26 October 2007
Sanyo Shokai to Produce Mackintosh Ladies Apparel Line
"Mackintosh Philosophy" to target females in their 20s read on >>

Sanyo Shokai — manufacturers of second lines Black Barrett and Burberry Black Label — will produce a full-line ladies apparel brand in Japan for the iconic British coat maker Mackintosh called Mackintosh Philosophy. The brand will be sold mainly at department stores. The brand will target women in their late 20s who have "graduated" from the akamoji-kei look featured in magazines CanCam and JJ

Sanyo has already rolled out the men's line for Mackintosh Philosophy but currently sells it at only five locations in Japan.

Sanyo Shokai plans on 500 million JPY in revenues for the Philosophy ladies line the first year and 2.5 billion JPY in revenues for 2010.

This is the first licensed ladies line for Mackintosh.

25 October 2007
Donna Karen Japan Rethinks Men's Line
DNKY Men's becomes M/DKNY. read on >>

Donna Karen Japan has decided to change the current DKNY men's line into a new brand called "M/DKNY." The expressed purpose is to better match the needs of a slightly younger target audience in their late 20s and 30s. The new brand image will focus around sportiness, activity, and chic technical functionality.

Distribution strategy will remain focused on department stores. The price zone, however, will be expanded downwards to include more customers. 

25 October 2007
Hardy Amies Dissolves Licensing Contract with Daitobo
Partners end thirty-six year relationship read on >> Hardy Amies — Saville Row clothier to the British royal family and others — has dissolved its licensing contract with long-time partners Daitobo. The British company will now handle its own licensing in Japan for the time being, signing direct contracts with the present sublicensees.
25 October 2007
Reika Hashimoto Designs for Message Brand WILLSELECTION
Samantha Thavasa subsidiary launches its second "celebrity-designed" line read on >> Samantha Thavasa subsidiary Message has debuted a special women's line designed by popular model Reika Hashimoto. The resulting collection "L´AIIurede Reika by WILLSELECTION" is a slightly higher-priced, prestige version of Message's brand WILLSELECTION. Customers can buy the line at the 19 WILLSELECTION stores across Japan as well as Message's online shop Brimiant.
Keywords: Samantha Thavasa
25 October 2007
Betty Smith to Expand Tailored Jeans Service
Okayama denim brand plans on expanding franchise to 100 locations in a single year read on >>

Okayama denim brand Betty Smith is planning to further franchise their "order made" tailored jeans to 100 locations within the next year. These locations in casual wear stores, select shops, and mid-sized men's shops will offer customers a book of sample materials and retailers a standard measurement procedure.

Betty Smith started to produce order made jeans in 2006 and currently has 30 affiliated stores providing this service. They offer two styles for men in ten sizes and one style for women in six sizes, as well as 32 fabrics and multiple options for buttons and stiching. Prices start at 29,400 JPY.

The company has expanded into these special order jeans on the expectation of retiring Baby Boomers adopting a more casual daily wardrobe.

For reference, read our trend story from the October 2007 issue on "Order Made Everything."

Keywords: order made , jeans
22 October 2007
Ballantyne Opens Ginza Flagship
British cashmere brand to expand retail presence in Japan read on >>

Italian-owned, British-made cashmere brand Ballantyne opened a flagship store in Ginza on October 19. The roadside store is two stories and 75 square meters. Earlier this year, Ballantyne closed their main retail location in Aoyama in preparation for the Ginza shop.

Ballantyne's partner in Japan is Aoi, and the two companies are planning 2-3 more branded areas within larger retail spaces for the next year.

22 October 2007
Dolce & Gabbana Japan to Take Over Wholesaling
Brand will take control from its current partner Misaki Shoji in late 2008 read on >>

From Autumn 2008, Dolce & Gabbana Japan will handle its own wholesaling, taking the duties from  Misaki Shoji — their partner in Japan since 1996. D&G Japan have cited a greater need controlling brand image as the reason for the change. 

Since Dolce & Gabbana formed D&G Japan as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2002, Misaki has mostly handled distribution to select shops. This will relieve Misaki of D&G-related activities.

Dolce & Gabbana / D&G currently have 18 stores inside department stores and four standalone locations in Japan.

22 October 2007
Oricon Survey on Women's Most Wanted Brands
Oricon's beauty and health site does a brand survey read on >>

eltha, the ranking chart company Oricon's beauty and health site, held a survey on brands with 500 women from middle-school to their 40s as the respondents. Like years before, Anna Sui took the #1 spot, with 25.6% of women demonstrating preference for the brand. Surveyed women noted that they enjoyed the brand's cool color palette and "cuteness."

Burberry took #2 with 18.8% with much favor for their traditional check, and Vivienne Westwood came out as #3 as an edgy, fashionable brand.

Full results here:

General Ranking

  1. Anna Sui
  2. Burberry
  3. Vivienne Westwood
  4. Samantha Thavasa
  5. Cecil McBee
  6. Pinky & Dianne
  7. Jill Stuart
  8. As Know As
  9. Moussy
  10. Comme des Garçons

Middle School/High School

  1. Anna Sui
  2. Cecil McBee
  3. Vivienne Westwood
  4. Samantha Thavasa
  5. Burberry
College Students/Speciality School Students
  1. Anna Sui
  2. Vivienne Westwood
  3. Burberry
  4. Samantha Thavasa
  5. As Know As
  1. Anna Sui
  2. Vivienne Westwood
  3. Jill Stuart
  4. Burberry
  5. Samantha Thavasa
  1. Anna Sui
  2. Burberry
  3. Samantha Thavasa
  4. Jill Stuart
  5. Pinky & Dianne


  1. Burberry
  2. Vivienne Westwood
  3. Pinky & Dianne
  4. Samantha Thavasa
  5. Anna Sui


Keywords: Cecil McBee , Samantha Thavasa , Vivienne Westwood , Anna Sui , Burberry , Comme des Garçons
22 October 2007
Girls Like Long Nails, Leggings, but Boys Don't
Results for Yomiuri Online's poll on "What do girls think is cute but boys don't care for?" read on >>

Yomiuri Online held a survey on its online community Hasshin Komachi to find out "What women think is cute but that men do not particularly like?"

The answers were:

1) Long fingernails - 16%
2) Tunic - 10%
3) Leggings - 8%
4) Balloon Skirt - 2%
5) Other - 64%

Men apparently see tunics as "maternity wear" and leggings "like wearing sweatpants under a schoolgirl uniform." Males view long nails as "dirty","dangerous," and most importantly "making housework impossible."

18 October 2007
Zegna Japan to Expand Leather Accessories
Ermenegildo Zegna looks to leather goods to attract a younger crowd in Japan read on >> Senken Shimbun reported on October 18 that Zegna Japan will expand the range of leather accessories in Ermenegildo Zegna shops across Japan. The move is intended to attract women and a younger generation of customers who feel the brand is too "high-end" for patronage. These leather accessories are already selling well on a global scale.
18 October 2007
MUJI's First NY Store to Open on Nov. 16
High-quality beige goods coming to Soho read on >>

On October 15, Ryohin Keikaku President Tadamitsu Matsui announced a November 16 open date for MUJI (Mujirushi Ryohin)'s first New York store in the Soho neighborhood.

A larger flagship store is planned for Midtown in late January/early February of 2008 with a total of 3-4 stores in the works for the Big Apple.

Keywords: New York , MUJI
17 October 2007
United Arrows Recalls "Cashmere" Stoles
UA has undertaken a recall of women's stoles claiming to be "70% cashmere" but containing 0% cashmere read on >> On October 10, METI-Kanto announced that "select shop"/mass retailer United Arrows ordered a recall of women's stoles it sold claiming to be "70% Cashmere" but contained no cashmere at all. The scarves were apparently manufactured in Nepal and sold at a few UA locations, as well as online.
Keywords: United Arrows
17 October 2007
Timberland Opens Concept Store in Shibuya
With help from architectural team Assitant, U.S. outdoor giants Timberland have opened an eco-friendly concept shop near the park in Shibuya read on >>

With help from architectural team Assistant, U.S. outdoor giant Timberland has opened an eco-friendly concept shop near the park in Shibuya. The store uses 80% recycled materials and sports a woody "forest" interior complete with faux trees. The product lineup stresses "lifestyle" items rather than traditional functional goods for outdoor usage.

The store is 200 square meters in area. This is Timberland's fourth global concept shop. 

Keywords: shoes
17 October 2007
Dims Drive Research: Cheap is Better
Dims Drive Research has completed a survey on buyer behavior for business suits read on >>

Dims Drive Research has completed a survey of 6,366 men and women on their buyer behavior for business suits. Their findings include:

• 39.4% own between 3-5 suits.

• 10% in their 20s and 30s buy suits at a "two-price suit shop." As they get older, they tend to buy suits at supermarkets.

• 66.4% have a price point of "under 30,000 JPY"

• 76.8% choose suits on design, 70.3% on price, and 62.8% on size

• A common point of dissatisfaction with suit shopping is that "most of the designs look the same."

• Survey participants like the "two price suit shops" not just because of price, but because the styles are "safe." 80% who shop there are satisfied.

• The feelings desired when wearing suits are "cleanliness" and "relaxed comfort."

Keywords: suits
17 October 2007
Yurakucho Marui Opens to Big Crowds
Marui's brand new shopping complex in Yurakucho attracts huge crowds for the opening weekend read on >>

Shopping complex Marui's brand new shopping complex in Yurakucho attracted huge crowds for its opening weekend from October 12 to 14. On the first day at 10 am, nearly 1200 customers — mostly young women — gathered at the Yurakucho train station before the official opening. On the first day, the total number of customers was estimated at a whopping 100,000, and this crowd size reappeared for the next two days as well.

Senken Shimbun reported on the 17th that the Marui opening has led to positive spill-over effects for nearby shopping complexes Ginza Printemps — recently-renovated to target the Shibuya 109 set — and the brand new Marronnier Gate. (See our Tutorial on Japanese shopping buildings for more information.) With these three recent openings, Yurakucho has established itself as a go-to place for shoppers filtering down from Ginza. 

With the Yurakucho location, Marui has consciously decided to target a more "adult" audience than their younger retail locations in Shibuya and Shinjuku. Now that youth consumption is stagnant, shopping building managers are all seemingly re-gearing their complexes' concepts to primarily cater to the needs of women in their 20s and 30s and men in their 40s. 

While the opening crowd numbers are impressive, Japanese customers are notoriously novelty-driven, and the real measure of success will be the revenues after Marui has passed from its brief moment in the spotlight. 

Keywords: Tokyo , fashion buildings , Marui , Ginza
12 October 2007
Theory to Expand in West
Link Theory Holdings plans on more attention to America and Europe read on >>

According to Link Theory Holdings' midterm corporate report, the company plans on expanding American and European sales as part of the core strategy. Out of a target 59.2 billion JPY in revenues for the 2010 fiscal year, Link Theory hopes to make 33 billion JPY from the American market. (Figures from the last fiscal year are 45.7 billion JPY in total revues with 27 billion JPY from America.)

In the last fiscal year, the company opened 11 directly-managed stores in the United States and one in Paris. This term, Link Theory will open an additional Paris location as well as a London store. 

Link Theory sees broader expansion in Japan as difficult, but plans on renovating and widening current locations. 

09 October 2007
MOMA Design Store to Open in Omotesando
New York's Museum of Modern Art to open first overseas outlet of MOMA Design Store in Tokyo read on >>

New York's Museum of Modern Art will open its first overseas location of retail outlet MOMA Design Store in Tokyo's Omotesando neighborhood on November 2. The store will be located in the brand-new shopping complex GYRE.

Sanyo Electric will be in charge of store operations as part of their sales/licensing agreement with the museum.

09 October 2007
Baroque Japan Ltd. Transfers All Shares to CrГ©dit Agricole
CrГ©dit Agricole buys 100% of the parent company to brands Moussy and Sly read on >>

On September 20, Baroque Japan Limited — parent company to young casual brands Moussy and Sly — transferred 100% of its shares to Crédit Agricole's Japan-focused fund CLSA Partners Japan. The intention of the buyout is to expand the international viability for the market-leading Japanese apparel conglomerate.

Baroque Japan Limited was formed in April of this year as a merger between three companies: Moussy-parent Fakedelic, Sly-parent Madmind, and Black by Moussy-parent Jackpot Production. In May, Baroque Japan Ltd. further merged with the brand Succubus — maker of brand Rienda. The company's revenues for the 2008 fiscal year are expected to be 30 billion JPY. With this buyout, Baroque Japan Ltd. now hopes to reach 90 billion JPY in five years, with the possibility of a market listing.

Baroque Japan Ltd.'s brands are particularly popular with the Tokyo Girls Collection "real clothes" market segment focused around Shibuya 109.

09 October 2007
"Tokyo Top Kids Collection" Announced
Children's clothing e-retailer Kids Online to throw fashion show at Tokyo Midtown read on >>

Children's clothing e-retailer Kids Online — with help from Yahoo! Japan and kids magazine Sesame — will hold a fashion show called "Tokyo Top Kids Collection" at Tokyo Midtown on December 16. They hope to attract around 1700 families to the event.

The show will feature 17 children's brands, including Barbie, Diesel Kids, Hysteric Mini, Jill Stuart New York, and X-girl Stages. Visitors to the event will be able to buy special limited-edition goods from the brand on site through their cellular phones.

05 October 2007
Booties Selling Well
Fuji Sankei Business reports high early sales for booties read on >>

According to FujiSankei Business, women's low-cut booties are already racking up high sales at department stores this autumn. Supply is somewhat limited since the novelty of the shoe style stumped buyers on levels of possible popularity.

Fashion magazines have been pushing booties, as evidenced in our "Autumn Trends from the October Magazines" article.  

Keywords: department stores , shoes
04 October 2007
Uniqlo to Open First French Store
In December Uniqlo will open its first French location in a Parisian shopping complex read on >>

On October 2, Uniqlo announced an early December opening for its first French retail location in the Parisian shopping center Les Quatre Temps.

The store wil be around 200 square meters.  

Uniqlo is still planning its global flagship for the center of Paris in 2009. This new store will prepare the company for selling to French consumers.

02 October 2007
Audi Teams Up with United Arrows
Audi Japan has come together with select shop United Arrows to make a special car read on >> Car maker Audi Japan has teamed up with select shop United Arrows to create a special one-off car: the Audi TT Roadster Exclusive by United Arrows. The Roadster Exclusive started sales in Japan in June, and this car will add United Arrows' luxury touches to the original model. The UA version will be sold to a lucky driver chosen by lottery.
02 October 2007
Next Opens Store in Omotesando
British apparel firm opens three-story shop in Omotesando to display new brand concept read on >> On September 28, Xebio opened British apparel firm NEXT's very first store to represent their new brand concept in the Omotesando neighborhood of Tokyo. The date coincided with a celebration of the brand's first decade in Japan. The store carries NEXT's exclusive premium line as well as ladies, girls, and men's lines. Products offered will be 60% imports and 40% licensed goods.

The store is three-stories tall and 500 square meters. The store is not the flagship (which is in Jiyugaoka), but a "Premium Shop."

02 October 2007
Okahata to Sell Henri-Lloyd Casual Line
British yacht gear maker Henri-Lloyd to expand casual line sales in Japan read on >> Okahata & Co., Ltd. will introduce British sailing/yachting goods maker Henri-Lloyd's resort-flavored casual line in Japan this Autumn. One of the first sales events will be a UK exhibition at revered department store Mitsukoshi's flagship Nihonbashi location from October 2 to 14. Okahata also plans national distribution to department stores and select shops.
02 October 2007
Ayumi International to Sell Fornarina
Osaka's Ayumi International signs distribution/sales contract with Italian casual brand Fornarina read on >>

Italian casual brand Fornarina has signed a wholesaling/sales contract for Japan with Osaka importers Ayumi International. Sales will begin in select shops for S/S next year.

LCR Co., Ltd. is already handling importing and retail for the brand. 




Oct 31 2007
Jun Anazawa
Mr. Jun Anazawa is an account planning manager at Japan
Keywords: youth , luxury , New Rich , CanCam
Oct 01 2007
Yoko Kawashima
Yoko Kawashima is a fashion market researcher at Itochu Fashion Systems and the author of fifteen books about Japanese firms.
Keywords: Yohji Yamamoto , Itochu , Shibuya , PARCO , JJ , Omotesando , Shibuya 109 , Tokyo , gyaru , department stores , select shops , fashion buildings , Comme des Garçons
Oct 01 2007
Yozo Yagi
Yozo Yagi is the PR Office Director of
Keywords: Yagi , Mackintosh , Beams , select shops , trading company , United Arrows


Oct 31 2007
Tokyo Fashion Neighborhoods
An introduction to the main shopping districts for fashion in Japan's capital city
Oct 01 2007
Tokyo Fashion Buildings
An introduction to the most famous fashion buildings in Tokyo and some of the newer examples.
Keywords: fashion buildings , gyaru , real clothes , Tokyo , Ginza , Tokyu , Shibuya 109 , Omotesando , Onward Kashiyama , PARCO , Shibuya , Banana Republic , CanCam , Yohji Yamamoto


Oct 31 2007
Post-Materialist Youth
Fashion orients away from kids, but kids save their nickels to buy big
Keywords: youth
Oct 31 2007
October Diffusions and November Magazines
A visual and textual guide to the autumn 2007 trends in the magazines and on the streets
Keywords: Brooks Brothers , Thom Browne , JJ , shoes , leggings , CanCam , magazines
Oct 01 2007
Order Made Everything
Tradition and innovation merge to create bespoke options for most about everything in Japan
Keywords: Ginza , department stores , Isetan
Oct 01 2007
Autumn Trends from the October Magazines
A visual and textual guide to the Autumn 2007 trends pushed hard in the media.
Keywords: magazines , CanCam , JJ , select shops , Thom Browne


Oct 31 2007
Tokyo Street Photos for October
A cooled-down Tokyo finally brings out the Autumn trends
Oct 01 2007
Tokyo Street Photos for September
Although hot outside, autumn trends started to hit Omotesando and Daikanyama
Keywords: Daikanyama , Harajuku , Omotesando


Oct 03 2007
Stylish traditional obsessed with Edwardian tailoring precision