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Two Designers Expand in Far East

Tadashi Shoji, Kay Unger to open more stores.

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Tadashi Shoji and Kay Unger are opening stores in Asia to broaden their global reach.

This story first appeared in the August 11, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Tadashi, a $60 million ready-to-wear label, will open a 1,300-square-foot store in Beijing next month. The designer recruited Beijing-based Robarts Interiors & Architecture to create the two-floor minimalist boutique. The Tadashi collection and the higher-priced Tadashi Shoji line will be sold there, as well as accessories and furnishings. There also will be a private atelier for custom bridal and made-to-measure fittings.

“My philosophy is to create an environment that is intimate and a shopping experience that is luxurious and memorable,” Shoji said.

The store’s first-year projected volume is $2 million, he said. The company also has stores at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., and at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

In recent seasons, Tadashi has been courting celebrity clients such as Helen Mirren, Emmy Rossum, Debra Messing and Kate Walsh. Once again, stylist Tina Chai will work on Tadashi’s Bryant Park runway show next month.

Meanwhile, Phoebe Co., a $40 million operation that makes Kay Unger New York and Phoebe Couture, will open the company’s 10th store in Asia before the end of the year. The type of store and location have not been finalized.

Last month, the company opened two Phoebe Couture stores in Shanghai, its fifth and sixth stores to open in Asia this year. Projected 2008 retail sales for all of the stores in China should hit $4 million, a company spokeswoman said. The stores are opening through the firm’s licensing deal with the JT Group, a Hong Kong-based manufacturer and marketer.

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