Michael Jackson is making a debut in the Japanese men’s wear market next spring. A line of men’s suits bearing the singer’s moniker will be produced and marketed here under license by Wakita Co., a men’s wear maker based in Gifu. A Wakita spokesman said the line will be sold through department and specialty stores. There is a growing popularity among young men in Japan for dark suits and the American singer, who has a large following in Japan, fits that rising fashion image, he said. The company projects first-year sales of $8.3 million (1 billion yen). Dollar figure converted at current exchange.
FAMILY AFFAIR: A limited partnership comprising Nordstrom family members will sell up to 2.7 million shares, or 2 percent, of Nordstrom Inc.’s common stock. On Friday, Seattle-based Nordstrom said the Elmer and Katharine Nordstrom Family Interests L.P., which owns 10.9 million shares, or 8 percent of the retailer’s outstanding stock, will file a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell part of its holdings in order to diversify its financial assets. Of the 22 Nordstrom family members who make up the partnership, only John Nordstrom, a company director, and James Nordstrom Jr., who is the corporate merchandise manager for children’s shoes, are active in day-to-day operations, the company said. Nordstrom added that chairman Bruce Nordstrom, president Blake Nordstrom, full-line stores president Peter Nordstrom and executive vice president of full-line stores Erik Nordstrom are not members of the partnership.
KOBE BACKERS: Nike Inc. is standing by National Basketball Association star Kobe Bryant, who is facing felony charges of sexual assault. The Los Angeles Laker has an endorsement deal with the Portland, Ore., brand estimated to be worth at least $40 million. A Nike spokesman said Saturday: “We are pleased to have a relationship with Kobe Bryant. He is a great player. Kobe has stated he is innocent of the charges filed Friday.