Ports 1961

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Ports 1961 (Ports Design, 0589.HK)
Industry Luxury Fashion
Founded 1961
Founder Luke Tanabe
Headquarters Toronto, Canada
Area served
Worldwide [1]
Key people
Nataša Čagalj (Creative Director)
Products Luxury Goods
Owner Ports Design Ltd.
Number of employees
Website [2]

Ports 1961 also known as Ports, is a fashion house originally founded by Japanese-Canadian entrepreneur Luke Tanabe (1920–2009) in Toronto in 1961, specializing in luxury ready-to-wear and accessories for men and women.[1]


Originally founded as Newport Canada in 1961 as an import business for clothing from Japan, the company evolved into a women's fashion business with Vancouver-born Tanabe as its designer and was renamed Ports International in 1966. The late 1970s saw the company's North American expansion and from 1983 on the opening of signature boutiques at international locations. In the mid-1980s, Tanabe created Tabi International, a Canadian store chain with more affordable clothing for women. Tanabe, whose parents had been Japanese immigrants to Canada, retired in 1989 and sold both Ports and Tabi to Toronto-based Etac Sales Ltd. and its owner, Canadian entrepreneur Alfred K.T. Chan (*1947).[2] Tabi International was eventually liquidated in 2011 and the remaining 76 Tabi stores in Canada were closed.[3] Etac filed for bankruptcy in 1994. For the Chinese market, Ports Design Ltd. was created by Chan together with his wife Fiona Cibani in Xiamen in 1994 and listed at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (0589.HK) in 2003.[4] Ports Design Ltd., as of 2011, operated more than 360 Ports stores in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, selling classic style clothing designed by Fiona Cibani and manufactured in company-owned factories in Xiamen. In 2004, Chan re-launched the company in North America as New York City-based Ports 1961 with designer Tia Cibani (*1973), Fiona's younger sister. As of 2011, Ports 1961 operated stores in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, West Hollywood, Manhattan, Paris, London (shop-in-shop) and mainland China. Ports 1961 launched a fashion-forward menswear collection for the first time in 2011 with designers Fiona Cibani, who took over for her sister in 2010, and Ian Hylton. Classic menswear collections from Ports had been available before.



  1. ^ Founder of Ports International made things happen, The Globe and Mail, 8 January 2010
  2. ^ Upstart Seeks to Create A Chinese Fashion Power, wsj.com, 27 September 2007
  3. ^ Tabi International closing remaining stores, cbc.ca, 5 April 2011
  4. ^ Sister Act, time.com, 11 September 2006

Further reading[edit]

  • Savigny Newsletter – Issue 10, October 2009 [3]
  • Globe and Mail - Nov 2009 "Founder of Ports International, Luke Tanabe, stayed true to his vision" [4]

External links[edit]