Diane Alter – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter
New York City, NY, United States (4E) – The celebrated fashion label Paul Smith has announced plans to open some 24 stores in China over the next five years.
The venture will mark the second attempt the renowned line has endeavored to tap into the Asian country’s booming luxury market.
The Paul Smith brand, best recognized for its signature multi-colored stripes, will open with a flagship store in Shanghai in December under a five year partnership deal with Hong Kong based distributor ImagineX.
In a prepared statement, founder and designer Smith said, “We hope China will become a significant market for us.”
The brand made its first foray into the Chinese market in 2004, but pulled out three years later due to loses.
Beside the flagship store in Shanghai, Paul Smith plans to open six stores by the end of the year in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chengdu, Globally, the brand boast over 150 shops.
By 2015, PriceWaterhouseCoopers notes China is forecast to be the world’s top buyer of products such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, shoes and clothes.
Smith garnered a prominent and respected name for himself after opening his debut shop in 1970 selling exclusively menswear. Fifteen years ago he branched out into women’s clothing.