Onward's Bus Stop to Import Zufi Alexander
British designer's bags and accessories to be available from autumn 2008
Onward Kashiyama's premier fashion importer/retailer Bus Stop has signed an exclusive import and sales agreement with British designer Zufi Alexander and will start importing the brand's bags and accessories for fall 2008.
Bus Stop's Audoxia boutique currently carries a small selection of Zufi Alexander bags, but next year will see the brand receive more expansive and detailed promotion within the larger Via Bus Stop locations, as well as distribution to specialty stores and department stores.
This is the second exclusive contract for bag imports that Onward has secured this year. Senken Shimbun quotes Bus Stop president Akira Okuda saying that young people generally are now using bags as a stepping stone to bags instead of the other way around.
Hanae Mori to Launch "Premium Collection"
New premier line to target Japan's growing New Rich
Hanae Mori Associates — a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. — will launch a premier line for Hanae Mori called "Premium Collection" next Spring. The line will mostly be comprised of bags, shoes, and accessories and be expanded from there. The main retail strategy will employ the suppliers' regular channels and also embrace television shopping.
"Premium Collection" will emphasize highly-craft production by Japanese artisans. This strategy hopes to create a "high-quality" image for the brand to win over wealthier domestic consumers.
Season and The Licensing Company Team Up to License Jelly Belly
American candy company to inspire a line of women's bathing suits
Japanese swimwear maker Season has signed an agreement with The Licensing Company to license the logo and images from American jellybean maker Jelly Belly for a line of women's bathing suits. The line will be produced by Season and target women from 16 to 22.
This is the first time that Jelly Belly has licensed clothing production to a company.
Onward Launches New J. Press Brand for Younger Consumers
"Scull & Bull" to target preppy 20- and 30-somethings
This autumn, leading Japanese apparel maker Onward Kashiyama has launched a new brand for J. Press called "Scull & Bull by J. Press." The brand targets preppy young men in their 20s and 30s. The first store for Scull & Bull opened in the new Yurakucho Marui building.
Although the offerings are similar to the main J. Press line, the "Scull & Bull" product line is generally more casual and less expensive. Many items make conspicuous use of J. Press' coat-of-arms logo.
Suits for "Scull & Bull" were apparently modeled on archived designs stored in J. Press' American warehouses in order to replicate a slimmer fit seen in the past. This strategy for "Scull & Bull" speaks further to the need for updating American styles to the tighter fits preferred by Japanese youth while preserving the "traditional" styling.
New Dunhill Concept Shop in Ginza
Richemont Group launches its first "lifestyle" concept shop for the brand in Tokyo
The Richemont Group opened the first "lifestyle experience" concept shop for men's brand Dunhill in Ginza on December 1. The three-story, 760 square-meter store — dubbed "Alfred Dunhill Ginza" — aims to capture the atmosphere of the brand founder's personal residence. Apart offering the standard Dunhill clothing line, the concept store hopes to attract new customers through the inclusion of a bar/lounge and barbershop.
Two more Dunhill concept shops in this vein are slated for Shanghai and London.
Tom Ford Establishes Tom Ford Japan
Subsidiary to promote brand in Japan Tom Ford has established the Japanese subsidiary Tom Ford Japan, with the official establishment date November 14. The President of the new company is Mark Prendergast from Tom Ford's Asian distributor — the Lane Crawford Joyce Group. The establishment of this new company will set the path towards the directly-managed stores slated to open in 2008.
Mr. Fumihiro Tomonaga is the managing editor at "creative class" magazine, Esquire Japan.
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