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29 September 2008
Itochu Acquires Apparel Product Company Sankei
90.5% stake after over-Y10 billion buyout read on >> Trading company Itochu has announced the acquisition of apparel products company Sankei Co., Ltd. Itochu purchased 90.3% of Sankei's issued shares from parent company Sankei Holdings, adding it to a small amount of previously-owned stock for a total 90.5% stake in the company. The total buyout reportedly cost over ¥10 billion.

Sankei is a leading producer of material linings, buttons, fasteners, and other auxiliary apparel products. Sankei Holdings' consolidated net revenue was ¥81 billion for the fiscal year ending in February 2008. After-tax profits stood at ¥1.6 billion.

Itochu hopes to transform Sankei into an OEM targeting foreign countries and more efficiently using its China-based resources.

Sankei president Yasunobu Kojima will stay on as CEO while six Itochu members join the board. 

Keywords: Itochu
26 September 2008
Mitsukoshi-Isetan Holdings Announces Six Closings
Mitsukoshi Ikebukuro, Kagoshima, Musashi-murayama, Natori, Kamakura, and Morioka all to disappear in Spring 2009 read on >> On September 25,  Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings — the newly-created holding company for department stores Isetan and Mitsukoshi — announced the future closing of six Mitsukoshi locations.

The locations to close are Mitsukoshi Ikebukuro, Mitsukoshi Kagoshima (Kyushu), Mitsukoshi Musashi-Murayama (Tokyo), Mitsukoshi Natori (Miyagi Prefecture), Mitsukoshi Kamakura (Kanagawa Prefecture), and Mitsukoshi Morioka (Iwate Prefecture). Mitsukoshi Ikebukuro will close on May 6, 2009, and the building and land will be sold to Simplex REIT for ¥75 billion. Mitsukoshi Kagoshima will close the same day, while the other four will all close on March 1, 2009.

Mitsukoshi Natori and Musashi-Murayama had been operating for only two years.

The closings are meant to improve profitability and meet the corporate aims to raise consolidated operating profits to ¥75 billion by 2013.

Keywords: Isetan , Mitsukoshi , department stores
26 September 2008
Uniqlo Wants a 2.5x Increase in Dress Sales
Tokyo Girls Collection collaboration was a strong starting point read on >> Leading mass retailer Uniqlo has announced aims to greatly increase its sales of dresses, up to 2.5-times previous figures. Currently, womenswear makes up 40% of Uniqlo's sales, but the brand hopes to bring this number up to 60% in the mid-term.

One of the core problem has been low awareness amongst young women about Uniqlo's dress offerings. In response, Uniqlo has stocked 39 different dresses this season — a 1.5x increase in items from the previous year.

Using Uniqlo spokeswoman and CanCam model Yamada Yu, Uniqlo debuted its new "Yamada-produced" hooded knit dress at the most recent Tokyo Girls Collection. The low price and strong promotion have attracted a greater number of the "real clothes" young female consumer segment to Uniqlo stores. In the past, these consumers have not had many touchpoints with the mass retailer.

Keywords: Uniqlo , Tokyo Girls Collection
24 September 2008
Itochu Signs Exclusive Import Contract with Chris Benz
Almond Eye to handle sales read on >> Trading company Itochu has signed an exclusive sales and import contract for New York designer Chris Benz' eponymous label. The brand will start selling in Japan some during spring 2009.

Almond Eye will handle sales, focusing on department stores and select shops within metropolitan areas. Itochu hopes the brand will reach ¥500 million in yearly sales by the third year.

This is the second of Itochu's aggressive pursuit of new global designers, with the first being July's exclusive contract with Milly.

Keywords: Itochu
19 September 2008
Zara Opens New Stores Across Japan
First off, Shinjuku and Ginza in Tokyo read on >> Zara Japan — Japanese subsidiary of fast fashion giant Zara — will open an unprecedented number of stores in coming months.

The company will open a total of 11 stores this year alone, bringing the number in Japan to 40 by the end of the year. In Tokyo, some central neighborhoods boast multiple stores much like seen in other major global capitals.

On September 5, Zara opened a new 630 square-meter store in Shinjuku across from Takashimaya. On September 21, Zara will open a store inside the Marronnier Gate shopping building in Ginza/Yurakucho. In October, Zara will open an approximately-1280 square-meter giant store in new shopping complex Aeon Lake Town. Another store will open somewhere in the Kansai region, as well as two in Shikoku's Matsuyama and Takamatsu.

Such an aggressive retail strategy in both Japan's big cities and smaller regional centers comes as H&M makes its way into the Japanese market with great fanfare.

Keywords: Zara
19 September 2008
Onward Holdings Acquires Creative Yoko
After buying out Jil Sander, the apparel giant makes an investment in dog fashion read on >> On the heels of its landmark acquisition of Jil Sander, Onward Holdings — parent company of apparel giant Onward Kashiyama — has acquired Nagano-based pet fashion company Creative Yoko.

Onward purchased 85% of Creative Yoko's shares at an estimated ¥6.4 billion. The transaction will be finalized on October 1.

Creative Yoko was founded in 1976 and currently has 140 directly-managed stores across Japan. The brand has also expanded into Asia and New York City. Revenue for the fiscal year ending in September 2007 stood at ¥8.733 billion (a 9.5% increase from the previous year.) Operating profit was ¥767 million (a 5.4% decrease from the previous year).

Keywords: Onward Kashiyama
10 September 2008
Itochu to Manufacture and Sell "Elle" Suits for Men in Japan
Signs manufacturing and sales contract with Hachette Filipacchi Press read on >> Trading company Itochu has signed an exclusive deal with magazine Elle's rights-holder Hachette Filipacchi Press to manufacture and sell men's suits under the name Elle Costume. The new brand will target Japanese men in their 20s and 30s, hoping to hit ¥2 billion in revenue by 2011.

The suits will be relatively inexpensive, from ¥30,000 to ¥40,000, but more trend-consciously slim than most mass off-the-rack brands.

Sub-licensees will be Tomiya Apparel and Lion Dor.

Keywords: suits , Itochu
10 September 2008
Sumitomo Founds Lancel Japan with Richemont Japan
40 stores and 10 billion JPY sales in the works read on >> Sumitomo Corporation has come together with Richemont Japan to form a Japanese subsidiary of French bag and leather goods brand Lancel. Sumitomo will provide 70% of the ¥350 million in capital, with Richemont making up the rest.

Lancel Japan will sell, import, distribute, and manage Lancel goods in Japan. Sumitomo hopes to open between 40 and 45 stores for the brand in Japan, mostly focused on the department store retail channel, but with flagshop stores also in the works. Sales targets are set at ¥10 billion.

More information here:
The Establishment of Lancel Japan Ltd.

Keywords: Richemont Group , Sumitomo
09 September 2008
Uniqlo to Make Entry into Russia and India
On the road to 1 trillion JPY in sales read on >> Fast Retailing has announced plans for its star brand Uniqlo to expand into the Russian and Indian markets. No concrete dates were made available, but the retail giant did report the opening of its first Singapore store in Spring 2009. Furthermore, a new Paris flagship will open in Autumn 2009.

The corporate group has now set a goal for ¥1 trillion yen in yearly revenue. Such a target will require ¥600 billion in Japanese domestic sales for Uniqlo and ¥100 billion in foreign sales, which currently stand at ¥30 billion. This ambititous plan also calls for 800 total stores around the world.

On the production side, Fast Retailing hinted at expanding factories into Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India.

Keywords: Uniqlo
09 September 2008
Naigai Drops Women's Clothing Brands
A retreat from the apparel business for the legwear giant read on >> Japanese legwear giant Naigai has decided to abandon its efforts in the women's apparel business. On November 1, the company will sell its ladies wear brand Link It All to apparel company Look (Marc Jacobs, Paul & Joe). At the end of the year, Naigai will cease operations for its shopping center brand Crystalia. The sales for these two brands in the previous fiscal year was ¥1.374 billion.

This move will allow Naigai to greater concentrate on the legwear sector — its core business.

Keywords: Naigai , leggings
09 September 2008
YSL Passes Out "Manifestos" in Daikanyama
The first 5,000 came in a totebag read on >> On September 6, representatives from brand Yves Saint Laurent passed out 20,000 copies of a tabloid newspaper to passerby's in the Tokyo neighborhoods of Harajuku and Daikanyama. The tabloid was labeled as a "manifesto," intended to communicate its '08-'09 AW collection and brand messaging to consumers. The first 5000 copies came in a black or white tote-bag with the YSL logo printed upside down.

YSL gave out a total 150,000 copies of the manifesto tabloid in six global cities.

Keywords: Harajuku , Yves Saint Laurent , Daikanyama

Tutorials

Sep 17 2008
Petit Celebrities
A guide to all the minor celebrities who move the fashion world: charisma clerks, press girls, senzoku models, dokusha models, and stylists.

Trends

Sep 18 2008
H&M Ginza Opens to Huge Fanfare
Reports and analysis about the fast fashion brand's entry into Japan
Keywords: H&M , Ginza
Sep 18 2008
Tokyo Girls Collection - 2008 Autumn/Winter
22,700 turn out in celebration of "real clothes" at the Autumn/Winter installment of Xavel's Tokyo Girls Collection
Keywords: Tokyo Girls Collection
Sep 04 2008
Onward and Upward?
Onward acquires Jil Sander as US and European fashion brands shift their allegiance away from long-standing partners in the hope of breaking downward spiral in sales
Sep 02 2008
Kobe Collection Autumn/Winter 2008
Kobe Collection goes big in Tokyo
Keywords: Kobe , real clothes

Street-photos

Sep 25 2008
Tokyo Street Photos for September
The autumn trends start to show up in combination with summer looks

Brand-profiles

Sep 23 2008
Soe - '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show on September 16, 2008
Sep 23 2008
N. Hoolywood - '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show on September 10, 2008
Sep 15 2008
matohu - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 4, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 14 2008
zechia - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 3, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 08 2008
GVGV - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 4, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 08 2008
Tiny Dinosaur - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 3, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 08 2008
Izreel - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 3, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 07 2008
everlasting sprout - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 3, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 07 2008
Kamishima Chinami - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 2, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 07 2008
Aguri Sagimori - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 2, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 04 2008
Hisui - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 2, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 03 2008
fur fur - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 1, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 03 2008
mercibeaucoup, - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 1, 2008
Sep 03 2008
Ritsuko Shirahama - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show on September 1, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 03 2008
Mikio Sakabe - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 1, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week
Sep 03 2008
mint designs - JFW '09 SS
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show on September 1, 2008
Keywords: Japan Fashion Week