Behind Uniqlo, Inditex profit, Ted Baker growth strategy, Shang Xia’s Chineseness, Junya’s lace

Yuki Katsuta by Chad Ingraham | Source: WSJ

The Man Behind the Puffy Purple Coat (WSJ)
“Mr. Katsuta is senior vice president of global research and design for Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo. Known for urbanized basics like T-shirts, sweaters and khakis, Uniqlo is one of the fastest-growing clothing chains in Asia. Mr. Katsuta joined the company in 2005 and now manages 100-plus designers based in New York, Tokyo and Shanghai, directing them like the maestro of an orchestra as they try to put a trendy Japanese twist on all-American clothing that will sell in stores world-wide.”

Asian growth drives Zara owner Inditex 2011 profit (Reuters)
“Spanish group Inditex, the world’s leading clothes retailer, posted perky February sales figures on Wednesday and announced a 12.5 percent dividend rise as it aggressively expanded into fast-growing Asia.”

Ted Baker targets Asian, U.S. openings (Reuters)
“British designer clothing brand Ted Baker said it was to expand in Asia and North America to tap fast-growing demand, as it reported a 14 percent rise in full-year retail sales.”

Luxury brand makes links with China’s past (FT)
“China’s ancient emperors knew how to live. Shang Xia, the Chinese luxury brand launched recently by Hermès, is trying to resurrect that image of a much older civilisation in which only the best would do.”

Junya Watanabe: A delicate subject (Independent)
Junya Watanabe’s treatment of lace – the most classic and resonant of all the haute couture fabrics – is far from predictable or banal. Lace, of course, carries with it a symbolism that is unparalleled – lace for christenings, lace for weddings, funereal black lace. It is an important addition, then, to any woman’s wardrobe and even life.”