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MASH GROUP: Revolutionizing Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle

Article - May 10, 2024

MASH GROUP develops fashion, beauty, and lifestyle businesses under the slogan "Wellness Design.” Through sustainability, digital transformation, and global expansion, the company aims to break new ground, create high-impact experiences, and open up the future of the global fashion industry.

In the vibrant tapestry of Japan's fashion and lifestyle landscape, one company stands out for its innovation, vision and commitment to holistic wellbeing: MASH GROUP. Established in 1998 as a graphic design firm, MASH GROUP swiftly evolved into a multifaceted conglomerate, encompassing fashion (which started with SNIDEL and gelato pique), beauty, sports, food, and more. Through a lens of "Wellness Design," the company has redefined luxury rooted in everyday life, sustainability and consumer engagement, earning global recognition for its transformative approach.

Navigating the Changing Tides: Adapting to New Consumer Paradigms

As the global fashion and apparel market surges towards a projected $2 trillion industry, MASH GROUP remains at the forefront of the Japanese fashion industry. Hiroyuki Kondo, President of MASH Holdings, reflects on the company's strategic shifts to cater to the dynamic demands of younger generations like millennials and Gen Z. "Approaching these younger generations is a vital part of our strategy," says Mr. Kondo. Leveraging social media and digital marketing, the company curates exclusive experiences, limited products, and strategic collaborations to resonate with modern consumers.

And in an era where sustainability is at the forefront of the corporate social responsibility and ESG agenda, MASH GROUP has also made substantial strides towards environmental stewardship. "Reducing our CO2 emissions is paramount," affirms Mr. Kondo, highlighting the company's initiatives to minimize its environmental footprint. From sourcing sustainable materials used in their fashion stores, to implementing eco-friendly practices in production and distribution, MASH GROUP's sustainability ethos permeates every facet of its operations. The company's commitment to longevity and responsible consumption extends to product design, fostering a culture of reuse and conscious consumerism.

Digital Transformation: Seamlessly Blending Physical and Virtual Realms

The digital revolution has reshaped consumer behaviors, prompting MASH GROUP to embrace a seamless blend of physical and virtual experiences. The launch of the MASH STORE app, Instagram Live sessions with designers, press representatives, and personalized customer interactions exemplify the company's digital prowess. Despite the e-commerce surge, MASH GROUP strategically expands its physical footprint, recognizing the enduring allure of immersive retail experiences. Mr. Kondo elaborates: "We want to create a personalized experience similar to what one could experience in a real store using digital means to reach out to the younger generations."

MASH GROUP's corporate philosophy is "Giving shape to our ideas and bringing people happiness.” The group slogan is "Wellness Design," which goes along with the core of the philosophy. The company's evolution from graphic design to fashion, beauty and lifestyle reflects a holistic approach to well-being. Mr. Kondo emphasizes: "Our interpretation of 'Wellness Design' is creating smiles across all generations." This commitment manifests in product innovations, such as transitioning to eco-friendly materials and promoting durable, long-lasting designs that resonate with conscious consumers.

Expanding Horizons: A Global Vision

MASH GROUP's global footprint continues to expand, fueled by strategic partnerships and a forward-thinking vision. The recent collaboration with Bain Capital underscores the company's growth trajectory, propelling international expansions and innovative ventures. With eyes set on diverse markets, including North America, Asia, and beyond, MASH GROUP envisions a future where its transformative brands redefine luxury in everyday life, sustainability and lifestyle across borders.

From AOURE's functional men's apparel and FRAY I.D's fashion-forward office wear, to emmi, which has been encouraging women to use sneakers instead of heels for commuting, MASH GROUP's diverse portfolio mirrors its commitment to inclusivity and innovation. Mr. Kondo elaborates on the strategic expansion into kids and babywear and organic cosmetics, each venture underpinned by a relentless pursuit of redefining norms and enhancing lifestyles. "We are creating new trends and opening new pathways in changing the standard of Japanese fashion," says Mr. Kondo, highlighting the company's pioneering spirit.

Innovative Partnerships and Collaborations

MASH GROUP's success is intricately woven with its ability to forge innovative partnerships and collaborations. The company's licensing business plays a pivotal role in this realm, acting as a distributor for foreign brands in Japan, while also launching its own brands and planning and developing Japan-originated designs. “Our licensing business is a unique model that bridges international brands with Japanese consumers," explains Mr. Kondo.

The strategic collaborations extend beyond traditional boundaries, encompassing diverse industries and creative endeavors. MASH GROUP's foray into the beauty segment with original organic cosmetics brands like Celvoke and SNIDEL BEAUTY has been met with acclaim, catering to the growing demand for natural and sustainable beauty solutions. The company's ventures in kids and babywear also demonstrate a keen understanding of evolving consumer needs, offering stylish yet functional options for young families.

Empowering Consumer Experiences

At the heart of MASH GROUP's success lies its unwavering focus on empowering consumer experiences. The company's retail initiatives, both online and offline, are designed to create immersive and personalized journeys for customers. "We want every interaction with MASH GROUP's brands to be memorable and impactful," states Mr. Kondo.

Innovative retail concepts, such as the SESAME STREET MARKET, the world's only official Sesame Street store that combines merchandise sales, a café, and workshops, exemplify MASH GROUP's commitment to fostering meaningful connections with its audience. The company's loyalty programs and exclusive events further enhance the value proposition, cultivating a loyal customer base that spans generations. "Our goal is to enrich lives through our products and experiences," affirms Mr. Kondo, encapsulating MASH GROUP's customer-centric ethos.

The Road Ahead: Pioneering New Norms

As MASH GROUP embarks on the road ahead, Mr. Kondo reflects on the company's journey, a testament to resilience, innovation, and customer-centric excellence. With a keen eye on evolving consumer landscapes and global trends, MASH GROUP stands poised to lead, inspire and transform the future of fashion, wellness, and lifestyle design.

In recent years, MASH GROUP has accelerated its international investments, strategically expanding its presence in key markets. The company's subsidiaries in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan serve as pivotal hubs for its global operations. The launch of gelato pique USA marked a significant milestone, showcasing MASH GROUP's luxury loungewear in the North American market. Additionally, the company's licensing business has flourished, expanding Mash Group in a unique way, bringing renowned foreign brands like SESAME STREET MARKET and Barbour into the Japanese market.

The partnership with Bain Capital further amplified MASH GROUP's international reach and synergies. "Working together with Bain Capital was a strategic decision to bolster our global initiatives," remarks Mr. Kondo. The collaboration has facilitated access to specialized resources, scouting networks, and strategic expertise, propelling MASH GROUP towards new horizons of success.

Looking ahead, MASH GROUP remains committed to its three core strategies for overseas expansion. The first strategy focuses on exporting Japanese brands to international markets, leveraging the allure of Japanese craftsmanship and innovation. The second strategy entails importing overseas brands into Japan, capitalizing on the country's vibrant consumer base and diverse market preferences. Lastly, the company is keen on creating new brands centered around its Chinese production base, tapping into emerging opportunities in Asia and beyond.

As MASH GROUP continues to innovate, expand and redefine industry norms, its legacy of excellence and innovation remains a beacon of inspiration. The company's journey from a graphic design firm to a leading player in the Japanese fashion market and then to a global company is a testament to resilience, vision, and adaptability. "We are not just shaping trends; we are shaping lifestyles," concludes Mr. Kondo, underscoring MASH GROUP's pivotal role in shaping the future of fashion, wellness, and lifestyle worldwide.