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With love and hope for children’s happiness

About Familiar

“With their happiness and wellbeing in mind, let’s create the kind of clothes we would want for our own children.”
The first step on this journey was taken in 1948, when four Japanese women, busy raising their own families, opened a small baby and children’s goods shop in Kobe. The aim of the shop was to provide high quality clothing for babies and young children. Despite the growing economy of the time, clothing for children was very hard to come by.

Familiar was incorporated in 1950 as a project of passion for making high quality goods for children, infused with a mother’s love. The founders designed each piece with great care, carefully selecting only the highest quality fabrics and ensuring that every stitch was made with love and care. Each piece was made from a mother's perspective with the care and attention she would bestow on her own child. This was the starting point and remains the mission of Familiar today.

For over 65 years, we have been dedicated to making high quality babies’ and children’s goods with love and care. We design, produce and sell all of our products ourselves under the Familiar brand. The product conception, design and development are entirely managed by our in-house team at Familiar's headquarters in Kobe, Japan. With our excellent quality control management systems, Familiar has built a reputation for craftsmanship, innovation, design and service, and has become a pioneering luxury brand with its own distinctive identity.

Familiar’s guiding principle is “Helping children reach their full potential.”
We want to support children as they create their own individual futures. The very first objects that a baby experiences through sight and touch – we want to infuse these with tenderness and love. As the environment expands and the world changes, we aim to provide clothes that are easy to wear and that offer parents peace of mind. We aim to bring a smile to the faces of our customers and remain true to the passion of our founders for authentic, well-made, high quality clothing that are designed to help children reach their potential and live life to the full.

History of Familiar

In 1950, four women passionate about creating quality items for children opened a tiny 10m2 shop. During the chaotic and impoverished period after the war, one of the founders, AtsukoBanno, accepted her advice of her father and close friends that women too would need to work. She began to look for a way to earn money. One day, Atsuko visited the MOTOYA Shoe Shop to try to sell thread and high-heel shoes. The shop owner suggested she might start producing her own hand-made items. This prompted her to start creating hand-made items with three of her classmates, aiming to sell them in a little shop they would open inside the MOTOYA Shoe Shop. Atsuko suggested “Why not make something that makes use of our experience as mothers, something nice for babies and children?” This was partly because she had lived in the old Foreigner’s Settlement in Kobe at the beginning of her married life, and had become interested in the modern ways that foreign mothers raised their children. In contrast, Japanese baby clothing was not made specially for babies but rather was created based on traditional customs and old beliefs. Atsuko became determined to produce high-quality products for babies and children, at reasonable prices. Familiar’s philosophy was born: “Everything we do is for children” and “Let’s create clothes that we ourselves would want to dress our children in.”
In 1948, MOTOYA Baby Shop opened inside the MOTOYA Shoe Shop in Kobe, with just two showcases. This was just three years after the end of the war and the selection of clothes on offer to the public was still very limited. Printed patterns on clothes from the market might fade away after one wash. MOTOYA Baby Shop’s products stood out from these market garments, since they were made of top-quality imported thread or fabrics and the colours did not fade. Their popularity started to spread. Products began to sell out as soon as they were displayed. The business had outgrown its MOTOYA Babys shop origins. The shop was dissolved and, in its place, Familiar Ltd. was born on 12 April 1950. The vision of the founders’ vision becoome a pioneer of baby products that would be loved by mothers in Japan. They wanted a name to encapsulate this new company and vision, while embracing the concept of mothers and children together.
Focusing consistently on high quality and innovative ideas, Familiar pioneered novel ways of selling baby and children’s products. ”We always find new and original ways to build relationships with our customers." This too has been Familiar’s philosophy since its foundation. Today, we continue to strive to create new-style shops for our customers.
Today, there is a wider variety than ever of baby and children’s clothing on the market. But Familiar-as it has always done-seeks to create products which embody our enduring love for children. In 1992, we launched our “love quality” concept. At Familiar, we have always prided ourselves on our commitment to absolute quality. Of course, we have changed our styles over the years in line with the trend for smaller families and the growing diversity of modern family lifestyles. We are confident that Familiar will continue to flourish into the future by staying faithful to our brand values its while adapting to prevailing trends, and nurturing the spirit of our four female founders. In 2015, Familiar celebrated our 65th anniversary. We committed to deepen our relationship with society through a new mission to “Build children’s potential.” Familiar has started a nursery and preschool business, as well as helping mothers-to-be with birth preparation. We will continue to explore other new baby and children business areas. Our vision is to become ”The world’s best-loved children and baby company.”

Corporate Mission: “Build Children’s Potential”

The Future – Together helping to fulfil the potential that all children have. The finest quality babywear that wraps around the baby’s body for the first time and childrenswear. Education - The first preschool experience. The vision is not limited to children in Japan. We focus our attention to families and children all over the world. Familiar will provide original products and services through our showrooms and Omni-channel that can help fulfil children’s potential. We will continue to use our own creativity to help nurture children to develop their own with unlimited creativity. This is Familiar’s unique contribution to society.  

Profile

Corporate Name Familiar, Ltd.
Founded December, 1948
Incorporated 12th April, 1950
President Tadahiko Okazaki
Capital JPY 60 million
Sales JPY 11.99 billion (As of January 31, 2016)
Number of Employees 670 (As of January 31, 2016)
Operations Corporate Headquarters
4-3-10, Isogami street, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan 651-0086
Tel:+81 (0)78 - 291- 4567
Fax:+81 (0)78 - 291- 4568
Email: f-contact@familiar.co.jp
Subsidiaries and Affiliates Babygro (Japan), Ltd.
Familiar Sewing AKITA, Ltd.
Kobe office
4-3-10 Isogami Street, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan 651-0086
Tokyo office
10-11 Kodenma-cho, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan 103-0001

History

December 1948. In spite of the growing economy, babies’ and children’s fashions were not a priority in Japan. In the midst of raising their own children, four Japanese women founded a clothes shop for babies and children in Kobe, Japan. The motivation for the shop was the lack of high quality goods for children and the determination and passion of the founders in their mission to meet this need.
April 1950 Familiar, Ltd. Incorporated.
April 1951 First company-owned retail store opened within Hankyu Department Store in Osaka, Japan.
May 1956 Company-owned retail store opened within Hankyu Department Store, Sukiyabashi branch, Tokyo, Japan.
Fall 1959 Prior to the birth of Prince Hironomiya, the first son of Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko, a special commission was made from the Imperial Household for baby wear, accessories, toys and furniture.
February 1960 Baby and children’s goods begin to be imported from the USA. 
August 1966 Opening of current main store in Motomachi that is located in Kobe, Japan.
March 1966 Princess Mikasa, along with her son and daughters visited to Familiar's design institute in Motoyama, located in Kobe, Japan.
January 1969 Incorporation of the Babygro  Japan, Ltd.
April 1970 Familiar obtains rights to the Snoopy brand for the first time in Japan.
September 1976 Opening of Familiar Ginza shop, the first retail store for baby and children's goods in Tokyo, Japan.
June 1979 Familiar enters into a licensing and technical assistance agreement with DUJARDIN, Brussels.
November 1979 Incorporation of Familiar USA, Ltd.
September 1980 Opening of first overseas retail store in Honolulu,Hawaii,  USA.
July 1981 President Banno receives Officier de l'ordre de Leopold from Belgian Government.
September 1981 Participates in the Japan Fashion Fair in New York.
April 1985 Mr. Haruhiko Okazaki named  President, Mr. and Mrs. Banno become Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively.
March 1986 Incorporation of  Familiar International, Ltd.
November 1987 Opening of Familiar San Francisco, an overseas company-owned retail store, in San Francisco, California, USA.
January 1994 Relocation of headquarters to current location in Kobe, Japan.
March 1994 Opening of overseas self-owned factory in Guangdong, China.
April 1995 Opening of current Tokyo office.
January 1999 Company logo changed to current logo.
August 2003 Main store in Motomachi, located in Kobe, Japan fully refurbished to reflect to new corporate image.
April 2005 Begins collaboration with House of AnLi.
September 2005 Begins business with HABA.
March 2007 Mr. Shiro Kanda named  president.
April 2011 Mr. Tadahiko Okazaki named president.
February 2013 Begins collaboration with ASICS.
October 2014 Opening of Ginza store to reflect  new concept at new location.