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New US subsidiary to  drive Basler growth

German mainstream womenswear brand Basler has set up a US subsidiary as it looks to drive its expansion in the country.

Basler America, based in New York, will amalgamate its existing US retail and wholesale activities into one office, starting with the spring 12 collections.

A US manager will be appointed  on September 1 but Markus Wahl, Basler managing director for sales and trade marketing, would not confirm a name.

He said Basler plans to open 20 to 25 standalone stores in the US over the next four to five years in major locations such as New York’s Madison Avenue and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. He added: “At Bloomingdale’s, one of our most successful concessions on 59th Street [New York], our turnover was more than $1m (£610,000) last year.”

Basler has set out ambitious expansion plans since Brian Rennie, former head of design at German luxury womenswear brand Escada, joined as creative director in March. Rennie’s first collection for Basler was unveiled at Berlin Fashion Week earlier this month. It was the brand’s first catwalk collection and featured red carpet gowns. Prices for the womenswear mainline range from £35 to £199 at wholesale, with red carpet gowns priced individually on application.

Basler has five US stores, three of which are wholly owned and two that are partner stores, 15 concessions and 111 stockists. In the UK, it has 180 accounts, five standalone stores, one factory outlet, nine shop-in-shops, 12 concessions and five partner stores, which differ from franchise stores in that those running them do not pay a fee.

The brand also plans to enter other international markets in the next four years including China and Russia, adding 44 standalone stores, 43 partner stores and 31 concessions to its existing portfolio.

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