Promotion of UNEEDNOW, an AKB48 Group-certified EC fashion brand for which AKB48 Group members will be modelling

March 15, 2017

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has concluded an agreement with AKS Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Natsuko Yoshinari, President & Representative Director; hereinafter “AKS”) and anicecompany inc. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihiro Kozuma, CEO; hereinafter “anice”), to launch UNEEDNOW, an AKB48 Group-certified EC fashion brand for which AKB48 Group members will be modelling.

AKS, the management and operation company of the AKB48 Group, has been supporting the activities of the AKB48 Group in numerous areas since its establishment in 2006, and AKB48 has achieved a number of new records, including first place in terms of single sales for seven straight years. Meanwhile, anice, which has operation bases in Tokyo and Fukuoka, has been involved with a large amount of client work in both Japan and abroad since its establishment in 2012. The company undertakes a wide range of businesses including business planning, merchandise planning, sales promotion planning, branding, and consulting beyond conventional design-related businesses such as websites, graphics, imaging and products. ITOCHU, which also undertakes a broad range of businesses including materials and apparel brands in the textile industry, has been promoting the consigned operations of brand e-commerce (EC) websites since 2009, enhancing the brands it handles including domestic apparel brands and luxury brands of Europe and the United States.

The agreement has been reached against this background, reflecting the common strategy shared among AKB, which aims to expand the activities of the AKB48 Group (AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48 and NGT48) into the fashion business, anice, which seeks to strengthen branding for the development of future generation fashion icons, and ITOCHU, which aims to establish a new business model in the contract EC website business through its original EC platform.

Going forward, the three companies will work with consumers to make the AKB48 Group members into new fashion icons through the promotion of UNEEDNOW, while implementing a range of plans, such as periodical updates of featured visuals modeled by the AKB48 Group members and collaborations with prestigious brands, to raise awareness of the UNEEDNOW brand.

As the first step, the companies will launch an EC website ( ) on March 15, 2017 and start selling a limited quantity of First Collection products. In addition, as the first implementation of the collaboration plan, jeans reminiscent of the 1990s will be released in collaboration with Edwin’s SOMETHING brand in July. Looking ahead, while releasing ranges of collections gradually through collaborations with well-known brands, the companies will seek to achieve 3,000 million yen in terms of retail sales in three years by spotlighting the value of the UNEEDNOW brand.

Featured visuals when launching UNEEDNOW

Featured visuals when launching UNEEDNOW

About AKS

Name of company AKS Co., Ltd
Representative Natsuko Yoshinari
Location of head office 4-3-3 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Date of establishment January 20, 2006

About anice

Name of company anicecompany inc.
Representative Yoshihiro Kozuma
Location of head office B1F Nishiazabu Studio, 2-17-13, Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Date of establishment December 28, 2012