By  on April 26, 2006

NEW YORK — Vera Wang is coming to Greece with her first bridal salon.

This summer, Wang is expected to open a 1,700-square-foot boutique on Kolonaki Street in Athens.

"We had been servicing a number of customers from Athens through our own stores, who had traveled here [New York] to buy our gowns," said Susan Sokol, president of Vera Wang Apparel Divisions. "We did research and found there is a customer in Greece who appreciated Vera Wang's point of view. We felt there was an opportunity."

The bridal salon will feature interior details such as hardwood floors and brushed chrome accents. It will sell a selection of bridal gowns as well as some of the wedding accoutrements, including accessories and, eventually, Wang's fragrance and homeware pieces, including her designs on silver, china and crystal. The gowns will retail on average for 4,500 euros, or about $5,550 at current exchange, Sokol said.

The Athens salon is to open quietly in June, followed by an official opening event planned for September. It is leased to local firm My Wedding SA.

"There are 55,000 weddings a year in Greece," Sokol said. "Of course, we don't expect to address all of those weddings, but we identified terrific partners who are passionate and knowledgeable about the bridal business. To succeed with a freestanding bridal store, it's about service and customer product."

The store is part of a global push the company is making. In the past year-and-a-half, Vera Wang opened bridal salons in locations such as Brown Thomas in Dublin; the Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai and Singapore; the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, Korea.

"We are starting in a focused way to build international opportunities," Sokol said. "It gives us the opportunity to leverage the bridal lifestyle component."

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