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GBMI brands poised for UK debut

US footwear licensee Global Brand Marketing Inc is to introduce a number of sports, luxury and urban footwear brands in the UK, following the appointment of UK managing director Steven Price Brown.

The licensing house has set up direct distribution in the UK for the venture. New launches will include the first range of 7 for All Mankind footwear, which will debut in autumn 07 with wholesale prices of £75 to £125. Urban footwear brands Mecca and Sean John will launch for spring 08, while footwear from Diesel sub-brand 55DSL will hit the GBMI showroom in east London for autumn 07.

Price Brown joins from his consultancy firm SevenYearTrip, which launched Ed Hardy & Bensimon footwear in the UK. GBMI has also drafted in Sonya Parenti from luxury brand Burberry to become UK creative director of 7 For All Mankind footwear.

Price Brown said: "GBMI has the potential to be very successful in the UK and has started moving closer to individual markets. It had huge success in the US, but realised it has to look at the EU market differently."

GBMI has a five-store standalone retail chain in the US called Global Feet. It plans to open the fascia in the UK, although no time frame has been established. However, the format is expected to open in mainland Europe next year.

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