ITOCHU Announces Launch of Ocean Pacific, a U.S. Brand, in South Korea

October 4, 2016

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it signed an agreement for the master license rights of Ocean Pacific, a U.S. sports brand, with Woosung I.B. Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Incheon, South Korea; Hui Jae Lee CEO; hereinafter “Woosung”) with the view to expand the brand in South Korea. ITOCHU will launch the brand in the South Korean market in the spring/summer season of 2017.

Founded in 1972, in California, the Ocean Pacific brand became especially popular on the U.S. West Coast as a surf-wear brand for serious surfers. Later the brand combined the surfing lifestyle with sports, music, art, and fashion and now has evolved into a comprehensive lifestyle brand that encompasses beachwear and street wear with a broad appeal, especially among active, fashion-conscious young people.

Ever since ITOCHU acquired the trademark rights for the Ocean Pacific brand in Japan and certain countries and regions in Asia in 2012, it has been expanding the brand particularly in Japan as well as overseas markets. The swimwear, produced in collaboration with model and talent Anne Nakamura, was made public this summer and caused a sensation on SNS, increasing the brand visibility among young people.

Woosung was founded as a manufacturer of marine sports products in 1992 and is now a large enterprise group with footholds in Europe, the United States, and other Asian countries. It develops brands in 75 countries around the world, primarily its own. In 2014, Woosung was listed on the KOSDAQ and since this spring the company has aggressively expanded its brand business by acquiring the trademark rights of a Dutch marine brand in the South Korean market as well as opening its flagship store and 12 branch stores in major department stores.

In its launch of the Ocean Pacific brand in the South Korean market, Woosung will have a broad lineup of apparel and accessories, including not only marine sports products, but also beachwear and street wear tailored to various lifestyles, targeting men and women in their 20s to 40s. Utilizing its rich experience and know-how, Woosung will promote the Ocean Pacific brand through its diverse sales channels, including marine sports shops, department stores, and e-commerce. It will also seek to increase brand recognition in the South Korean market by sponsoring many kinds of events and focusing its PR activities on SNS and other media. Woosung plans to open the brand’s flagship store in Seoul, in 2018, and aims to achieve sales of 20 billion won (approximately 1.8 billion yen) in five years.

Outline of WOOSUNG Corporate

Company Name WOOSUNG I.B.CO., LTD.
Representative Hui Jae Lee
Head Office Pyeongcheon-ro Bupyeong-gu Incheon 403-858 Korea
Status of company Listed on KOSDAQ (2014)
Employees 131 (in head office)

Ocean Pacific Fall/Winter Collection 2016