LONDON — Fashion wholesalers are joining forces amid intensifying competition as players in the field are actively branching up the value chain and exploring new opportunities in markets beyond the traditional fashion capitals.
Seiya Nakamura 2.24 — the fashion showroom that represents 52 brands including Christopher Kane, Feng Chen Wang, Ganni, KNWLS, Marine Serre, Peter Do, Stefan Cooke and We11done — has inked a business and capital alliance with the Milan-based 247, which acquired a 46 percent stake in the Tokyo-based sales and brand consultancy agency.
Under the new partnership, both companies will work on the localization of their respective showroom and sales agency businesses to create a global sales network. Both companies also plan to invest in establishing new brands and new projects to strengthen their brand development operations and increase their competitive edge in the industry.
Seiya Nakamura 2.24, founded in 2014, runs offices and showrooms in Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong and is aiming to set up operations in Seoul and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, 247 is aiming to launch a New York branch. Both companies will share their local sales, marketing, and press resources.
They aim to achieve combined sales of between $320 million and $350 million this year, up from $290 million in 2021.
“This partnership gives us the opportunity to grow all aspects of our business through the sharing of both our network and 247’s network and the wealth of experience that each company brings to the table. We can now grow our collective network into one of the largest global networks in the world,” Seiya Nakamura, founder of his namesake firm told WWD.
“We will now also be able to provide our clients with more focused solutions and further extend the brand development division of our business,” he added.
Founded by Giacomo Piazza and Tommaso Bosco in 2008, 247 manages the regional sales for 45 brands including A.P.C., Dion Lee, Kenzo, Missoni, Nanushka, Proenza Schouler and Supriya Lele.
“It felt very natural for us to strengthen our partnership with Seiya Nakamura 2.24, sharing the same strong experience and values. 2.24 is one of the biggest players in Asia and has supported emerging talents since the beginning as 247 does,” Piazza and Bosco told WWD.
Similar to Tomorrow, which has invested in brands including Charles Jeffery, Martine Rose and A-Cold-Wall to form an impressive portfolio of talent, 247 has also positioned itself as a brand accelerator with investments in John Elliott and Medea.
It’s understood that Seiya Nakamura 2.24 is also pivoting in this direction. The company also has big ambitions for China. It hired Michael Mok, former buying director at Joyce, as its chief branding officer; Jonathan Lee, former senior area manager at Tomorrow, as wholesale director, Asia Pacific, and Mang Zhang, Elle China’s former fashion features editor, to look after local communications after setting up the Shanghai operation in 2019.