The Paris-based licensing agency, Sagoo has appointed the KJG’s Kirsty Guthrie and BlueSkye Licensing’s Maggy Harris to manage the UK licensing activity for its increasingly popular kawaii brand, Rilakkuma.
The move has been made as Rilakkuma begins to see increases awareness among European audiences and licensees, spotting an ‘enormous brand potential’ for the IP here in the UK. Both Guthrie and Harris are well-known to the UK licensing industry and together have established a new bespoke licensing sales service for brand owners looking for local development.
The pair will be working closely with Sagoo to manage, expand, and diversify the Rilakkuma merchandise programme, starting with carefully selected retail launches planned from the late summer.
Veronique Pichon, president of Sagoo France, said: “Awareness of Rilakkuma is building fast among European Licensees and consumers and this is an ideal time to grow Rilakkuma and its enormous brand potential in the UK. We’re delighted to have Maggy and Kirsty on board as Sagoo’s ‘Team UK’.
“They both have a wealth of licensing experience and will strengthen our commitment and ability to build successful partnerships for Rilakkuma across our European territory.”
Guthrie has been vocal in the “long-term opportunities” the pair have seen in the UK for the Rilakkuma brand, spanning some of Sagoo’s existing licensed ranges launching in spring next year from Blueprint for stationary, Hype for greetings cards, and Difuzed for apparel and accessories.
Harris, said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside Sagoo to deliver additional licensing strength to their team in the UK. Kirsty and I both have a wealth of experience licensing cute design based brands and we fell in love with Rilakkuma.”
Created in 2003 by San-X, Rilakkuma got its name from the Japanese words for ‘relax’ and ‘bear’, summing up the characters approach to life and helping it achieve stand out among the popular kawaii brand sector.