1980The beginning.

In the early 80's, Japan great economic growth was supported by a massive import of foreign products and by an unprecedented influx of new cultures that made Western fashion blossom. In this historical context, Fenix International was established as a fashion trading company.

1988Becoming a fashion and apparel industry icon in a booming Japan.

Just as the world was excited by the Seoul Olympics, Mr. Ryoichi Osakabe joined Fenix as its CEO and led its success and incredible impact on the local fashion industry. Whilst the thriving Japanese economy allowed spectacular growth across all businesses, fashion emerged as one of the brightest stars and layer the foundations for further developments.


1990A challenging new era in the '90s

As Japan's Heisei era began in 1989, new market dynamics deeply impacted the fashion industry: in order to keep up with new customers' needs and fast changing trends, we added manufacturing operations to our portfolio, so to strengthen our core trading company position while continuing to innovate and grow. A brand new challenge to face.

1992Established our first factory in China.

As the economic boom came to an end and manufacturing industries started to cool down, Mr. Osakabe founded our knitwear manufacturing operation in Suzhou, China, that is today known as the DIMA factory.

1993Headquarters moved to Ebisu, Shibuya

As Japan entered into a full-blown recession, manufacturing industries were forced to make major changes. Fenix International was amongst the first to pick up the industry's new direction, eventually moved its headquarters and focused on their Chinese manufacturing operations to differentiate and grow.

1997Our fabric and leather OEM businesses begin.

With fashion markets demanding higher quality at lower prices, apparel trading companies had to diversify accordingly. This is when we started our fabrics and leather materials OEM businesses to complement our core knit business and broaden our portfolio.

1999Entering a new millennium

With the year 2000 at sight, Japan saw some light at the end of the so-called "lost decade" tunnel. Current CEO Hiroki Wakisaka also joined the company in this period, and Fenix International expanded to nearly double its size.


2001Expanding our manufacturing base.

To keep up with a growing demand, we expanded our production capacity by establishing CHANGMA in addition to DIMA in Suzhou, China. To meet our customers' needs, we increased the amount of variation in our core knit business and scaled our production accordingly.

2005Aiming to become a one-of-a-kind OEM player

Now that many manufacturers have moved their manufacturing bases to Asia, we established REAL, a quality control specialist - as well as IDEA, a materials research and innovation lab. We also launched SIDE SLOPE, our private brand.


2010Aiming for new heights

Whilst Japan's economy struggled to the point that this period was renamed "lost twenty years", Fenix International aimed for new heights by joining the Li & Fung Group. As both our merged businesses and staff expanded, we moved our offices to Osaki, Shinagawa in the following year.

2015Changing our name to Forward Apparel Limited

Backed by our Chinese operations, we adapted our organization to meet the growing demand for high technology, enhanced quality and evolving customers' needs. While changing our name to Forward Apparel limited, we implemented a new company structure to accommodate a diversified product mix (knitwear, fabrics, leather, cut & sewn and more) and to further strengthen our connection with other factories and partners.

2018A new beginning: Fenix International

As Japan's Heisei period came to its end in 2018, we had a MBO exit from the Fung Group and started anew in 2019. We changed our name back to Fenix International but this time, we are a new Fenix, taking change and flying higher after having grown through our past experiences.

2019Moving to Hiroo: A whole new world.

The newly reborn Fenix International moved its headquarters and showroom to Hiroo, Shibuya in January 2019. More than just a change in location, we have reconsidered and revised everything, starting from our organization's structure, core values, priorities and corporate strategy. By making these new efforts for our employees, partners and