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7th Century material gifted to NZ PM Helen Clark

Major Asian retailer gifts 7th Century material to NZ PM Helen Clark

Major Asian retailer Istean today gifted priceless 7th century kimono fabric to New Zealand Prime minister Helen Clark.

Cabinet member Jim Anderton received the gift for Ms Clark of her behalf at the 11th Asian retailers’ conference in Christchurch.

Isetan are an Asian retail giant with a $10 billion annual turnover. They are a key participant in the conference, the biggest retail convention ever to be held in New Zealand.

The gift by the Japanese company to Ms Clark consists of a series of 15 intricately woven fabrics showing the transition of textiles in history. The collection includes fabrics dating back to the 7th Century to the Edo period in Japan.

Isetan people researched the weaving techniques used in the past and employed the services of a kimono weaver to recreate these exact weaving techniques to produce the fabrics.

Among the gift fabrics are examples worn by samurai, royalty, government officials and used for Noh costumes, Japanese dance theatre. The fabrics were given to Mr Anderton this morning by the Japan Retailers Association chairman Mr Kazumasa Koshiba, who is also chairman of Isetan.

Mr Koshiba was hosted by New Zealand lifestyle fashion company Snowy Peak at a business function at Untouched World in Christchurch last night. New Zealand retail exporters will be showcased to major Asian buyers at this week’s conference, which is rate one of the world’s largest retail conventions.

The Asian conference and exhibition is being held in New Zealand for the first time.

Up to 1500 delegates, representing retailers with combined sales of $US1 trillion - from China, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand - are attending the event.

Delegates and speakers will cover topics ranging from brand building to international retail development and customer communication.

Copyright Word of Mouth Media NZ 2003

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