ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of Exclusive Import and Distribution Rights for U.S. Label SoftScience
July 21, 2015
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU and Itochu Fashion System Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Kazunori Ishii, President; hereinafter “IFS”) have concluded a contract with U.S. company SoftScience, Inc. for the exclusive import and distribution of SoftScience, a brand of comfort footwear, in Japan and five other Asian countries (Singapore, Malayasia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines). Full-scale distribution of the brand will begin in the 2016 spring/summer season through Doshisha Corporation (headquartered in Chuo-ku, Osaka; Masayuki Nomura, President & COO; hereinafter “DOSHISHA”).
The SoftScience brand was founded in San Diego, California in 2013 by Scott Seamans, a founder of Crocs and an engineer, and John Duerden, former CEO at Crocs. The shoes are made from a proprietary material called Trileon, which is lightweight, highly odor-resistant, and offers superb cushioning, as well as featuring a proprietary insole called Levelast Universal Comfort Platform, which disperses the body weight evenly from heel to toe, minimizing the burden on the foot. Launched in the 2014 spring/summer season, SoftScience instantly attracted attention throughout the U.S. as a brand of comfort footwear that supports a natural and healthy gait as well as featuring superior design qualities, and continues to enjoy high popularity.
In the Asian market, high economic growth has led to a strong tendency to seek better lifestyles. In the first instance, it is planned to expand recognition of the SoftScience brand in the Japanese market and enhance brand value, before successively rolling out the brand in the five Asian countries.
In the Japanese market, the brand will target people of all generations regardless of gender who enjoy a fashionable lifestyle, and will be sold as a new category of comfort footwear in boutique stores, prominent department stores, and specialty stores. Combining ITOCHU’s know-how and experience in brand business and IFS’s unsurpassed marketing capability, with DOSHISHA’s diversified sales networks in Japan, the aim is to achieve sales of 1 billion yen on a retail sales basis in five years.
1) JFW International Fashion Fair (IFF)
Date and time: Wednesday, July 22-Friday, July 24, 10:00-18:00 (to 17:00 on last day)
Venue: West Exhibition Hall, Tokyo Big Sight; Booth: Active & Casual – No. B-012
2) DOSHISHA Exhibition
Date and time: Wednesday, August 5-Friday, August 7, 9:00-17:00
Venue: DOSHISHA Tokyo Head Office 3rd floor (2-21-46 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Features of comfort footwear
SoftScience Corporate Profile
|Company name||SoftScience, Inc.|
|Address of head office||3921Ocean Drive, Suite 801, Oceanside, California 92056 USA|
|Representative||John H. Duerden|
DOSHISHA Corporate profile
|Company name||Doshisha Corporation|
|Address of head office||1-5-5 Higashi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 542-8525|