“Do we need so many stores right now?”
-United Arrows Senior Advisor Hirofumi Kurino

The Harajuku Main Store will be renovated in September. It will be relaunched as the United Arrows flagship store merging the Women’s and Men’s halls. A series of discussions led to the new design, and Hirofumi Kurino tells us, “There’s actually very few fashion stores that both men and women can enjoy without separation. We will make a store that caters to that desire.” In addition to removing gender distinctions, “I would like to create a store that also removes seasonal and generational considerations, and sells fashion that can be enjoyed in the moment.”

“The feeling of creating an ‘unprecedented standard.’”
-beautiful people Designer Hidenori Kumakiri

While a thematic sense imbued with humour and a distance from reality are valued today, Hidenori Kumakiri used a presentation format for the debut of his Paris Collection. Kumakiri tells us, “I’ve always placed great importance on metaphors, and my hope is that the message gets through to the customer.” He states that he is re-examining his thoughts on, “expressing ubiquitous concepts in today’s words.”


“People who love clothes won’t stop buying them”
-Parco President Kozo Makiyama

Kozo Makiyama tells us, “People who love clothes today love them even more than clothes lovers of previous years.” Sales are robust for Japanese designer brands, which “take exacting pride in their products,” and Makiyama continues that, “there are definitely young people who love clothes, and their own sense of pride and self-expression is growing stronger. I think there might be many young people who are thinking ‘I want to buy clothes,’ but don’t have the means.” He concludes, “I would like to once again exemplify that “if you take pride and care in your clothes, it will enrich your soul.”


“I feel like a door is about to open”
-Etro Creative Director Kean Etro

Etro skipped holding a spring/summer show, and made an announcement in an exhibition format. Kean Etro shares his reasoning that, “in an exhibition, you can meet people directly and speak with them.” He continues, “Over the past three days, for a total of 26 hours, I have been in contact with people, and continuously speaking with them. While face-to-face contact between people has declined in recent years, it is still important.” While on one hand Etro “does not believe in the effectiveness of traditional shows very much,” he is seeking to open a door through the challenge of, “seeing just how well we can share the history and story of Etro through digital tools.”


“In the end, what you are left with is the essence”
-Adastria Representative Director, Chairman & CEO Michio Fukuda

In addition to establishing a new company and developing a new brand, Adastria is also devoting its efforts to creating a foundation where its personnel can flourish. Michio Fukuda explains that retail “is founded on continuing to offer customers both an abundant selection and peace of mind.” He concludes, “we should create an occupation where employees can feel a continued a sense of pride and that, ‘this is fascinating. Wow, this is what I do for a living,’ while they interact with both society and people through their work.”


“The goal both of us are aiming for is ‘the majors’ and ‘the world’
-TOKYO BASE President & CEO Masato Tani

On 30 June, TOKYO BASE formed a capital alliance with FACTOTUM. Tani shares, “the industry model we are targeting is LVMH, and FACTOTUM is the first step in that direction. On the other hand, Koji Udo, the representative and designer of FACTOTUM tells us, “we are counting on the sales power of TOKYO BASE.” The two companies will take on the world with shared goals.


“Even so, they’ll say, ‘But, I like it!’ and buy it”
-ARPEGE President Maiko Noguchi

Maiko Noguchi became the president in May. The most recent financial results were the most robust in the company’s history, with the highest revenue and operating profit ever achieved. While the market may be severe, and sometimes ARPEGE’s products are deemed “expensive,” she explains, “if you offer high quality products with exactly the right timing, I am sure the customers will come.”


“I sell clothes, but I also sell myself”
-ChaosBohemia Store Manager Kenichi Ishibashi

Kenichi Ishibashi is the store manager of the representative specialty shop in Daimyo, Fukuoka City, known for its unique styles. He tells us that he polishes his customer reception skills and individuality because, “I want to be popular with women.” While he says you cannot become popular without trust, he has won the strong trust of customers by becoming, “a store clerk that stays in your memory, with a unique store.”