Asia Watch: Alaia Arrives…Dickson’s Deal…Ports Goes Public…
ALAIA ARRIVES: 10 Comme Ltd., a joint venture between Comme des Garçons and Carla Sozzani, signed an agreement with Azzedine Alaïa for the exclusive importation and distribution of the designer’s brand within Japan. 10 Comme...
ALAIA ARRIVES: 10 Comme Ltd., a joint venture between Comme des Garçons and Carla Sozzani, signed an agreement with Azzedine Alaïa for the exclusive importation and distribution of the designer’s brand within Japan. 10 Comme runs a shop named 10 Corso Como Comme des Garçons in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo.
Adrian Joffe, president of Comme des Garçons SA, told WWD Japan that the new business is to start in spring 2004. The merchandise will be distributed at stores including Isetan and Barneys New York in Shinjuku and 3rd Culture in Ebisu, Tokyo.“Alaïa is one of my closest friends and I want to have a careful deal for his collection,” said Joffe during a trip to Tokyo. “Profit is not our first concern.” The company has no other plans at this stage to sign with other designer brands, said Joffe, adding, “This is a special case.”
Comme des Garçons SA generated sales of about $18.2 million, or about 2 billion yen, in the fiscal year ended May 2003, a 50 percent increase from two years ago.Dollar figures were converted at the current exchange rate. — Koji Hirano
DICKSON’S DEAL: Just two weeks after announcing that it intended to open Asia’s first Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, Dickson Concepts is making luxury retail news again. The company said that it will buy Hong Kong Seibu Enterprises from its Japanese owners, Seibu Department Stores.
Dickson Concepts already owns 86.46 percent of the upmarket retailer, but has agreed to purchase the remaining 13.54 percent for about $3 million, or $23.22 million Hong Kong. Currently, Hong Kong Seibu Enterprises operates and manages two Seibu department stores in Hong Kong. It also has exclusive rights to open and operate Seibu franchises in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia. — Constance Haisma-Kwok
PORTS GOES PUBLIC: Ports Design, the Hong Kong-based manufacturer and retailer of garments and accessories to the Hong Kong and Chinese market, raised $47.3 million, or HK$367.5 million, from its initial public offering last week. The company listed on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index; the issue price was $1.35, or HK$10.50, and shares ended the first day’s trading at $1.80, or HK$14 — a 33 percent increase.Ports Design plans to use the capital raised to open stores, primarily in mainland China, and to expand production. It currently has about 250 stores in Hong Kong and China.
Ports Design also has the license to make and sell BMW-branded sportswear and accessories through BMW Lifestyle stores in China. — C.H-K.
SPECIAL K: Los Angeles-based K. Swiss Inc. has appointed Itochu Corp. as master licensee in Japan to manufacture and market all K. Swiss fashion items except footwear through licensing.
Itochu said the company will introduce a range of products under the K. Swiss brand in Japan next spring, including women’s, men’s and children’s casual wear, bags, underwear, socks and hats. Four manufacturers have already signed up for sublicenses and more are expected, Itochu said.
Sales will be channeled through casual wear specialty stores, general merchandise stores, shopping malls and other outlets, Itochu said, adding it anticipates salesof $18.2 million at retail, or2 billion yen at current exchange, in the first year of business, targeting growth in three years to 6 billion yen.
Itochu, which already holds master licenses in Japan for Converse, Airwalk and New Balance, said the company is turning attention to sport casual brands as part of its new push into lifestyle related segments of the fashion market in Japan. — Tsukasa Furukawa
“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