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Yohji Extends Y-3 Joint Venture with Adidas

Godfrey Deeny
September 06th, 2006 @ 00:07 AM

Y-3 has just earned itself another few years of life.

Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas announced Wednesday that they have extended their joint venture Y-3 until 2010.

“Adidas is a very personal inspiration to me... it has enriched my creative life...the future holds great
expectations,” stressed Yohji Yamamoto, Y-3 creative director, in a joint statement issued by his own house and his German partner.

The joint statement predicted for the brand “even stronger and more captivating development....influencing the sports and fashion industry through innovative design and spotless craftmanship as well as intriguing ideas and concepts out of the orderly [sic] known.”

The Japanese designer and the German sports and apparel giant first linked up in July 2002 to make Y-3 the largest ever alliance between fashion and sports. At the time, neither side would provide much information on the deal’s details.

The Y-3 collection debuted in Paris in October 2002 to critical acclaim. Commercially, however, the collection has had an erratic history.

Y-3 has introduced Adidas to a more elite segment of the fashion market, allowing it to rub shoulders with fashion forward labels in major international department stores and, in effect, create new market segment. Since its launch Y-3 has also created a significant distribution network of 500 doors worldwide including mono-brand boutiques, shop-in-shops and its own flagship store in Tokyo, opened in May 2006.

Both sides plan to open additional mono-brand stores as well as shop-in-shops in the leading international capitals, while maintaining a limited and exclusive distribution.

“Y-3 is innovative and a real fusion of sport functionality and fashion elegance based on the exceptional friendship that has blossomed between the two companies. We are delighted and very excited to continue this special and prosperous partnership with a long-term commitment!” said Hermann Deininger, global head of Adidas brand and creative direction.

“Y-3 perfectly completes the overall Adidas product range from Sport Performance to Sport Heritage within the third Adidas division Sport Style,” Deininger added.

The Spring/Summer 2007 Y-3 collection will take place next Wednesday, September 13 at Pier 40 in Manhattan during New York Fashion Week.

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