kuraray


News Releases 2005

Stylish and light for travel
"Madame Hiroko's" Bikei Shoes Listed by JALSHOP
Sophisticated design makes these travel shoes as stylish as they are easy to slip on and off.

Mar 25, 2005
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Bikei Shoes

Bikei Shoes, a joint effort of fashion producer Hiroko Kaneshima and Kuraray Co., Ltd., will be included in the April / May 2005 edition of the JAL Group's in-flight shopping magazine, JALSHOP. JALSHOP is produced by JALUX Inc. (The name "Bikei" is derived from the Japanese characters for "beautiful" and for "light.")

Bikei Shoes are easy to slip on and off, which makes them ideal for wearing during air travel and as hotel wear, and their sophisticated design is stylish enough for restaurant outings. They fit easily into a corner of a travel bag to save luggage space, and the inside of the shoes is treated with a deodorant to ensure that they are always pleasantly fresh and welcoming to feet.

Bikei Shoes were born of a collaboration between Kuraray and fashion producer Hiroko Kaneshima, known as "Madame Hiroko." Kuraray, as the leading manufacturer of man-made leather, brought new technologies to this effort. The development concept called for a shoe that was easy to carry, lightweight, soft, and comfortable for airliner and travel wear. For the upper shoe, Kuraray's lightweight, soft, man-made leather SOFRINA UL was chosen, and for the inner sole and lining, SERDIA man-made leather was selected for its photocatalytic odor-elimination property. SOFRINA UL has the softness and pliability of natural sheepskin, yet holds its shape, and SERDIA undergoes an odor-eliminating photocatalytic reaction when exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lamps.

* The effect of SERDIA's odor-elimination properties
SERDIA chemically adsorbs ammonia and other odor-causing substances in human perspiration. When it is exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lamps, a photocatalytic reaction breaks down those substances, eliminating unpleasant odors.

When housewife Hiroko Kaneshima was 45, she set out to become a makeup artist and fashion coordinator, and became known for pioneering fashion courses at high-fashion boutiques, cosmetics companies, and business seminars. She pursues both ease of use and functionality from the standpoint of the user, and sophistication in design. The new Bikei Shoes combine a soft, enveloping fit and feel with sophisticated design.

Listing publication JALSHOP, the JAL group's in-flight shopping magazine
Issue April / May, 2005
Copies to be published Approximately 1,200,000

Specifications of Bikei Shoes

Materials Uppers: SOFRINA UL man-made leather
Inner soles and lining: SERDIA man-made leather(with photocatalytic odor-elimination property)
Design Ballet-type shoe
Heel height 2.5cm
Sizes 22.0cm through 25.0cm in 0.5 increment
Colors Metallic gray, metallic beige
Price ¥9,345 including tax ¥8,900 before tax
  • *Purchasers of Bikei Shoes will receive a free original carrying case for the shoes.

Characteristics of SOFRINA UL

  • Has the softness and pliability of natural sheepskin.
  • Retains its shape.
  • Lightweight(about 70% of the weight of natural sheepskin).
  • Easy to care for, as with all man-made leather.

Characteristics of SERDIA

  • Chemically adsorbs odor-causing substances, and also breaks them down through a photocatalytic reaction.
  • Photocatalytic reaction continues for as long as the material is exposed to light.

Kuraray Co., Ltd.

President Yasuaki Wakui
Headquarters 1-1-3 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Capital ¥89.0 billion (at March 31, 2004)
Business activities Manufacturing and sale of synthetic resins, chemicals,synthetic fibers and textiles.

JALUX Inc.

President Zenta Yokoyama
Headquarters 2-4-11 Higashi Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Capital ¥2,558,550,000 (as of March 31, 2004)
Business activities Aviation-related business, lifestyle-related business, and customer service business.