French Connection Group plc, the London-based clothing retailer, said it bought back the remaining 50 percent stake in its Japanese business, French Connection Japan Inc., from Renown Inc.
French Connection said the transaction had been satisfied by the waiver of a 1.98 million pounds, or $3.95 million, loan due to Renown Inc. by French Connection Japan, and a cash payment of 240,000 pounds, or $479,600, made by Renown to French Connection.
French Connection Group will now be directly involved in the day-to-day management of French Connection Japan, the company said. Previously, it was engaged only on a broad managerial level and in providing funds.
French Connection Japan operates 21 French Connection-branded stores in the region. In the fiscal year to December 2007, the Japanese business recorded sales of 8.9 million pounds, or $17.7 million, with a net loss of 1.40 million pounds, or $2.79 million. French Connection said it is looking to move its Japanese business into profitability within three years.
"Asia is an important market and represents a great opportunity for French Connection," said Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive officer. "This move consolidates our position in one of the most important markets in the region."
Renown, a Japanese apparel company, also owns the British luxury brand Aquascutum.
Minoru Nakamura, president of Renown, said in Japanese press reports this year that he plans to sell between 10 and 15 unprofitable brands Renown owns or has interests in. Renown's rights to the trademark of the Kent and Curwen men's wear brand were sold in June. Also this month Renown forecast a net loss of 2.9 billion yen, or $27.6 million, for the fiscal year ending February 2009.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast