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BIRTHDAY BASH: Kate Spade’s 20th anniversary celebrations made their way to Tokyo Wednesday. President and chief creative officer Deborah Lloyd, ceo Craig Leavitt and stylist Brad Goreski hosted a birthday party for the brand and mingled with local fans. A New York taxi cab welcomed attendees to the event, held in Roppongi restaurant.
Leavitt said that both Kate Spade New York and the newly launched Kate Spade Saturday brand continue to do well in Japan, and the company has additional store openings planned for both brands.
“It’s still going strong. We’re really, really excited, and, you know, particularly for us in a market that we’ve been in now for 17 years, to still see the kind of year-on-year growth that we are seeing is really exciting for us,” Leavitt said. “It shows that there’s more appetite for the brand, and I think since acquiring our Japanese business last year, it’s revealed even more opportunities.”
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Leavitt also said that next spring, Kate Spade New York plans to open its first Japanese flagship in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood. Three other smaller store openings are planned for this fall in other areas of Japan.
Kate Spade Saturday, which launched in Japan earlier this year, has also been seeing success in the market.
“We’re very pleased, and we’re still learning about our customer and the product, but we’re very pleased with the launch, and we’re continuing to open additional stores,” Leavitt said. In addition to pop-up and permanent stores in the U.S., Leavitt said he expects to see openings in Asian cities such as Singapore within the next six months or so.
Lloyd said that Japanese consumers respond well to the femininity of the brand, which she said has become the go-to label for date-night dresses among Japanese women. But she also said the admiration goes both ways.
“In a year’s time, there’s going to be probably a collection that will be inspired by this visit,” she said. “I’ve been taking an awful lot of photographs of the girls — I love the way they mix up the clothes from us as well. They have their very individualistic way of putting things together, and I’m always excited to see what they do with that.”