The Grand Reveal

In January 2015, Wacoal Holdings Corp. (Kyoto, Japan ; President: Yoshikata Tsukamoto) will change the name of Wacoal Eveden Limited (Desborough in the UK; CEO: Tracy Lewis), a group subsidiary primarily responsible for the European overseas business segment, to Wacoal Europe Limited. Through this new structure, Wacoal will enhance its group brand value in the European region and will create a second pillar for development across the Western Hemisphere, alongside Wacoal America.

The overseas segment of Wacoal Holdings Corp. consists of local subsidiaries in 22 countries and regions. Currently, business is based across 4 fundamental areas of America, Europe, Asia (excluding Japan) and China.

Wacoal acquired Eveden Group Limited in April 2012 and positioned it as a group subsidiary in order to focus primarily on the European region, with an aim to expand and secure a highly successful business. The Eveden Group had established a strong business infrastructure and brand awareness mainly in the European market and also across North America and Australasia. In order to achieve effective mutual utilization of the sales channels, technology, management know-how and brand awareness of both companies, we conducted reorganization to integrate the management in Europe of the existing businesses of Wacoal (UK) Limited and Wacoal France S.A.

In January 2015, a period coinciding with the release of the new spring and summer collection for 2015, we will change the name of Wacoal Eveden Limited to Wacoal Europe Limited. Through this new management, we will expand our target consumers and will construct a highly profitable organization which significantly contributes to turnover and earnings as a group.

Take a look at our behind the scenes footage from the global launch event held in Paris in July.


History of Wacoal’s Overseas Expansion

Wacoal Corp., the predecessor to Wacoal Holdings Corp., was founded as Wako Corp. by Koichi Tsukamoto in postwar Japan of 1949. Wacoal became the first Japanese company to sell brassieres, thus establishing women’s lingerie as a fashion item. Since then, Wacoal has led the intimate apparel market in Japan while continuing rapid domestic growth.
Shortly after its founding, Wacoal established a 50-Year Plan (1950s to 1990s) consisting of five 10-year periods. The plan expressly indicated expansion into overseas markets in the third period (1970s), establishment of overseas markets in the fourth period (1980s), and realization of a global corporation in the fifth and final period (1990s).

Instead of seeking inexpensive labour, the original basic policy for overseas expansion concentrated solely on installing local management and establishing localized technology. Overseas expansion was conducted based on Koichi Tsukamoto’s philosophy of respecting local culture and nationality while introducing the Wacoal resources and know-how, as well as cooperating with excellent local staff. Our founder sought to establish a group bound by mutual trust as part of the Wacoal family. This philosophy is still at the heart of our business today.

In 1970, Wacoal established joint venture companies in Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea as the first step of overseas expansion in the Asian region, Wacoal began business in these countries based on local production and local sales. In 1983, Wacoal entered America, after 20 years of ups and downs, the American business was transformed into a highly profitable business. Today, Wacoal is the top-selling brand at mid to upper-class department stores. Wacoal International Hong Kong Co., Ltd. was founded in 1983, followed by a joint venture company in China in 1986. In 2000, Wacoal took full ownership of the Chinese company; to date our Chinese business is expanding smoothly. Following our 50-Year Plan, Wacoal became the first Japanese textile apparel company that actively entered overseas markets and expanded overseas business.

Kyoto is the leading fashion capital of Japan and so, in 1978 Wacoal founded the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI) where we conduct activities to create Wacoal’s unique lingerie culture. The institute also allows Wacoal to discover the similarities and connection with Western style. The institute has a collection of approximately 11,000 Western costumes and accessories spanning from the 16th century to modern times.
In 1990, Wacoal became the first Japanese lingerie manufacturer to enter France. In addition to furthering the Market Development in Europe, Wacoal passionately sought to conduct a positive cultural exchange. Countless joint exhibitions have been held between the KCI and costume art museums in Paris. In 1996, Wacoal received a Special Achievement Award from the city of Paris followed by the Legion of Honor Award presented to Koichi Tsukamoto by the French Government in 1998.

Wacoal initially encountered difficulties when entering the different cultural spheres of Asia and America. Our company faced challenges in European markets where aesthetics and body shape differ according to the region. Wacoal continued to use France as a base for business expansion in Europe. In order to expand our business across Europe, Wacoal acquired the Eveden Group, UK in April, 2012 and positioned it as a group subsidiary. Today, Wacoal group products are sold in approximately 47 countries through our local subsidiaries around the world.