MOMA’S NEW RAINMAKER: Muji might have the foothold in the Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store, but another Japanese company, World Party, is making inroads.
World Party designer Keiichiro Kadoya has designed a foldable rain jacket exclusively for MoMA’s stores and e-commerce this fall. The museum’s retail division has provided an entry in the U.S. market for the Osaka-based wholesaler, importer and exporter. A $45 portable trenchcoat produced by World Party and designed by Misaki Shimahara is currently sold by MoMA Design Store.
Established 12 years ago, the company specializes in rainwear and umbrellas. Ninety percent of its distribution is in Japan, with the remaining 10 percent in China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, England, Australia and Russia. World Party sells to “thousands” of stores, according to a company spokeswoman.
A buyer for MoMA’s Design stores discovered one of Keiichora’s designs during a buying trip to Japan and approached the company about a collaboration. Geared for travelers, the Keiichiro Kadoya $50 blue mid-thigh length jacket easily fits into an accompanying pouch. World Party expects to sell 2,000 units of this item, which is the same number of units that it has sold for the packable trenchcoat, the spokeswoman said.
Keiichiro is not only a member of the product planning and design team, but he is also a salesman with many clients in Japan’s fashion industry. By working with individual companies, he is very intent about “reflecting his clients’ voices and thoughts in his design,” the World Party spokeswoman said.
MoMA has another packable exclusive ready for fall shoppers — the Issey Miyake Star Pleats bag that retails for $170 and uses a traditional star folding technique. Another transportable item is the Woolrich Seven Springs blanket, which has been made in the U.S. since 1830. MoMA will also have a $350 archival necklace and $198 neutron earrings from the Memphis Design Group.