SOURCE: Eight-Eighteen

August 25, 2005 10:00 ET

KUNNA Jeans to Launch Spring 2006 Line at Project Trade Show in Las Vegas; Signs Eight-Eighteen as Marketing Agency of Record

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 25, 2005 -- KUNNA, a growing "affordable luxury" denim brand by Japanese design icon Hiro Morise, has hired the branding agency Eight-Eighteen to develop and execute its marketing strategy in the U.S.

KUNNA, already one of Fred Segal's top denim brands, joins the client roster of Eight-Eighteen, which provides companies a way to outsource their marketing, brand & PR management/development, trend articulation, guardianship, and communications while still receiving executive-level experience and execution.

"My customers are addicted to KUNNA's uniqueness and exclusivity. Hiro Morise is a true artist and celebrity in Japan -- his passion for what he does goes well beyond commerce. The U.S. is fertile ground for someone like him," says Karen Meena, GM Fred Segal store, Los Angeles.

Jed Wexler, CEO of Eight-Eighteen, feels that key trends like 1) "affordable luxury" 2) the rise in men's apparel spending habits (higher than women in 2004) and 3) the pursuit of an older customer (20s-mid-30s) by all major retail players, indicates the market is ripe for a brand like KUNNA.

"KUNNA is well-positioned because these consumers want 'real' brands with real artisans behind them like Hiro Morise. This group, which is older, edgy, and sophisticated, is driving the premium market for clothing and all lifestyle products, all of which means traditional marketing plans, media blitzes, and print-ads, are falling on deaf ears. Product, the brand vibe, exclusivity and self-discovery are king. We are excited to help 'guru' them through this new environment," opines Wexler.

ABOUT Eight-Eighteen

Past and current clients include: Howe Premium Denim, Levi Strauss, Levi's Engineered, MAGIC/Advanstar, Earthlink, OP, Microsoft, AT&T Wireless, Artist Direct, Vestal Watch, Kunna Jeans, Shiseido, Warp Media (Japan), Something Special (Hong Kong), and Sony Music.

In 2001, CEO Wexler was invited to speak at the IEG Sponsorship Conference on the topic of, "leveraging creativity into revenue and customer loyalty." Other speakers included Bob Pittman, former president of AOL/Time Warner, SFX Founder Robert Sillerman, and Michael Roux, creator of the Absolut Vodka campaign. A portion of company proceeds are allocated to local youth mentorship and literacy programs. Wexler is currently writing a book on the "uselessness/usefulness" of marketing. Based in Los Angeles, CA.

View KUNNA's Spring 2006 line at Project Show Las Vegas, August 28-30.

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