TOKYO — Kose Corp. signed a licensing agreement with New York-based hairstylist Stephen Knoll to launch new hair care products in the Asian market.On Jan. 16, The Stephen Knoll Collection will make its debut in Japan with 17 hair care, 16 hairstyling and 16 hair color products at retail prices ranging from $12.30 to $22.15. Dollar figures are converted from the yen at current exchange rates. For the first year, the collection is expected to generate $38.5 million through 9,000 doors including national chains, drugstores, department stores and cosmetics specialty stores in Japan.?The advertising budget will total $2.5 million for the first two years, according to Kose.Kose "had the major share in the hair-product market during its 40-year relationship with L’Oréal," said Yasukiyo Kobayashi, president of the firm. On August 31, 2001, a contract was signed for the sale of all preferred stock of the Japanese subsidiary of L’Oréal to L’Oréal of France. "We have know-how about the hair-care market, which is now growing much more in this country," he added.Kose was established in 1948 and was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Market in December 2000.?For the fiscal year ended March 31, the firm generated sales of $1.2 billion, up 3.4 percent from a year earlier. About 75 percent of total sales were from cosmetics."In this coming December, we will celebrate the third year since we went public; with Stephen Knoll, we can expand our business to premium hair products including hair care and coloring," said Kobayashi. Knoll’s clients have included Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mick Jagger.?A U.S. launch is not planned yet.

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