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Reiss bolsters team ahead of international advance

Retailer ramps up worldwide ambitions after unveiling new store concept and higher pricing strategy.

Reiss is seeking a new head of international and has recruited former Tanner Krolle creative director Manuela Morin as creative head of accessories as it looks to bolster its global and luxury positioning.

Founder David Reiss told Drapers that the imminent appointment of an international chief to replace consultant Francesca Chippindale, who left last December, would be the “final part of the Jigsaw” following the premium chain’s appointment of five designers in the past two months.

The new head of international will be responsible for Reiss’s global retail strategy across standalone stores, franchises and ecommerce.

“We’ve always been positioned as a bridge brand, so we’ve had to work hard on bridging the GAP to become a global brand,” said Reiss.

The retailer unveiled a new store concept in New York department store Bloomingdale’s last week, which sees Reiss sitting alongside brands like Theory and Diane von Furstenberg. The concept will be brought to the UK at the new Westfield Stratford shopping centre in east London when it opens on September 13.

Morin, who joins the company next week in the newly created position, has held roles including head of accessories design at Stella McCartney, associate creative director for accessories and footwear at Bottega Veneta, creative director at Tanner Krolle and, most recently, consultant for brands including Thakoon. She will be charged with developing a full accessories offer.

“We still only have a capsule collection; we want to turn it into a full-blown offer,” said Reiss.

He added that the pricing architecture would incorporate even higher price points for spring 12 across all product categories, as customers look for quality and “something special”. He added: “We could certainly have handbags at £600 - they go up to £300 now - and shoes at £300, from £200. We want more and more special pieces.”

Reiss said the retailer’s £695 Liora sheepskin jacket had sold

Last month, Reiss appointed Dan Lumb, former ecommerce director at lingerie chain Boux Avenue, to the same newly created role to drive ecommerce strategy. He plans to launch a click-and-collect service before the end of the year.

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