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BEAMS is a prominent Japanese contemporary fashion chain and label, based in Tokyo, Japan, founded by Etsuzo Shitara in 1976 with Osamu Shigematsu as the store manager, who have managed the Shinko Inc. cardboard packaging business since 1953. In 2005, BEAMS began a push for international expansion, opening up a women’s clothing store in Hong Kong in 2006, and subsequently accounts in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Bangkok. Currently, Yo Shitara is the company’s CEO, with BEAMS boasting over 70 domestic stores and sales profits of ¥44.6 billion JPY in 2006. Initially called AMERICAN LIFE SHOP BEAMS, the first store -- only 231 square feet and decorated to look like a UCLA dorm room -- was located in Harajuku and specialized in American clothing, becoming an immediate success and leading to the opening of a second store on Shibuya’s “Fire Street” in 1977. In its initial years, BEAMS received valuable press exposure via its relationship with the Heibon Shuppan publishing house, whose extensive coverage of BEAMS’ American menswear offerings in its popular POPEYE magazine helped build the brand’s fanbase. Due to illness, Shitara was replaced by his son Yo in 1983 as the brand’s senior managing director of marketing. In 1989, Shigematsu -- who had been a buyer for BEAMS since its founding -- and 30 other notable employees resigned from BEAMS simultaneously, leaving to found direct competitor UNITED ARROWS. Internal chaos ensued, with the emergency hiring of a fresh crop of buyers slowly returning the company to status quo. During the ‘90s, BEAMS established a relationship with men’s monthly Begin, with the magazine’s additional press leading to increased sales during this period.

Sasquatchfabrix. Puts Its Spin on the Vans Sk8-Hi for BEAMS
Reebok and BEAMS Dress It up With the "Gentleman's Sport" Pack
BEAMS & Reebok Are Bringing Back the Instapump Fury "Crazy"
C.E Goes Back to Basics for Its Latest BEAMS T Exclusive Drop
Larry Clark x BEAMS 2016 "Tulsa" Capsule Collection
Beams Plus 2016 Spring/Summer Collection
BEAMS T Pays Homage to 'Star Wars'
MR PORTER and BEAMS Profile Six of Japan's Leading Menswear Designers


First international store opens in Hong Kong


Osamu Shigematsu and 30 other senior employees resign to form UNITED ARROWS


Yo Shitara replaces Etsuzo as senior managing director


Second location opens on Shibuya’s Fire Street


BEAMS is founded in February
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