Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 343, April 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


New York City fashion design house DONNA KARAN INTERNATIONAL INC. and its Singapore partners sold the local Donna Karan subsidiary to ONWARD KASHIYAMA CO., LTD. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 340, January 1998, p. 26). That deal complements a strategic alliance between the designer of women's and men's apparel, sportswear, accessories and shoes and the big clothing manufacturer. Under it, Onward Kashiyama received exclusive, long-term rights to import, make, license and retail Donna Karan New York and DKNY products in Japan. It will open 12 freestanding boutiques, including three for the Donna Karan New York designer collection and nine carrying the DKNY "bridge" brand, backing this move with a multimillion-dollar advertising and marketing campaign. The terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. In 1997, Donna Karan's business in Japan generated $66.8 million at the wholesale level, accounting for 12 percent of the design house's wholesale revenues.

Trial production has started in Japan of a wool/polyester fabric called Wool Supriva codeveloped by E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO., INC. and the International Wool Secretariat. The soft-drape, machine-washable fabric is the result of duPont's fine-denier polyester expertise and the IWS's technical wool knowledge. The pair will license production to local spinners and fabric manufacturers. Sales of clothing made from Wool Supriva are expected to start in the fall of 1999.

An exchange rate of ¥129=$1.00 was used in this report.

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