Japan cosmetics giant to mark three decades in France

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the availability of Shiseido Co. products in France, the largest cosmetics firm in Japan is staging a three-week exhibition of window art in Paris.

Titled Urban Art Box, the event will be staged at the Hotel de l'Industrie, in the Saint-Germain des Prés district of the French capital from September 22 to October 10. The venue is owned by the Societe d'Encouragement de l'Industrie National, a foundation that promotes French industry that was set up by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Through the decades, Shiseido has been inspired by France's attitudes towards fashion and style, the company said, and Paris has been the base of the company's operations in Europe since 1980.

The exhibition - which is being held in collaboration with the Paris Fashion Week Collections - will focus on window displays, with 30 works on photo panels. It will also include works by six up-and-coming French artists on the theme of "The Future of Shiseido."

The theme of the event is "6," the company said, with the winner of the competition section being given the responsibility of designing the window display for Shiseido's head office in the spring of 2011.

The exhibition will be officially opened at 6:30 pm on September 23 by Shiseido President and CEO Shinzo Maeda, along with 300 invited guests. Mr. Maeda is scheduled to give a speech at the event looking back at the three decades in which Shiseido has been active in the French market and expressing  the company's appreciation for all the support it has received in that time.

Shiseido may be Japan's largest cosmetics company, but virtually all of the country's makeup firms have been influenced by France, including Kose Corp., Kao Corp. and Kanebo Cosmetics.

These manufacturers have all been affected by the recent economic recession, but the trend that has emerged in Japan is for super-luxury brand products - some priced higher than Y100,000 (€927.76).

As the leading Japanese cosmetics firm, Shiseido Honorary Chairman and former President Yoshiharu Fukuhara has been awarded France's Legion d'Honneur award.

JR

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