Asia is rising on the high-fashion scene. In the past several seasons of New York Fashion Week, designers from Korea, China and Japan have emerged from New York's fashion pack.
At Bergdorf Goodman, a new Japanese brand is making a name for itself. Cyclas is the design child of founder and creative director Keiko Onose. Previously, Onose served as the women's fashion director of United Arrows, an established multi-brand retailer in Japan. In 2007, she went on to found The Secretcloset, a specialty store featuring international luxury designers with six locations in Tokyo.
At the same time, Onose started Cyclas, which began as a collection of coats and relaxed separates. Onose wanted timeless silhouettes made in beautiful fabrics, have elevated sophistication without sacrificing comfort.
Cyclas made its Paris debut in January 2016. She said. "I wanted to debut in Paris because top buyers from all over the world come to Paris and I wanted them to see Cyclas." The Bergdorf Goodman buy confirmed her wisdom and the line is also available in six countries besides Japan. There, in addition to the The Secretcloset, the line is sold at luxury department store Takashimaya. The spring/summer 2017 collection will also be sold at Joyce in Hong Kong.
Despite Onose's successes, launching a brand is no easy feat in the competitive luxury sector. "I’m a perfectionist and if anything, my culture and upbringing has taught me that attention to detail is essential in everything you do," Onose said. "Another challenge is targeting women who understand the luxury market and creating true value for them. There are so many designers vying for market share and brand loyalty, so to garner brand awareness and getting into the right retail doors where these women frequent is important."
Onose names Coco Chanel as the designer she looks up to, and she finds inspiration for her collections through her own instincts and personal experience.
"The industry is still in a transitional period, especially since the see-now-buy-now format has altered fashion week," Onose said, looking into 2017. "Consumer behavior is like a pendulum swinging back and forth from impulse buys and fast fashion to investment pieces and timeless purchases. I think 2017 is the year the pendulum sways towards investment pieces and timeless purchases - a time when consumers focus on quality and detail."
Visit Cyclas's website at cyclas-official.com.