Michael Kors Expands to Japan

Michael Kors lifestyle concept boutique opens in Tokyo in September.

NEW YORK — Michael Kors is taking his lifestyle philosophy to Japan.

This story first appeared in the March 17, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Michael Kors Inc. has formed Michael Kors Japan K.K., a wholly owned subsidiary, to distribute the designer’s fragrances and accessories, including handbags, shoes, eyewear and watches, in stand-alone Michael Kors stores and shop-in-shops in Japan.

The Japanese expansion will kick off when Kors opens his first lifestyle concept boutique — a 1,400-square-foot unit on Tokyo’s Omotesando-dori boulevard — in September. The company plans to begin adding shop-in-shops in department stores in Japan next February.

The subsidiary, including showrooms, will be based in Tokyo, and headed by Toshiaki Tashiro, the president of Michael Kors Japan. Tashiro was president of Gucci Group Japan during the company’s Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole era, overseeing that company’s flagship brand as well as the group’s other brands, including Bottega Veneta and Sergio Rossi. He also served as a Japan consultant to Tom Ford, Tod’s, Ermenegildo Zegna and Valentino, and headed Abercrombie & Fitch in Japan.

“[Tashiro] brings a proven track record of success that is unparalleled throughout the industry,” Michael Kors Inc. chief executive officer John Idol said. “Japan is the next logical step in our global expansion, and with Toshi on board, we have every expectation that our business will become as successful as it currently is in the U.S., Europe and Korea.”

Over the past year, Kors has been growing his international business by opening lifestyle concept stores in cities such as Milan, London and Munich.