By  on February 28, 2007

With clothing racks inspired by fish spines and stucco flowers blooming out of walls, Kenzo is out to apply the Antonio Marras touch to more of its sales points.

The fashion house, owned by luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, plans to refurbish 40 of its in-store shops this year, plus overhaul its Madeleine location in Paris this summer, transforming it into a second Paris flagship.

The units, representing about a quarter of Kenzo's global network, will reflect the decor of the Place de Victoires flagship, which creative director Marras overhauled last year in a style that is as playful as his multicultural fashions. Additional features include small mattresses in kimono prints for lounging or product displays.

Alberto Lavia, who joined Kenzo as chairman last September from Gruppo La Perla, said the decor changes came in tandem with an upscaling of Kenzo's ready-to-wear. The rtw has boosted sales of runway looks, which now account for about 30 percent of sales in some boutiques. He cited a double-digit pace for the brand last year.

The Madeleine unit, spanning some 6,000 square feet, is slated to close for renovations, including structural work, April 1, and reopen in early September with a new facade. The unit will carry the complete women's and men's collections and have a new area for children's wear.

Lavia also cited rapid growth in Kenzo's accessories, which have doubled in recent years, and particular success in footwear. In handbags, the firm relaunched such iconic styles as the Pagoda and Turnlock to boost the category.

Looking ahead, the company is eying brand extensions into watches and furniture, the latter category justified by its success in bedding, where it ranks as the number-two designer brand in Europe, according to James Greenfield, Kenzo's senior vice president in charge of women's ready-to-wear, licenses and communication.

The company is focused on its main markets, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and plans to add four points of sale in China this year, bringing its complement to 11, Greenfield said. Kenzo closed its freestanding stores in North America and is focusing on wholesale distribution there at such retailers as Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew and, for footwear only, Neiman Marcus.

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