Byline: Koji Hirano

TOKYO — Kenzo SA and Chori have teamed up to create Kenzo Japan KK to strengthen the designer’s brand in Japan.
“We expect further development of Kenzo’s business here by integrating [our] know-how with Chori’s,” said Herve Martin, president of Kenzo, which is an LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton company. Since 1996, one of the Chori group’s companies, Beneca, has been an importer of Kenzo’s women’s apparel.
Chori, located in Osaka, generates total annual sales of about $4.2 billion (converted from yen at the current exchange rate), 55 percent of which comes from textile and apparel.
“The Chori group has enough experience and distribution capability in the industry here to be utilized at Kenzo Japan from now on,” said a statement from the new firm. Chori group didn’t comment on current sales of Kenzo, and LVMH doesn’t divulge Kenzo volume, either.
The new company will import and distribute the Paris-based designer’s products. And although the firm declined to comment on projected sales for the new business, the recent rebound in the Japanese market is encouraging the company to feel it can double sales, as well as the number of shops, within three years.
“The Japanese market sits on top of our priority list,” said Martin. Kenzo’s collection is now distributed through 22 shops, including its flagship in Aoyama, here, and specialty stores.
Kenzo Homme was just introduced to the Japanese market for spring.
Kenzo provided 66 percent of the initial investment with the balance coming from Chori.