Tokyo-based investment firm Integral is bailing Yohji Yamamoto, Inc. and Limi Yamamoto, Inc. out. Business as usual, or so it seems.
Integral said the revamped firm will seek to strengthen Yohji Yamamoto’s retail and wholesale distribution channels. Yohji Yamamoto, the fashion house’s founder and namesake designer, will continue to design for the business.
I wonder if Integral’s involvement will have any influence on Yohji Yamamoto’s work in future. Will we start seeing more wearable designs and lower prices? Yohji Yamamoto once stated that he “designs for the woman who does not exist… the ideal woman.” (Time, 2005) Not exactly my idea of the standard Uniqlo shopper, which means not exactly a great idea for business these days.
Uniqlo (Fast Retailing Co.), by the way, has been doing incredibly well of late, in contrast to the recent casualties in the Japanese luxury sector. Its business has also been fuelled by its recent entrance into Paris, and the general shift towards mass market brands in Japan (See Age of Bling is over as Japanese Dress Down).
We can probably heave a little sigh of relief for Yohji Yamamoto now, but I do think Integral and Yohji Yamamoto will have to face many more issues in the next few years.
In other news, I’m glad I still have quite a bit of time before graduation: LVMH to Freeze Hiring, Salaries in 2010