Evisu or Evisu Genes is a Japanese designer clothing company that specializes in producing denim wear through traditional, labor-intensive methods.
The initial production line allowed about 14 pairs of jeans a day to be produced, with each of them having a seagull (kamome) hand painted on them by Yamane himself. Ebisu is the name of the Japanese folk god of money who is usually portrayed with a fishing rod. His name was selected for the new venture as money and fishing are two of Yamane's five favorite things.
In the early 1990s Yamane introduced a tailoring line, followed by fishing and golf lines. In 1999, he introduced a ladies fashion line called Evisu Donna to complete the development of Evisu as a full-fashion range going far beyond a jeans brand. Evisu now[when?] has 65 shops in Japan.
In March 2006, the company and Yamane were reported to Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office with another firm on suspicion of tax evasion. Yamane and the two firms stood accused of concealing more than 500 million yen of income as well as evading some 160 million yen in taxes over three years.
In 2009, Evisu was relaunched, and Scott Morrison, the co-founder of Paper Denim & Cloth and Earnest Sewn, was added to the Evisu team as CEO and creative Director.
The brand has been mentioned in several rap songs, including Mase's Harlem Lullaby, Jay-Z's "Show You How" and "Jigga That Nigga", in Young Jeezy's track "Bury Me a G", The Game's "Down for My Niggaz", T.I.'s "ASAP", and Lil Wayne's "Lock & Load". Club Dogo, an Italian rap group, mentioned the brand in the single "Spacco tutto". The brand has also been mentioned in Gucci Mane's "Freaky Girl".
Copy brand sales problem in South Korea
In South Korea, Wolbi Co., Ltd sells a large number of counterfeit goods of Evisu jeans made in Japan, and it is said that the annual sales is over 450 million dollars a year.
The seagull mark and the design are copies of Evisu Jeans in Japan, but the quality of the fabric and hardware are bad compared to Evisu Jeans in Japan, and the tag has a description of made in Korea.
The bad material and sewing were confirmed by Japanese Evisu Jeans staff.
Authentic Evisu Jeans in Japan have never served licenses to South Korean companies, so Evisu Jeans being sold in South Korea are obvious counterfeits.
However, most of South Korean customers misunderstand that they are the same products as authentic Evisu Jeans in Japan, and it is the present situation that they are causing damage to them.
After the discovery of the improper brand problem, the Wolbi Co., Ltd on the South Korean side said that the logo design and license of Korea Evisu was provided by An Byeng Chen.
According to An Byeng Chen, the seagull mark was inspired by the mountains of South Korea, and also the Ebisu god face design was inspired by the mark of "Jinro" South Korean liquor being sold in South Korea.
South Korean Evisu expanded more than 60 stores in South Korea, featured South Korean idols for advertisement, and signed a 6 month advertising model contract.
In the second half of 2009, they used advertisements of Tohoshinki's leader "Yunho" and a fashion model "Kim Min Jong" to develop advertisements extensively.
On November 25, 2008, Evisu Jeans in Japan filed a lawsuit against South Korean Wolbi Co., Ltd at the South Korean court.
On the other hand, Evisu Korea clearly denied that they were counterfeit products, "Evisu products sold in South Korea clearly show that there are no legal problems at all" in South Korean Evisu, and they declared to take legal action against Evisu Jeans in Japan through the media.
In 2006, South Korean Evisu Jeans won the case of the trademark dispute with Evisu Japan.
This is due to the fact that Wolbi Co., Ltd first registered the copied trade mark in South Korea earlier than Evisu Japan Co., Ltd..
There are a lot of similar cases that South Korean companies selling Japanese products' counterfeits were reported in Japan.