Ballet flats specialist French Sole is bringing its fashion-forward sister brand London Sole to the UK.
Until now London Sole has been the premium footwear brand’s trading name in the US, but over time has adapted away from the pure ballet focus of the mainline business to include smoking slippers and lace-up flats.
Sales and marketing director Russell Downing said the new range would comprise about 20 to 30 trend-led styles, complementing the 150 lines that make up French Sole’s ballet flats collection.
“Every retailer on the high street does ballet flats but this is about us saying we do the best in the world while offering the best possible range of product,” he said. “We know there is a customer in the UK who would respond well to a more fashionable product and so from spring 13 all of our more trend-led styles will come under the London Sole banner.”
The business aims to up the number of domestic stockists it sells into, with about 100 wholesale accounts currently.
French Sole has also strengthened its UK team by increasing head count by about 30%, bringing in a buyer and a merchandiser for the first time.
The company’s four standalone UK retail stores will carry both ranges, which will fit within French Sole’s existing price structure. Wholesale prices range from £35 to £80.
The brand is also looking to expand internationally across both retail and wholesale accounts and Downing indicated there had been early interest from Asia-Pacific.