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Exclusive: Perry Ellis boosts design team for European push

Original Penguin and Farah Vintage distributor Perry Ellis Europe has increased its London showroom and office space ahead of plans to expand its portfolio of brands.

The company, the European division of Perry Ellis International, has relocated from Great Titchfield Street to an 8,000 sq ft office on Winsley Street, off Oxford Street, which has five showrooms and a dedicated design centre.

Francisco Gonzalez-Meza Hoffmann, managing director of Perry Ellis Europe, said it would look for up to seven new designers to join its team.

He plans to begin recruiting for a range of positions from junior level up to senior manager from the start of its financial year in February.

Perry Ellis is looking to introduce new brands to the UK now it has additional showroom space. In the shorter term it hopes to bring over brands from its US parent company’s portfolio.

Perry Ellis International is the licensee for golf brands Callaway and Ben Hogan, plus Nike Swim.

Hoffmann said: “It is one of the largest producers of golf apparel in the US and we would like to develop in that area, and it is also one of the largest producers of swimwear.”

Meanwhile, the European arm will continue to develop men’s and women’s lifestyle brand Original Penguin and menswear brand Farah Vintage.

Hoffmann said it planned to set up an ecommerce site for Farah Vintage by next July, offering international delivery, as the brand has “some traction” in the US, Japan and the Philippines.

Perry Ellis intends to continue opening standalone stores for Original Penguin and is currently seeking a site in the Northwest. The brand has undergone “aggressive expansion” in 2011 and opened its first Scottish store, at Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen, at the beginning of October.

Farah Vintage could also “support” a store, Hoffmann said, but there are no plans to open one.

Perry Ellis is confident about investing in and developing its European arm on the back of solid medium-term growth, despite the wider economic issues. The business has grown 12% each year for the past three years and 55% since 2010.

Hoffmann added: “Larger and better showrooms, amazing work space for our associates and the ability to expand our capabilities are all testament to the commitment of Perry Ellis International to its European expansion plans.”

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