MRO Magazine

Parco, Japanese department store, and Rooy, fashion-tech footwear incubation platform, announce crowdsourcing design challenge “Made for Japan” to launch new footwear brands to the Japanese market during spring/summer 2016

By PRN NewsWire   

TOKYO and SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Parco and Rooy on August 1st opened a design challenge which allows a few select global designers to present their footwear designs directly to Japanese consumers. Selected designs will be prototyped by Rooy and launched through Parco’s “Booster” platform which tests consumer demand through a crowdfunding pre-order system.

Japan is known to be a leader in the footwear category, and this provides footwear designers with a difficult challenge; to design a product that will get the attention of discerning Japanese consumers. Parco’s department store network provides designers from around the globe with direct access to the trendsetting youth of Japan.

Designs will be accepted at until August 23rd, 2015. Selections will be made promptly so that Rooy may begin the process of prototyping and manufacturing to meet the spring 2016 launch deadline. Designers will receive 10 percent of net sales administered by Rooy.

Parco is a department store with 19 city-center locations throughout Japan, 100 million visitors per year, and over 2.2 Billion USD in annual sales. Parco is different than other department stores in that it is devoted to youth culture and presenting independent brands and lesser-known designers.

Rooy Inc. has its headquarters in San Francisco, CA and an R&D center in Busan, Korea. Busan is a footwear hub-city with long-established ties to manufacturers throughout Asia. The startup was founded in 2014 by Ryan Kang, a second-generation footwear entrepreneur with a specialization in prototyping and creating new technologies. Whereas competitors to Rooy allow minor customizations to existing patterns, Rooy allows designers to create original products from the outsole up and choose materials from leading suppliers.

Rooy invites designers to submit designs for consideration year round, but also presents design challenges such as Parco “Made for Japan” to focus efforts. Past design topics presented by Rooy’s crowdsourcing platform include “Running Man” a popular television program and Song Seung Heon, an A-list celebrity.

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