Beams, the influential Tokyo retailer and brand scout organization, and Italy’s WP have joined forces to launch the Japanese brand in Europe.

Beams will make its European debut with the BEAMS+ label, originally launched in 1999 to convey American style in the “good old days.” The result since has been a men’s collection of authentic and timeless pieces that mixes the deep familiarity of American culture with a contemporary twist of Japanese design.

The BEAMS+ S/S 2009 collection will be made public in Europe for the first time through two corners inside WP stores in Milan and Florence. The official launch is Feb. 28 in Milan during Milan Fashion Week.

Beams was founded out of a 19-sq.-meter store in Harajuku, Tokyo, in 1976 and, according to one spokesperson for the retailer, “changed the culture and customs of young Japanese.” Today the company comprises a network of specialty stores based in Tokyo, that offers 25 Beams brands across sectors ranging from coffee to interiors to music and fashion design.

WP Lavori in Corso was founded in Bologna a few years later in 1982 and was established with the aim of researching and bringing the best “original” international brands to Italy, such as Barbour, Woolrich, Spiewak and BD Baggies. It currently holds the international license to design and distribute the Woolrich brand, with acclaimed Japanese designer Daiki Suzuki designing its Woolrich Woolen Mills collections.

—Maria Cristina Pavarini