15 Jul Itochu Launching Gramicci Footwear in Japan
Itochu Corporation is launching a line of Gramicci footwear in Japan under a recently concluded sublicensing agreement with the U.S. outdoor apparel brand. The new Gramicci Footwear collection will be released in January 2015.
“Since its founding in 1982 in California by rock climber Mike Graham, the Gramicci brand has established a strong position as an outdoor brand, with the unique high-functionality of Gramicci pants recognized throughout the United States as well as Europe and Japan as synonymous for climbing pants,” said Masahiro Okafuji, president and CEO for Itochu, which obtained the master license for the Gramicci brand in the Japanese market in 2009, and has been selling apparel-related products since the 2010 spring/summer season. “Today, carrying the distinctive Running Man brand logo that expresses a passion for the outdoors, it has gained the support not only of climbers, but of the younger generation with high fashion sense.”
The new Gramicci Footwear collection will offer a broad range of styles, including shoes that combine urban design with authentic function for the rugged outdoors, and shoes that are versatile enough for both everyday and outdoor wear. Further, incorporating the philosophy of the Gramicci brand that promotes environmental conservation activities, Itochu will advance ongoing initiatives to realize a sustainable society, including the use of Vibram EcoStep soles that use up to 30 percent of scrap produced in the shoe manufacturing process, and the use of recycled raw materials for shoe cases and shoe trees.
The shoes will be sold in Japan primarily through outdoor specialty stores, as well as boutique stores, department stores, sports shops, and shoe retailers, targeted at men and women in their 20s and 30s. Itochu will implement proactive marketing campaigns through magazine tie-ups, event exhibitions, and social contribution initiatives such as support of activities that promote enjoyment of the natural environment and the outdoors, with the aim of achieving retail sales of 600 million yen in three years’ time.