ITOCHU Announces Expansion of HeM Brand

April 27, 2017

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has acquired master license rights for the HeM, a bag brand in Japan.

The HeM bag brand was launched in Japan in 1999. Featuring the distinctive logo created by the celebrated German designer Markus Kiersztan, who has worked on advertising and art direction for numerous prominent brands, the simple, catchy designs were a huge hit mainly among young people in their teens and twenties. Today, the brand is expanding through leading Japanese bag manufacturer, Kyowa Co., Ltd., selling primarily in lifestyle and household goods specialty stores and fashion complexes.

The latest acquisition of master license rights will enable ITOCHU to promote the value of the HeM brand as a total lifestyle brand by gradually expanding the product range. Beginning from the spring-summer season with the bags that are the brand’s key product, ITOCHU will focus on the restructuring of the HeM brand worldview, which originated in bags, with the aim of enhancing brand recognition through collaboration with prominent brands and cultivating new sales channels.

From the spring-summer 2018 season, ITOCHU will gradually expand the product range from bags to other categories. The first stage of this expansion will begin from the 2018 spring-summer season with the launch of a new HeM Sports line targeting beauty-conscious and health-conscious women that handles “sports” categories such as running wear and yoga wear, for which demand is expected to increase toward 2020.

Expansion will begin through the nationwide branches of the major sporting goods retailer SPORTS AUTHORITY operated by Mega Sports Co., Ltd (headquartered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Kazuhide Kamitani), with a sales target for the HeM brand of 3 billion yen on a retail basis in three years’ time.

Overview of Kyowa Co., Ltd

Company name Kyowa Co., Ltd.
President & CEO Taneo Wakamatsu
Capital 96 million yen
Location of headquarters 2-10-16 Higashi-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0031
Location of plant 512 Kirigasaku, Noda-shi, Chiba Prefecture 270-0213
Distribution center As above
Main business Planning, manufacture and sales of school backpacks, suitcases, and business bags.
Official website

HeM key visuals 2017

HeM images

HeM images

HeM images