By  on April 2, 2007

LONDON — Francisco Costa has lifted the veil on London's first Calvin Klein Collection store — inside Harvey Nichols — since he took over the design helm and revealed details of more upcoming units in China, Brazil and Japan.

Calvin Klein Collection's creative director for women made a flying visit to London last week to fete the opening of the brand's shop-in-shop on Harvey Nichols' first floor.

"The shop looks amazing. I'm very excited," said Costa during an interview in the hushed lounge of Claridge's. "The buyers are fantastic and the selection they've made has catered to the very high-end fashion customer. They've bought all across the board. And it's selling well."

Costa added that customers at Harvey Nichols shared a few traits with those who frequent Calvin Klein's Madison Avenue store. "It's a clientele that understands fashion, and who wants the new."

The 538-square-foot London boutique is one in a series of Calvin Klein Collection stores set to open outside the U.S. A stand-alone store in Beijing and an in-store boutique in the department store Daslu in São Paulo, Brazil, are both slated to open in May, adding to existing stores in such cities as Milan, Moscow, Rome and Dubai.

Costa said Japan also would be a possible location for the future. Before a store opens there, the brand will stage a World of Calvin Klein event in Tokyo on May 21. The company will showcase all its labels inside a temporary house structure in the grounds of the Meiji Jingu Gaien museum, designed by architect Shinichi Ogawa.

"It's very important to us and exciting to see the stores happen outside of the U.S. — to have that validation," said Costa, adding the brand's worldwide customers often put a slightly different spin on the line. "They want the American spirit, but they're perhaps a little more adventurous in the way they buy, and a little more accepting."

But Costa did more than just work in London. On Wednesday night, the designer attended a dinner hosted in his honor by Alexandra Shulman, editor in chief of British Vogue. Natalia Vodianova, Bianca Jagger, Jemma Kidd, Jasmine Guinness and Philip Treacy gathered at Harvey Nichols' fifth-floor restaurant to congratulate Costa on the new boutique.And he even managed to squeeze in a trip to see the much-talked-about play "Equus" during his two-day pit stop. "I love London — it's such a thrilling city. There's a lot of great energy here for me," said Costa.

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