 2008 with expectations of 400 million JPY in the first year.
Keywords: luggage