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.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)