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Fashion retailer Bench branches out to Japan

Philippine fashion retailer Bench is opening its first international branch, in Okinawa, Japan.

This follows its first Bench Fashion Week, marking the company’s 30th year in business.

Owner Ben Chan says the Okinawa store will open this month, and follows Bench being part of Tokyo Fashion Week last year as the Philippines’ representative in the “Asian Fashion Meets Tokyo” initiative.

Bench will return to Tokyo this year along with the three designers who win in the Bench Design Awards in September.

As for Okinawa, it is the first time a Philippine fashion brand has opened an independent store overseas.

Bench started in 1987 as a small store selling men’s t-shirts. It quickly grew thanks to its pioneering use of celebrity endorsers, television and billboards. As well as men’s apparel it now also offers a women’s line, underwear, fragrances, housewares, snacks and lifestyle products. The brand is also available internationally, including China.

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