TWO TO TANGO: The Year of Spain in Japan and the Year of Japan in Spain, to be celebrated this year and in 2014, is a milestone that didn’t escape the notice of Loewe and Junya Watanabe: The Madrid-based leather goods maker and the Tokyo-based designer are to collaborate on capsule collections for women and men, WWD has learned.

Watanabe intends to debut some items at his women’s fashion show during Paris Fashion Week, according to Loewe chief executive officer Lisa Montague. The clothes and bags are slated to launch at Dover Street Market in Tokyo and Loewe stores in September.

This story first appeared in the January 22, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Loewe’s British creative director Stuart Vevers said it’s invigorating to collaborate with a colleague from the other side of the world. Watanabe is a protégé of Rei Kawakubo under the auspices of Comme des Garçons.

Montague noted that Loewe’s 40th anniversary in Japan coincides with the larger “year of” event, marking the first Japanese ship that arrived on Spanish shores four centuries ago.

Asked if he knew what goods were being traded between the two countries back then, Vevers replied with a laugh: “I don’t think it was handbags.”

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