A year after DONNA KARAN CO. unveiled a major expansion plan for its Japanese business (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 328, January 1997, p. 19), the designer is trying to restructure its local operations. The company reportedly is negotiating with a major Japanese apparel manufacturer to buy a 30 percent stake in its Tokyo subsidiary. Donna Karan also hopes to expand its licensing business. More concretely, the Manhattan-based firm will reduce the number of products sold in Japan. Most of this cut will come in women's clothing, primarily by eliminating the moderately priced labels introduced last year and focusing on the high-end DKNY line.
BODY GLOVE INTERNATIONAL LLC wants to be known in Japan as more than a maker of wet suits for surfing and diving. This spring, its subsidiary, an equally owned venture set up last June by the Los Angeles company and the president of the local company, will introduce a line of Body Glove apparel and accessories made by Japanese manufacturers. These products, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, men's underwear, swimwear and belts, will be available at as many as 1,500 outlets around Japan. Body Glove is aiming for Japan retail sales of $76.9 million annually within five years.
An exchange rate of ¥130=$1.00 was used in this report.