London, June 6th, 2012. As of this month, Stella McCartney will now operate as a directly owned business unit in Japan to distribute its ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie and kids collections. Take-over of retail operations will follow in July, ending the 5½ year long exclusive distribution partnership with Unit and Guest, Co. Ltd.

Kazuyuki Ozawa, previously at Unit and Guest, has been named president of Stella McCartney Japan reporting to Frederick Lukoff, President and C.E.O. of Stella McCartney Ltd. All products sold in Japan will continue to be imported from Europe. All activities operate from the Shibuya headquarters including the management and support of all commercial, pr and marketing activities for the brand.

Frederick Lukoff, President and CEO of Stella McCartney comments: “Japan is a significant market for us and there is a lot of momentum around the Stella McCartney brand. It is the right time to take over our operations directly and mobilize growth in the market to create a stronger business in Japan.”

Stella McCartney Japan has operated a flagship store in Aoyama since 2008, as well as shop-in-shops in Mitsukoshi and Matsuya, both in Ginza, Isetan in Shinjuku, Hankyu in Osaka and a dedicated Stella McCartney Kids shop-in-shop in JR Nagoya Takashimaya.

Stella McCartney is a partnership between Ms. Stella McCartney and PPR’s luxury division established in 2001 as a 50/50 joint venture. A lifelong vegetarian, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her designs. The brand’s collections are available through 17 other freestanding stores including London, New York, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Rome, Hong Kong and the recently opened second London location in Brompton Cross; as well around 600 wholesale accounts in key cities worldwide.