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Isabel Marant to expand

French womenswear designer Isabel Marant is to embark on an expansion plan this year, opening six new boutiques worldwide and moving to a bigger head office premises in France.

According to reports the designer will open stores in Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Paris, London and Los Angeles, taking the number of stand-alone stores worldwide to 14 by the end of the year.

The eponymous label which is already stocked in the UK in Selfridges, Matches and online at Net-A-Porter, is said to be opening a 3,500 sq ft store at 29 Bruton Street.

The London, Paris and Los Angeles stores will be operated by the company while the three Asia stores will be operated on a franchise model.

The brand has 670 points of sale worldwide, and posted wholesale revenues of €62m (£51.6m) in 2011, an increase of 44% on the previous year.

The main Isabel Marant line accounted for 40% of that total, with the lower-priced Etoile line making up 42% while footwear and accessories account for 18%.

In terms of the brand’s worldwide business France represents just 20% of sales which has fallen from 50% three years ago, with the rest of the EU accounting for 37% and non-EU countries 43%.

Meanwhile, the brand’s head office will relocate from premises in the east of Paris to new headquarters off the central Place des Victoires, increasing in size from a 7,500-sq ft space to 21,500-sq ft office.

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