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Business trends

South Korean cool clothes are hot sellers in Japan

Retailers Stripe International and Beams jump on trends from across the sea

TOKYO -- Japanese apparel retailers are expanding their lineups of South Korean fashions -- often characterized by hems and sleeves culminating in pointed tips -- aiming to ride the wave of the style's popularity with young consumers.

One such retailer bolstering its lineup of trendy South Korean-style clothing for this year's autumn and winter season is Stripe International, located in the western Japanese city of Okayama.

Under the Yukkam label, the collection will include a shirt adorned with horizontal lines on the chest, as well as a frilled pullover. Some items feature bright colors and sporty looks.

These products will be sold at about 60 stores operated at Aeon Mall and LaLaport shopping complexes across Japan. Prices are expected to range from 3,990 to 5,590 yen ($36 to $51) before tax.

By offering such items, Stripe International is keen to meet diversifying customer preferences and trends.

The Yukkam label was founded in the summer of 2017 as part of the E hyphen world gallery brand for young women, and sales have been strong.

Tokyo-based Beams is also increasing its procurement of South Korean brands. In August, its International Gallery Beams label focusing on luxury imports will launch the Rejina Pyo brand, named for a South Korean designer. The designs are marked by a fusion of vintage and modern elements.

Some recent South Korean fashions feature bright colors and sporty looks, while others are characterized by hems and sleeves that culminate in pointed tips.

Beams began sourcing the brand for the first time after it was popularized on social media by an overseas model, an official with the retailer said.

In July, the womenswear brand Ray Beams is set to release the South Korean J Koo brand for the first time. The pretax cost of a pair of trousers is 49,000 yen and that of a dress is 82,000 yen.

Established in 2012, J Koo won the 2015 International Woolmark Prize for promising new designers.

Barneys Japan, also located in Tokyo, began handling 10 South Korean outfit brands, including A.Melie, for the 2018 spring and summer season.

The retailer will launch the Kelly Park brand of bags for the 2018 autumn and winter season. The brand's custom-made products will also be sold at an outlet in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.

Barneys Japan will also market three South Korean jewelry brands, such as Lodagold, for the same season. It is the first time for the Japanese retailer to procure South Korean branded bags and jewelry, a company official said.

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