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JAPAN FAN: Rebecca Taylor has met her match in the women of Japan’s Kansei region, where the designer’s 1,100-square-foot Osaka store at Hilton Plaza West — her second in Japan — opened Thursday. Kansei women have a more flamboyantly feminine style than their Tokyo counterparts, who are more demure. Taylor chose the Umeda district north of Osaka for its high-end hotels and luxury retailers.
“There’s a buzz about Umeda,” said Beth Bugdaycay, chief executive officer of Rebecca Taylor. “The positioning of the store is a little different. Because the women of Kansei dress more over the top, we’ll be selling a lot more runway looks in Osaka as well as shoes and handbags. The Harijuku store in Tokyo sells more small leather goods and easy, pick-up accessories because customer is younger.” Kuipo, the brand’s license and distribution partner, will oversee daily operations.
Taylor opened her Tokyo store just a week after March 11 earthquake. “People in the west have been encouraged to shop to help Japan’s economy,” said Bugdaycay. “We’ve shown strong growth in the Western region. Sales in Tokyo, however, are down 30 percent.”