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Aquascutum targets overseas expansion via licensing deal

Luxury heritage brand Aquascutum is to ramp up its overseas presence after signing a licensing deal with manufacturing and licensing firm Ittierre.

The British brand has signed a six-year licensing deal for continental Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The agreement covers the production and distribution of Aquascutum’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, with the first collections due for autumn 12.

Aquascutum chairman Harold Tillman said the move was the next step in its international growth. Earlier this year, Aquascutum announced it would open its first overseas standalone stores in Milan and Rome over the next 12 months. Ittierre will take over existing retail partnerships in these regions. Aquascutum has about 200 stockists in continental Europe, as well as one stockist in Lebanon, one in Turkey and two in Russia.

Tillman said: “It’s a question of dealing with the market in each respective country. In Italy, premium brands are sold across hundreds of indies, which is one of the reasons we’d want to team up with a licensing partner in the region.”

Tillman added that Aquascutum would be able to increase its manufacturing base via Ittierre’s Italian factories.

Aquascutum, which is co-owned by Tillman, who is also chairman of the British Fashion Council, and chief executive Belinda Earl, is also plotting US and UK expansion, with five stores scheduled for London.

Meanwhile, Ittierre has stepped up its partnerships with the announcement last month that it would produce and distribute designer Karl Lagerfeld’s new signature collection, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, launching in autumn 12.

To see more Aquascutum spring 12 images, go to www.drapersonline.com/catwalks

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