28 April 2008
Ungaro Soir Signs with Itochu
Trading company holds license to Ungaro's black formal collection in Japan read on >> Japanese trading company Itochu has signed a licensing agreement with French designer brand Emanuel Ungaro to sell its black formal line Ungaro Soir in Japan.

Tokyo Soir has signed on as the sub-licensee and will start selling the brand in Japan in SS09.

Keywords: Itochu
28 April 2008
Free's Shop and Isetan Collaborate on New Store
Sanei International's select-shop subsidiary opens new store with department store's help read on >> Ladies select-shop Free's Shop — a subsidiary of Sanei International — has formed an alliance with department store Isetan to develop a new store called Debbie by Free's Shop. The first location for this new store opened on April 23 on the second floor of Isetan's main Tokyo building. Isetan collaborated with Free's on bringing together the staff and merchandising. The theme of the Debbie shop is "Los Angeles celebrity trends mixed with high-quality apparel."

Free's Shops are mostly located within train station shopping complexes and fashion buildings, and this is the chain's first opening with a department store. Debbie by Free's Shop targets a slightly younger clientele than the other locations.

The Isetan location plans for ¥400 million in net sales over the first year. A temporary store in Isetan before the official April 23 launch grossed an estimated ¥10 million in just one week.

This store looks to be another example of department stores reaching out to a younger female segment through shops with reasonably-priced, trendy merchandising.

Keywords: Sanei International
21 April 2008
Roppongi Hills Unveils 50 New Stores
A whole new retail experience to accompany the fifth-year anniversary of the iconic shopping complex read on >>

Iconic Tokyo shopping complex Roppongi Hills has added fifty new shops in a major renovation coinciding with its fifth-year anniversary.

Most notably, Tiffany & Co. has open a men's-only boutique called Tiffany & Co. The Men's Store.

Adidas has opened three different shops: a sports-oriented Adidas Performance Center, a fashion-oriented Adidas Originals store, and a Taylor Made Adidas Golf location.

The twenty existing stores, including Hugo Boss, Diesel, Birkenstock, and Samantha Thavasa New York, have updated their floor layouts and interiors. 

Keywords: Roppongi Hills , Roppongi
21 April 2008
"Rosa by Nara Camicie" to Open Ten Stores
A new license brand for the Italian shirt maker to dress down the image read on >>

The new brand Rosa by Nara Camicie from Italian shirt-maker Nara Camicie has announced plans to open 10 stores this year in Japan. Compared to the main line, Rosa will offer more casual and less expensive shirts and blouses to younger working women.

Nara Camicie is currently an import brand in Japan, but Rosa by Nara Camicie will work on a license model.

The retail strategy includes train-station shopping areas as well as fashion buildings. 

Keywords: Nara Camicie
15 April 2008
Sumitomo Corporation and Xavel Form Business Alliance
Fashion Walker masterminds to work with trading company for mutual expansion read on >>

Trading company Sumitomo Corporation and fashion e-retailers Xavel — the company behind such recent successes as girlswalker.com and Tokyo Girls Collection — have signed a business alliance contract. The companies will work together on developing products and content for Sumitomo's TV-shopping retailing business such as Jupiter Shop Channel. Sumitomo will, in turn, invest towards FashionWalker at a multiple hundred million yen level.

The companies expect a ¥10 billion result from the alliance within three to five years.

Keywords: Tokyo Girls Collection , Sumitomo
15 April 2008
Magazine Zino to Cease Publication
Ichiro Kishida's "badboy middle-aged men" magazine to end with the June 2008 issue read on >>

Monthly magazine Zino — a luxury media targeted towards wealthy "bad boy" middle-aged men — will cease publication after this month's June 2008 issue. Publisher Ichiro Kishida founded the magazine in March 2007. Zino's webpage "@Zino" will also close.

Kishida is famous for creating the "choi waru oyaji" ("slightly-bad middle-aged man") trend with his Shufu to Seikatsusha-published magazine Leon. Once forced out of that publisher in 2006, Kishida went on to start Zino as a rival to his original baby Leon. Evidently, the market was not big enough for two magazines of this type.

Leon's female counterpart Nikita (Shufu to Seikatsusha) ceased publication earlier this year. 


Keywords: Leon
11 April 2008
Beams Opens Beams+ in Marunouchi
Select shop brings "American trad" to business neighborhood read on >> Top-tier select shop chain Beams has opened a branch of its American traditional men's store Beams+ in the office building district Marunouchi. The store is 182 square-meters. This is the third standalone Beams+ store, with one in Shibuya and one in Harajuku.
Keywords: select shops , Beams
11 April 2008
Printemps Ginza Claims Post-Renovation Increases
9% increase in revenues, 20% increase in customers for last six months read on >>

Printemps Ginza has announced a 9% increase in total revenues and 20% increase in customers (over the previous term) for the six month period after its large-scale renovation last September. Apparel sales, in particular, were up 8%.

The fifth floor — featuring popular brand Cecil McBee — saw a 50% increase in revenues thanks to heavy foot traffic from women in their mid-20s.

Keywords: Cecil McBee , Ginza
10 April 2008
American Apparel to Continue Urban Expansion
New store in Jiyugaoka to be followed by Yokohama, Shibuya, and Osaka read on >>

Following on the heels of its planned April 17 store opening in the ritzy Tokyo suburb of Jiyugaoka, American Apparel's Japanese subsidiary American Apparel Japan (AAJ) has announced plans for new locations in Yokohama, Osaka, and Tokyo's Shibuya neighborhood. The goal is to create a network of at least 10 stores across the nation.

The Yokohama location may open as soon as this summer, whereas the Osaka and Shibuya locations will most likely not open doors until next spring.

American Apparel currently has its main store off of Cat Street between Shibuya and Harajuku, as well as locations in Daikanyama (Tokyo), Asabu Juuban (Tokyo), Shinsaibashi (Osaka), and Fukuoka.

10 April 2008
Uniqlo to Open Paris Flagship on Rue Scribe
Third global flagship slated for autumn 2009 read on >>

Fast Retailing has announced plans to open the third Uniqlo global flagship shop in Paris during autumn 2009. The store will be located on Rue Scribe and feature 2,145 square-meters of sales space.

Uniqlo opened its first French store inside of a Paris shopping complex last December. There is also currently a one-month temporary retail space within Gallery Lafayette.

Keywords: Uniqlo
10 April 2008
Senken Shimbun's AW08 Trend Predictions
Japan's leading fashion newspaper publishes results from a survey of buyers read on >>

Japan's leading fashion newspaper Senken Shimbun has published the results of its trend prediction survey for Autumn/Winter 2008-2009. Every season, Senken editors ask buyers, merchandisers, and fashion directors from department stores, brands, and select shops about their sales forecasts for the upcoming season.

In terms of total theme, "Folklore Essence" took the top spot, followed by "Classic Memory" and "Color Panel."

A partial review of the results below. (Items that scored above 85/100 are bolded.)

1. "Folklore Essence"
2. "Classic Memory"
3. "Color Panel"
4. "Clean '80s"
5. "Architecture & Sculpture"
6. "Lovely Gothic"

1. Vest
2. Tailored jacket
2. I-line dress
2. Classic blouse
5. Fur coat
6. Voluminous sleeve dress

1. Fur
1. Lace
3. Mohair shaggy
4. Down
5. Nepp, fancy tweed
6. Quilting

1. Check plaid
2. Leopard
3. Material (feathers, etc.)
4. Paisely, damask, arabesquee
4. Coat of arms

1. Drape
2. Back volume
2. Voluminous sleeves
4. Ruffle, frill
5. Raglan

1. Gloves
2. Mouton and fur boots
2. Scarf
4. Costume jewelry
5. Wide belt

1. Grey
2. Black
3. Caramel, brown

4. Purple
4. Red, burgundy

10 April 2008
Renown Predicts 8.1 billion JPY Consolidated Losses
Renewed figures for FY2008 released read on >>

Fashion giant Renown Incorporated have announced 8.1 billion JPY in consolidated losses for the fiscal year ending in February 2008. In January, the company issued a prediction of 3.8 billion JPY losses, but this latest revised figure is much steeper. Contributing to the large drop was Renown's posting of a near 3.6 billion JPY extraordinary loss from loss on appraisal of Aquascutum stock.

The previous fiscal year's losses stood at 2,981 million JPY.

As an attempt to restructure the company, Renown is currently working to cut a large number of under-performing brands.


Keywords: Renown
08 April 2008
Onward Brings in New Consumers for 23Ku
TV campaign is key to 17% revenue growth in March read on >>

Leading apparel manufacturer Onward Kashiyama has seen a 17% growth in revenues at the pre-existing stores of its "real clothes" brand 23Ku (пј’пј“еЊє), according to Senken Shimbun. The company is attributing this growth in new consumers to the brand's television commercial campaign using popular actress Miho Kanno. In the commercials — themed "Walk" — Kanno strolls through foreign locales and thinks in voice-over about her personal troubles, over a soundtrack from hip-hop group Rip Slyme.

The actual pieces used in the commercial are selling extremely well. The orange blouse worn by Kanno in the main TV spot sold 1800 pieces in one week. Sales for that item have now reached 8000 with a fear of under-supply.

The commercial have also had the effect of bringing in consumers in their late 20s, thus bringing down the average age of the customer base. 

Debuting in 1993, 23Ku is a very popular "real clothes" brand making simple and basic clothing. The name comes from the 23 municipalities — or "ku" (еЊє) — that make up metropolitan Tokyo.

Keywords: Onward Kashiyama
07 April 2008
Sanei Pops Up Short-term Barbie Store
Apparel inspired by the doll available on Cat Street in Shibuya until the end of June read on >>

Sanei International has opened a temporary shop for its Barbie apparel line on Shibuya's Cat Street called "Barbie Pop Up Store." The shop will close on June 30.

The store primarily stocks the "Barbie by Patricia Field" collection, featuring apparel, accessories, and kids wear produced in collaboration with Hollywood stylist Patricia Field.

Sanei has worked on the Barbie line with toymakers Mattel since 2003. There are currently 25 Barbie stores in Japan and 6 in Taiwan. 

Keywords: Sanei International
04 April 2008
Rei Kawakubo to Do Collection for H&M
An unlikely paring between Comme des Garçons' creative genius and fast-fashion kings H&M read on >>

As part of H&M's Ginza opening slated for September (and Harajuku opening in November), Rei Kawakubo — venerable designer for Comme des Garçons — will create a small line of twenty limited-edition pieces for the fast-fashion retailer, first available in Japan and later 28 other countries.

Kawakubo is the latest designer to work with H&M after similar projects from Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld.

Over the last five years, CdG has created progressively mass market-friendly lines, from Comme des Garçons PLAY to recent made-in-China basics only available at the flagship stores. This H&M project seems to be tied to a general corporate strategy of greater inclusivity — a staggering turn for a company so well known for stubbornly valuing creativity over commerce.

Further reading:

Rei Kawakubo's Comme des Garçons for H&M (Vogue UK)


Apr 01 2008
Dr. Yuniya Kawamura
An interview with the Assistant Professor of Sociology at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
Apr 01 2008
James Sherwood
An interview with the curator of Savile Row suits "London Cut," currently at Isetan


Apr 01 2008
Foreign Runway Models as Celebrities
High-fashion magazine Spur is obsessed with familiarizing readers with the hottest foreign models
Apr 01 2008
Japan Fashion Week '08 AW Roundup
A general report and link list for the Sixth Japan Fashion Week held March 10-15
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week


Apr 01 2008
Tokyo Street Photos for March
Alternating cold and warm, sunny and rainy


Apr 01 2008
Heath - JFW '08 AW
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Apr 01 2008
Ylang Ylang - JFW '08 AW
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Apr 01 2008
Hisui - JFW '08 AW
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Apr 01 2008
Everlasting Sprout - JFW '08 AW
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Apr 01 2008
matohu - JFW '08 AW
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Apr 01 2008
Mikio Sakabe - JFW '08 AW
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Apr 01 2008
Kamishima Chinami - JFW '08 AW
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week