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Theory hires Tyrwhitt exec for UK push

US and Japanese fashion house Link Theory Holdings is plotting a retail assault on the UK market, and has hired ex-Charles Tyrwhitt managing director Ashley Potter to lead the push.

Potter has taken on the newly created role of chief operating officer and president of Theory Europe.

The US-based firm is using the UK as a springboard into Europe and will open its first European headquarters in London. The business is also planning to build a portfolio of Theory stores in the UK, with two to open over the next year in London.

Theory founder and president Andrew Rosen said Potter's arrival represented the group's commitment to building the business in Europe, and that his knowledge of the European market and experience of developing US companies abroad would be invaluable.

"We have been looking for someone to head our efforts in Europe and he is the ideal candidate," said Rosen. "We are looking at a few locations in central London sized between 1,500 sq ft and 2,500 sq ft."

Theory, which owns the Helmut Lang, Premise and Jean-Michel Cazabet brands, is best known for its Theory label - a pared down, quality basics collection. It already sells in Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Brown Thomas in the UK.

Theory, which is listed on the small companies market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, has a market cap of Yen51.8 billion (£220.8 million). The group operates 17 Theory stores in the US and 10 in Japan.

Before joining Charles Tyrwhitt, Potter spent 14 years at Polo Ralph Lauren UK as senior vice president of sales for Europe.

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