Leading Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corporation has struck a deal with the Marc Jacobs brand to establish a new company "Marc Jacobs Japan Ltd", which will become the sole trader for the brand in Japan next July.

The joint venture will dissolve Marc Jacobs' previous contract with apparel maker Look Inc the day before the launch of Marc Jacobs Japan Ltd on 1 July 2009.

Sumitomo said it hopes to build on the existing network of MJ outlets by using the trading company's considerable leverage with department stores, retailers and through new media such as online shopping.

"We will be taking the brand to younger customers through the internet and promotions through the cable TV arm of Sumitomo," said Sumitomo executive Shigeru Ohashi.

Bertrand Stalla-Bourdillon, chairman and CEO of Marc Jacobs International, said that the move signals the company's commitment to Japan, where it has operated for 10 years now, and would "greatly strengthen our investment in Japan."

"We choose Sumitomo for its expertise in fashion imports, and the accessories business," said Stalla-Bourdillon.

"With the expansion of our pret-a-porter line in Japan we felt it was time for further expansion elsewhere and reached the conclusion we needed a new organisation to do that for us."