By  on July 22, 2005

NEW YORK — Ted Baker, the London brand known for contemporary men's wear with a bohemian twist, is showing its feminine side.

The company opened a 1,700-square-foot women’s boutique on July 15 adjacent to its existing men’s store at 107 Grand Street in SoHo. The new space has its own street entrance and two interior cut-throughs leading to the men’s store. The total Ted Baker space is now almost 4,000 square feet, said Craig Smith, brand communications director.

While women’s wear accounts for 35 percent to 40 percent of sales in the U.K. it is considered “emerging” in the U.S. Women’s product offerings have been growing season after season. “It’s pretty much on par with the men’s wear,” said Smith.

In addition to apparel, there are accessories, footwear, fragrance, intimates, watches and eyewear for the fairer sex. The only Ted Baker product not available to women is formalwear.

“Women’s wear across our stores in the U.S. has been getting more dynamic,” Smith said. “There was always a fairly comprehensive offer of women’s merchandise in the men’s store. We felt now was the right time to expand the women’s space in New York.”

There is no mistaking the two spaces. The women’s store is designed with classic materials such as dark wood and polished metal juxtaposed with gold, lace, mirrors and a dash of neon pink for a contemporary girly look.

The company operates six stores in the U.S. and hopes to have 10 to 12 in the next two years, Smith said. There are 24 Ted Baker stores worldwide.

After halting women’s wholesale distribution with the fall ’06 collection, Ted Baker relaunched its wholesale effort with the spring 2005 line. The company is being more selective about where the products are sold, targeting specialty stores such as Stanley Korshak in Dallas, Mercantile in Portland, Ore., and Brick Lane in Venice, Calif., all of which cater to price- and style-conscious consumers.

“We need to be accessible to the right kind of customer,” said Smith. “We’re realistic as a brand. We’re a designer label with accessible prices. We have that responsibility to our customers.”

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