CAPUCCI ARRIVES: Capucci Corp. SpA, the Milan-based design house, will roll out its ready-to-wear, designed by Belgian creative director Bernhard Willhelm, in the Japanese market next spring through Itochu Corp., one of Japan’s largest trading companies, which has signed an exclusive import agency agreement with the Italian firm.

Itochu said sales of Capucci will begin next spring through department stores, specialty stores and selected chains, with a plan to open one directly managed Capucci store “by the end of 2005.”

The Japanese partner is projecting first-year sales of $5.8 million, or 700 million yen, at retail, which are expected to increase to $16.7 million, or 2 billion yen, in the fifth year of operation.

Major items to be sold here will include jackets, shirts, pants, knits and skirts. According to Itochu, jackets will retail in the price range of $667, or 80,000 yen, to $2,083, or 250,000 yen; shirts from $233, or 28,000 yen, to $1,333, or 160,000 yen; pants from $333, or 40,000 yen, to $1,000, or 120,000 yen; cut-and-sew knits from $333, or 40,000 yen, to $833, or 100,000 yen, and skirts from $317, or 38,000 yen, to $1,833, or 220,000 yen. — Tsukasa Furukawa

Four brands owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — Fendi, Celine, Donna Karan New York and Loewe — have opened stores together in the ONE Omotesando building.

ONE Omotesando is a 10-story building covering about 53,000 square feet, including two basement floors. The building is located on the Omotesando Street at 3-5-29 Kita Aoyama in Tokyo. Louis Vuitton’s Omotesando store, the brand’s biggest shop in Japan, is within walking distance. Retailing covers from the first floor of the basement to the second floor above ground, while the rest is used as offices and showrooms.

Fendi’s 38th shop in Japan occupies 4,600 square feet, while Celine’s 34th shop has 3,300 square feet over two stories, Donna Karan New York’s 21st shop has 3,600 square feet and Loewe’s 34th shop occupies 2,830 square feet. — Koji Hirano

In the wake of two work stoppages and severe damage wrought by typhoon Maemi, Evergreen Marine is considering moving out of Pusan, Korea. Evergreen is the world’s third-largest shipping company and Pusan’s biggest customer. An Evergreen official told The Financial Times, “We’re getting worried about meeting our shipping schedule, as the situation in Pusan is unstable due to frequent strikes and the bad weather.”These are not new issues for Pusan. After a truck driver’s strike in May, China Shipping and Mediterranean Shipping moved 30 percent of their cargo to China and Japan.

Pusan, which was the world’s third-busiest port last year (behind Hong Kong and Singapore), has been losing considerable business to Shanghai, which set a new record by handling 6.19 TEU’s (20-foot equivalent) in the first seven months of this year. That is already more than Pusan has handled. Competition for Pusan won’t let up anytime soon, either. Shanghai’s new port, a $6 billion project, is set for completion in 2020. — Constance Haisma-Kwok

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