Coming 15 December 2009 to an H&M store near you; Ginza, Harajuku, and Shibuya, will be H&M's newest designer collaborator Sonia Rykiel, who will design a lingerie line for the Swiss-based fast-fashion company. Rykiel’s designs have become known for their exuberant, coquettish style with trademarks including colorful stripes, an abundance of black and knitwear which should translate to very feminine and playful lingerie.
Sonia Rykiel is the latest in a long line of designer collaborations for H&M, which have included Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Viktor & Rolf and Matthew Williamson. In June, the Swedish firm unveiled a deal with shoemaker Jimmy Choo to design a one-off collection of shoes, bags and ready-to-wear. It goes on sale in Japan 14 November.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Coming soon to a Uniqlo store near you, it's +J, the much-awaited minimalist collection designed by Jil Sander. Although you won't see the Jil Sander name on the clothes, you will see a +J on a simple white label that compliments Sander’s trademark minimalist lines, dark colors and streamlined cuts. Uniqlo's collaboration with Sander has resulted in about 100 pieces for the women’s wear collection and about 40 for the men’s wear collection, with prices starting from 2,900 yen for a T-shirt up to 22,000 yen for coats and cashmere knits. Sander has designed the women's and men's collections similarly, with variations on military-inspired jackets and coats, black and gray sweaters, white cotton shirts and dark indigo jeans. The J+ collection will be prominently displayed near the entrance of all Uniqlo stores and will be hung on wooden clothes hangers that bear the +J logo, to differentiate the line from other Uniqlo products. The collection is accompanied by a special black-and-white advertising campaign and catalogue shot by David Sims. Uniqlo is hoping the success of the J+ collection will result in to success internationally.
Friday, September 25, 2009
In what proved to be another obstacle in Japan's Fashion Week being being taken seriously by international fashion media and buyers - several rouge designers decided not to wait until the official kick-off of Japan Fashion Week but showed their collections over one month early to an eager Japan fashion media and to a very sparse international media - who were busy viewing the shows in NY, during NY fashion week - showing Japan has a long way to go in unifying its design talents into a cohesive calendar with international appeal.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This Saturday 19 September, H&M will open their 3rd store in Japan. The Shibuya store will be the largest in Japan at 2,800 sqm and the first store to carry women's underwear. Sharing the space will be H&M Japan's HQ. As H&M grows in Japan they are also considering opening shop-in-shops in department stores. If so they will require at least 500sqm of floor space and a first floor presence - which will be difficult as Uniqlo is quickly taking that coveted real estate in department stores, a move that will benefit Uniqlo and the department stores.
To align themselves with the global strategy GAP Japan has changed the name of their low-cost line GAP USA to GAP Generation. Since the line is still fairly new it was quite easy to change the name without affecting the brand. GAP Generation currently has two stores in Japan with their first one in AEON in Akita.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Of all industries affected by the recession, the luxury industry should be one of the most affected. Luxury by definition is set apart from necessities, and so in times of financial hardship will be the first to go...Or will they?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Last Thursday Roberto Cavalli celebrated the opening of his first Tokyo store. Up until now Cavalli has has a limited presence in Japan but that all changed with the opening of his 346 square foot shop-in-shop, located in Shinjuku Takashimaya. The shop will carry Cavalli's full women's RTW and ACC line as well as men's ACC. For the opening Cavalli designed limited-edition items for exclusively for Shinjuku Takashimaya including a silver tote bag and a wallet in Cavalli's signature animal print. The new Tokyo store along with the Nagoya Takashimaya store should increase his brand awareness and sales and then hopefully we can look forward to a stand alone flagship in the near future.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
After announcing one year ago they will sell Aquascutum, Renown Inc., has finally found a buyer in Broadwick Group Ltd., a UK based company. The contract with Broadwick will be signed on 8 September at an undisclosed price and from the sale Renown will generate losses of about 3.5 billion yen for its third quarter ending 30 November. Along with the sale of Aquascutum Renown will also sell the trademark for China and the rest of Asia to YGM Mart Ltd., a Hong Kong based company, which was the brand’s licensee in China. Through a long-term license agreement Renown will continue to manufacture and distribute Aquascutum in Japan. With ongoing financial difficulties and a weak economy in Japan Renown has been restructuring it's business which has also seen the sale of French Connection and J. Crew.
Monday, September 7, 2009
In it's 9th season, this past Saturday's Tokyo Girl's Collection at Yoyogi Stadium in Harajuku drew 23,100 attendees. This collection's theme was “The Hunting”, a recession-friendly message that suggests hunting the object of one’s desire (as opposed mass-consumerism). Over the years TGC has grown from an event that showcases popular fashion brands to a platform for launching new brands in Japan - now the event is becoming a brand in its own right. The most recent edition was as much about promoting new TGC collaboration items as it was about setting new fashion trends for the season. With an audience of girls and woman from all over Japan, brands domestic and international all want to be a part of TGC as they influence what is going to be worn, not on the catwalk but on the street.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tomorrow, the 6th Tokyo Girls Collection will take place in Harajuku at Olympic Stadium. Organizers are estimating 20,000 people will be in attendance at a cost of 7,500 yen per ticket as well as this past spring's sales of 56 million yen the show will once again be a success. The show is going to be 6 1/2 hours long and will showcase such models as Yu Yamada, Chikako Watanabe and Paris Hilton (for Kitson) as well as TV celebs, comedians and musical acts.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
On October 2nd, Uniqlo will open their newest store in Ginza. The store will be 25,000 square-feet and will be a flagship store - with more to follow in Nagoya, Osaka and parts of Tokyo as well in 2010 Uniqlo will open their first global flagships in Moscow and Shanghai.
This is what Fast Retailing is looking to achieve by 2020 and they just might be able to do it. Currently there are 867 stores, 777 of them in Japan. Through aggressive expansion in Japan as well as into the Far East, Europe, the US, Asia & Russia as well as strategic partnerships (China's Taobao) and potential acquisitions Yanai, Tadashi president of Fast Retailing expects sales of 1 trillion yen by only 2010 and then exponential growth from there. With August sales a +5.6% for Fast Retailing, they are one of the few companies posting positive sales figures and things are only looking to improve as they (Uniqlo) launch their J+ collection by Jil Sander in October. If Fast Retailing can reach this goal they will become the world's largetst retailer in terms of dollars.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Even with Japan Department Stores' Sales Dropping many new stores are opening. Since last week several brands have opened new stores in Japan. Here is a quick look at who and where...
Opening Ceremony (entered Japan with Onward Holdings)
- Opened Saturday 29 August in Shibuya Seibu Department Store; 7 floors at 26,000 square-feet
- First store outside of the US
- see attached picture of interior
Ron Herman (entered Japan with Sazaby League)
- Opened Saturday 29 August in Sendagaya at 3,000 square-feet
- First store outside of the US
- Opened Saturday 29 August in Aoyama at 9,000 square-feet
- First store in Tokyo
- Opened last week in Shinjuku Isetan
- Second store in Japan and first store in Tokyo
Registering their 17th straight month of decline Japan department stores' sales dropped 11.7% in July. Apparel sales of the country’s 272 stores fell 15.6 percent during July due to the continued weakness of the Japanese economy and a longer than usual rainy season. Department store sales of men’s wear dropped 16.7 percent, while those of women’s wear declined 15.6 percent. Even though Japan is slowly coming out of the recession consumer confidence is still low and will remain low well into the end-of-the-year.