By  on April 5, 2010

Radley London wants to pump up its U.S. presence.

The 12-year-old British accessories firm aims to build its retail footprint after opening a stand-alone shop in 2008 at the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, N.Y., and raise its wholesale profile in stores such as Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s.

The company’s bag designs are based on all leather styles done in punchy colors such as saffron, grass and cinnamon. Prices start at $125 and go up to $400 for a larger leather shopper. The average price for a bag is $300.

For fall, Radley London aims to offer more product categories, such as footwear, belts and cold-weather accessories.

Chief executive officer Sven Gaede, whose background includes stints at Marks & Spencer, Gap, Dunhill and Net-a-porter, said the estimated $100 million brand has been growing at a rate of 20 to 25 percent a year for the past five years.

Lowell Harder, an architect with a quirky personal style, founded Radley London in 1998. She couldn’t find a handbag to suit her tastes, so she made her own and started to sell them at street fairs in London. Radley London now has 15 percent market share of all handbag sales in England with 13 namesake boutiques and distribution in specialty and department stores, as well as two boutiques in Spain. In 2008, the company was sold to Exponent, a private equity firm. Gaede was named ceo last year.

“There is a high recognition of the brand in the U.S. now,” said Gaede who named Coach, Dooney & Bourke and Kate Spade as competitors. “My challenge is to maintain that momentum.”

The firm launched e-commerce in the U.S. in February on www.radleylondon.com, and there are plans to go into Dillard’s this year as well as launch in-store shops at Lord & Taylor. Gaede said the firm is tweaking products and merchandising before opening additional stand-alone shops.

Gaede’s goal is 150 to 250 wholesale accounts this year, in addition to opening pop-up shops in major cities, including New York, during key periods such as fashion week to bolster brand awareness.

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