FAST TRACK: Tadashi Yanai, chairman and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., wants to build his company into a $9.3 billion, or 1 trillion yen, empire. In a message to shareholders released last week, Yanai said Fast Retailing...
FAST TRACK: Tadashi Yanai, chairman and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., wants to build his company into a $9.3 billion, or 1 trillion yen, empire. In a message to shareholders released last week, Yanai said Fast Retailing recognizes it has to enhance the appeal of its Uniqlo garments in Japan, where it has struggled, and to continue to expand overseas.
“The lessons we have learned through our expansion into the U.K. and Shanghai, China will prove invaluable for an early push into the U.S. and Asia,” he said. “This time around we are not necessarily looking to go it alone. We are also considering investments into and tie-ups with other firms that can help us expand our reach into several overseas countries more effectively and efficiently.”
It also is making acquisitions. Fast Retailing and Link International Co. Ltd. agreed to jointly acquire an ownership interest in Theory LLC in the U.S., with Link ultimately owning 89 percent of Theory’s stock. Fast Retailing is scheduled to become a 47.1 percent shareholder of Link, said the firm. Fast said the cost for acquiring the ownership interest was $62.6 million, or 6.7 billion yen. Dollar figures were converted at current exchange.
Link is the licensee for the Theory brand in Japan. “By jointly acquiring an ownership interest in Theory — the licenser — our aim is to further enhance the value of the Theory brand in the global market. In the medium term, we are also considering the launch of new brands in collaboration with Link. Looking ahead, Theory’s network and expertise in the U.S. apparel industry will provide a platform for further expansion of the Uniqlo brand,” said the firm.
The company announced drops both in net profits and sales in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31. Nonconsolidated net profits dropped 40.8 percent to $173.8 million (18.6 billion yen), while sales decreased 11.7 percent from the previous fiscal year to $2.8 billion (301.7 billion yen) and operating income dropped 13.9 percent to $433.6 million (46.4 billion yen), although the firm outperformed its initial plans.
In the year ending August 2004, the firm aims to achieve nonconsolidated sales of $3.1 billion (330 billion yen).— Koji Hirano
PAIR OF BEAUTIES: The Frederique Group and the Beautiful Skin CentreGroup — the best-known spas, beauty centers and spa-training facilities in Hong Kong — announced their merger last week. The new company, called Paua Group, will include all of the existing entities, among them the Elemis Day Spa, the Frederique Spa, the Frederique Academy, the beautiful Skin Centre and FrancOrientale.
Rosemary Hamilton, group communications manager for Paua Group, said the merger has been in the works since last April. She declined to estimate projected earnings for the group, but did say that BSC’s training school, the International Health and Beauty Institute, will now be run by the Frederique Academy. The company is hoping to expand the distribution of Elemis products in Hong Kong and will investigate possible new spa and beauty centers. Frederique Deleage, founder of the Frederique Group, is also designing new spas in the region, including a luxury day spa at the Shangri-la hotel in Cebu, The Philippines.
“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