JEAN LANVIN, KANEBO IN JAPANESE VENTURE
PARIS — Jean Lanvin SA and Kanebo Ltd. have agreed to work jointly on a new Lanvin women’s ready-to-wear line exclusively for Japan.
Under the accord, Kanebo will manufacture and distribute a second Lanvin women’s apparel line, Lanvin La Collection, starting with spring 1998.
It has been decided that the collection will be designed in Paris, but the designer has not been selected.
Kanebo will also take over importing to Japan the signature Lanvin women’s collection, designed by Ocimar Versolato.
Lanvin and Kanebo also aim to open 13 Lanvin boutiques in Japan in five years. Four of the boutiques will make their debut this year.
One boutique will open next month at the Ritz Carlton in Osaka.
In 1998, plans are to open 67 additional points of sale for Lanvin in department stores in Japan.
“This new venture between Lanvin and Kanebo will allow for an important distribution circuit for Lanvin’s women’s rtw in Japan,” a Lanvin spokeswoman said.
“Currently, Lanvin’s men’s wear is the second most popular men’s line Japan,” she noted.
Estimates from Japan place sales of Lanvin’s licensed men’s wear there at about $200 million (24 billion yen). At present, there is no licensed production of Lanvin women’s wear in Japan.
The announcement of the Lanvin-Kanebo agreement comes just days after Christian Dior SA said it would take over the manufacturing and distribution of its women’s apparel line in Japan, which has been handled there by Kanebo for 32 years.
As reported, Kanebo will continue to distribute Dior’s men’s and children’s wear in Japan.
According to reports in Japan, Kanebo’s Dior sales, most of them in women’s wear, reached a peak in 1990 of about $450 million (55 billion yen) at current exchange, but dropped to approximately $310 million (38 billion yen) by 1996, after the women’s apparel market there became chilled by the downturn in the country’s economy in 1991.
Lanvin is 99 percent owned by L’Oreal.
Group Lanvin’s 1996 consolidated sales came to about $54 million (325 million francs).