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FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Berson Japan Inc., which markets the Van casual clothing brand, has filed for bankruptcy with the Fukuoka District Court after running up debts of about 2.4 billion yen, a lawyer representing the Fukuoka-based firm said Thursday.

The company has become financially overextended due to the rapid expansion of its store chain as well as weak clothing sales this winter, the Fukuoka branch of research agency Teikoku Databank Ltd. said.

Berson, established in 2001, is one of several companies licensed to sell clothing under the Van brand.

The brand was created by designer Kensuke Ishizu, who sought to incorporate into fashion the prestigious image of the American Ivy League colleges.

Van became synonymous with the “Ivy look” in the Japanese fashion parlance and was all the rage, particularly in the mid-1960s.