Fashion Wars Come to Harajuku

I.T.’S International Fashion

A new fast fashion company enters the fray in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku.

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I.T.’S International opened in Harajuku last Friday. More than 100 customers waited expectantly outside on the street before the company opened its doors, right across from competitors Forever 21 and H&M.

I.T.’S International

I.T.’S International is only the latest company to enter the fast-fashion frenzy on Meiji Dori (one of the main streets in Harajuku).

With a new GAP flagship, Nike superstore, H&M, Zara, Topshop and Forever 21, and since last week I.T.’S International, the retail landscape of Harajuku has changed dramatically over recent years.

I.T.’S International’s ambitious plans now promises to push these dramatic changes beyond Japan’s fashion heartland.

With an aim to compete against rival companies such as Uniqlo and H&M, I.T.’S International plans to open 50 more stores in the next five years, and hopes for total annual sales of 30 billion yen.

It’s big talk for a company that very few people have heard of.

I.T.’s International, which was founded only last year, is actually a consortium of six companies. This includes textile giants like Sumikin Bussan Corp., N.I. Teijin Shoji Co., Teijin Fibers Ltd. and Kurabo Industries.

The new company offers good quality clothing for women, men and kids at competitive prices, and already has plans to open in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo next month.

Industry observers are especially interested in how I.T.’S International’s business model will fare. Over the past few years, UNIQLO’s model of integrating production and retail within one company has steadily eaten into the old model of separated manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

I.T.’S International appears to be right in-between these two models, manufacturers working together on a retail operation. It’s going to be fascinating to see, whether this model can compete with UNIQLO’s.

I.T.’S International

I.T.’S International
Address: Jingumae 4-31-10, YM Square Harajuku 1F, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 (東京都渋谷区神宮前4-31-10 YMスクウェア原宿1F)
Tel: (+81) 03 3478 3600
Open: 11:00-20:00
Access: JR Harajuku Station and Meiji-Jingumae Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line.

Paul McInnes About the Author

Paul McInnes is a fashion and arts journalist based in Tokyo. He is the menswear fashion editor of The Japan Times, the Tokyo editor of Sportswear International, contributes to High Fashion, Dazed Digital, and JC Report.

Recent articles by Paul McInnes:

Comment (日本語もOK)

they have rather nice clothing, a bit basic I guess~ but they have big competitors though, still I think Japanese people like their own Japanese brands

Feb 25, 2010 (5025 days ago)

Hi Jini. Yeah – the clothing looks ok – basic and comfortable. But, like you, I think they have many strong competitors. Will be intersting to see how they do in the next year or so. I think it will be difficult for them.

Paul McInnes (author)
Feb 25, 2010 (5025 days ago)

Yeah, it will be difficult, but I think they’ll do fine, there are plenty of Japanese women who don’t want to look over the top right? I think this ITsI is a perfect brand for office women? Who want to wear fashionable yet comfy clothes? (:

(btw yay for mailbutton!!! i wanted to suggest that, but that’s no longer needed o)

Mar 5, 2010 (5017 days ago)

that is awesome

green arrow jacket
May 2, 2015 (3133 days ago)

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