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Rowley’s Japanese Expansion

NEW YORK — Cynthia Rowley’s burgeoning roster of Japanese licenses now has a centerpiece, with the launch of an apparel collection that is being introduced through in-store boutiques throughout the country this fall.<br><br>Through...

NEW YORK — Cynthia Rowley’s burgeoning roster of Japanese licenses now has a centerpiece, with the launch of an apparel collection that is being introduced through in-store boutiques throughout the country this fall.

Through Rowley’s trading company for Japanese licensees, Itochu, the designer added the apparel license with Itokin this season, as well as shoes through Ogitsu, that build on an existing cadre of licenses for cosmetics, loungewear, jewelry, small leather goods and gloves. Itochu and Itokin have plans to open 50 in-store boutiques throughout Japan by the end of the spring season, including existing locations at the Marui City Shibuya and Ikebukuro Seibu stores in Tokyo.

Market sources said the combined Japanese business could reach $50 million next year, with the addition of apparel and shoes.

“Everything has grown into other things,” Rowley said. “While things here are sort of status quo, it’s great to have a place like that growing so fast.”

Her U.S. plans include developing new licenses to replicate some of the Japanese accessories lines, as well as looking for a new store location that could reflect the breadth of those collections.

Rowley is also developing several new projects through a separate U.S. company called Swell, including a new line of housewares for Target Stores that’s expected to arrive in stores early next year.