Japanese gothic themed fashion brand Peace Now Inc Japan filed for bankruptcy protection on March 6th 2013, Corporate Credit Research company Teikoku Databank reports. It has debts of 400 million yen (4.2 million US dollars).
Peace Now was founded in 2001 and was the creator of the brands PEACE NOW, BLACK PEACE NOW, BLACK PEACE NOW FOR MEN, and GADGET GROW. It combined gothic designs with cute, occasionally lolita themed, influences. Production was outsourced to other companies. The brands were quite popular and over the years, JAPANESE STREETS photographed many people wearing PEACE NOW creations.
Peace Now reached its peak in 2008 with gross revenues of 1.3 billion yen (14 million US dollars). However, the bankruptcy of US financial services firm Lehman Brothers in September of that year created a worldwide financial crisis that also touched Japan. Retail sales in Japan collapsed and Peace Now saw its revenues decline by 224 million yen (2.4 million US dollars) by November, 2011. The company closed several stores and cut costs, but was eventually unable to stave off bankruptcy.
The company ran 16 directly owned shops, 9 franchise shops, and a wholesale business. All stores in Japan, among which the stores at Laforet Harajuku, Shinsaibashi OPA (Osaka), and Shinjuku Marui One (Tokyo), have been closed as of March 6. The independently run USA based PEACE NOW USA continues to do business. However, it has put a message on its site that it no longer accepts special order requests. “We will unlikely to [sic] stock additional products from here [sic] forward,” it stated on a news page.
PEACE NOW collaborated with a large number of Japanese bands in creating fashion items and accessories. It collaborated for example with visual kei band Plastic Tree to create a Hello Kitty T-shirt in 2010. Plastic Tree’s lead singer Ryutaro Arimura also appeared in GADGET GROW ads. BLACK PEACE NOW was famously worn by PENICILLIN lead singer HAKUEI. The company also collaborated with visual kei bands AN CAFE, GOLDEN BOMBER, Dolly, and a score of other bands.
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