NEW YORK — Following its decision in January to take direct control of its business in Japan, Calvin Klein Inc. has named Naruhiko Kamata managing director for that market.
Kamata, who joins Klein from Celine, will be responsible for managing all of Klein’s brands in Japan. He reports to Tom Murry, president and chief operating officer.
In January, in the midst of a six-month attempt to sell or merge his business, Klein announced plans to establish a branch office in Tokyo.
Previously, Klein was a minority partner in a joint-venture firm in Japan, a market which generates most of Klein’s $500 million in retail sales in the Asia/Pacific region.
As reported in these columns, at the time, Klein was said to be unhappy with the pace of growth of his business there and wanted to assert full control over the the way his brand is presented, from the outfits displayed on mannequins to the way collections are shown to the local media.
The new Tokyo office headed by Kamata will be responsible for marketing, advertising and public relations for all products.
Kamata will work with local licensees and distributors, manage brand positioning in Japan and explore new business opportunities, the company said in a statement.
Klein has similar branch offices in Milan and Hong Kong for Europe and Asia, respectively.
Kamata had been sales development director at Celine since 1998. Before that, he had spent two years with Donna Karan Japan as sales director.