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News in brief from Drapers the week ending November 10, 2007

News in brief from Drapers the week ending November 10, 2007:

Iris, a designer womenswear independent based in London, has opened its second store in the city and integrated a new IT system to help monitor sales and manage stock. The new 750sq ft shop in Battersea, south-west London, offers the same product mix as its first store in Queen’s Park in the north of the capital, including Day Birger et Mikkelsen.

Independents in Darlington, County Durham, are collaborating on a catwalk show in an effort to boost trade in the area and to support a local charity. Fashion retailers located on Grange Road in the town, including Elan, Geoffrey Gillow, Chestnut, Joseph M, Joulani and Kate Saint, will showcase their collections to raise money for Zoe’s Place, a local children’s hospice. The event will be hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Teeside. High-end brands including Moschino, John Smedley, Gant and Paul Smith will feature in the show.

Julie Lingard, the owner of Leeds-based designer independent Aqua Couture, has launched an independent designer agency. The new Aqua Agency will represent 12 local designers and will charge no set-up fee, but will retain a 12% commission.

Tony Pryce Sports has opened its first store in Cardiff, in the city’s Queens Arcade. The independent sports chain has acquired two units for its new 4,208sq ft in the shopping centre on a 10-year lease. The split-level store is the company’s 10th shop, and it joins multiple retailers including New Look, La Senza, Gap and Foot Locker at the centre.

The Modern Courtesan, a new luxury lingerie label, has established its own factory in Nottingham and brought all of its production in-house. The theme-based label is already stocked in six UK boutiques such as Secrets of the Boudoir in Fulham and in three online stores such as www.delicates.co.uk, and intends to triple its distribution over the next year. Prices start at £10 for chokers to £70 for corsets. Contact 020 7241 1401 for details.

Tretorn has launched its first pre-autumn collection for 2008. The directional footwear brand has ramped up its deliveries from two collections a year to four. The pre-collections are smaller than the regular ranges, representing 30% of the seasonal offer. Pre-autumn will sell until late November, with canvas styles from £18 and leather options starting at £26. Contact 020 7608 9100 for information.

Fin Showroom has taken on the distribution rights for top-end denim labels Taverniti So Jeans and Habitual. The agency has also signed an agreement to distribute cult retro bag brand Pan Am, and eccentric print-based Dutch fashion label The People of the Labyrinths. Phone 020 7729 5050 for details.

YMC has launched an online store selling its full collection of men’s streetwear. The site, at www.youmustcreate.com, enables shoppers to create looks by combining YMC’s product on an invisible mannequin.

Four Marketing has taken on the distribution for T-shirt brand Worn By, whose sub-brand AKA will be sold separately for the first time. Aimed at music fans, AKA’s T-shirts feature the original names of bands before they became famous. Topman started selling AKA as a capsule range in its London Oxford Street store on November 15. Wholesale prices start from £11.50. Contact 020 7608 9100 for information.

Giorgio Armani opened a 65,000sq ft megastore in Tokyo this week. The 12-storey building, which is the tallest in the city’s Ginza district, carries the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani womenswear and menswear collections. It also houses the world’s first Armani spa, as well as an Italian restaurant and a bar.

Diesel has filed a lawsuit against its former licensee Global Brand Marketing Inc, after alleging that the business had failed to pay for US$16 million (£7.67m) worth of Diesel-branded footwear. It is also understood that 158,927 pairs of Diesel-branded shoes, which Diesel says belong to it, are in a GMBI warehouse in the US.

The Warnaco Group’s net revenues were up 13% to US$474.8 million (£227.5m) for the third quarter to September 29, compared with the same time last year. However, operating income for the group, which holds the licences for brands including Calvin Klein and Lejaby lingerie, fell US$6.7m (£3.2m) to US$30.7m (£14.7m).

Li & Fung, the Hong Kong-based consumer goods exporter, has acquired American Marketing Enterprises for US$128 million (£61.3m). AME holds licences to make children’s sleepwear featuring characters from the US entertainment industry. It holds more than 40 licences, including Spiderman, High School Musical and Barbie.

PPR, the French luxury retail conglomerate, reported sales up 21.9% to €5.2 billion (£3.6bn) for the third quarter, boosted by the acquisition of sports brand Puma earlier this year. Like-for-like sales excluding the Puma business rose 6.8%. The company said it had not experienced a slowdown in demand for luxury goods, despite dwindling consumer confidence.

JoJo Maman Bébé has opened a second shop on Northcote Road in south London. The 1,000 sq ft store will stock kidswear, babywear and toys. The new store is located two doors down from the maternity-wear chain’s flagship, which will now only stock maternitywear. The retailer has 21 stores across the UK.

Osoyou.com, an online website that brings together shopping and social networking, has launched with 24 retail partners. The website allows shoppers to log on, create a profile, shop via a virtual high street and drag and drop items into a “style file”. Retail partners include Marks & Spencer, Arcadia Group, Mosaic Fashions, Figleaves.com, White Stuff and Jones Bootmaker.

Coast is to launch a line of fascinators for spring 08 in a bid to expand its accessories offer. The eight-piece range will launch in February and features embellished fascinators and ornate hair bands, which will be designed to complement the retailer’s spring 08 mainline.

Buchanan Galleries shopping centre in Glasgow is set to double in size after a planning application was approved by Glasgow City Council. The expanded shopping centre, which is due to open in 2001, will extend to 1.3 million sq ft. Plans include a multi-storey car park and a pedestrian bridge linking the mall to the car park.

Lee Jeans is a brand owned by the VF Corporation, and not as stated in Drapers (November 3). Jason Eames Illingworth recently joined the business as UK commercial director, charged with increasing the brands wholesale business. He joined from Hilfiger Denim.

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