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Milletre gives Italian brands their UK debut

A number of designer womenswear brands made their UK debut with the opening of London boutique Milletrè last week.

Translated from Italian, the name Milletrè means 1,003, which is the number of women seduced by legendary amorous Italian nobleman Don Giovanni. The owners of the store, sisters Valentina and Silvia Cangiano, hope to woo affluent women shoppers themselves with ex-clusive product from up-and-coming designers.

The store, on Victoria Grove in Kensington, west London, has been financially backed by the owner of nearby Italian restaurant Locanda-Ottoemezzo.

The 900sq ft shop stocks products only manufactured in Italy. Its current offer includes Sophia Kokosalaki, Anila, Neil Barrett, Claudio Montias, Francesca Mambrini and Linda Farrow for autumn 08.

Valentina Cangiano, who was previously a fashion PR, said the aim was to create a relaxed and sociable shopping haven for affluent locals, but also to become a destination store for other shoppers.

"Everything in the store, including womenswear, some menswear, accessories and perfume, is made in Italy, although they are not all necessarily Italian brands," she said.

"We constantly researched brands and saw early on which of the latest designers and labels were known for the quality of their production. We are targeting 25- to 50-year-olds, from glamorous girls to sophisticated ladies. The business is also planning to launch a range of tailored jackets for men under the Milletrè label."

Shoppers are encouraged to spend time in the shop before and after purchases, with breakfast, coffee and champagne on offer. The shop also has luxury fitting rooms and an antique leather chair.

Cangiano said: "We wanted to make it a great experience, with a bit of a club-type atmosphere. Everything is about detail."

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