Thom Browne has design awards and influence aplenty, but the originator of the shrunken suit has always lacked the financial muscle to test the limits of his brand.

But this year will be different, thanks to Cross Co., the Japanese firm that purchased a majority stake in Thom Browne over the course of 2009.

With a fresh injection of capital, the independent brand — which raked in less than $10 million in wholesale volume last year — finally has the resources to expand its wholesale and retail operations in the U.S., Asia and Europe. A flagship is slated to open in Tokyo this year.

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