By  on April 20, 2009

Eres is set to open its first lingerie and swimwear boutique in Milan today.

The shop will be the Chanel-owned brand’s 12th unit worldwide, with the last having opened in Madrid in 2008. In addition to six boutiques in France and four freestanding doors in the U.S., the company sells its luxury products in around 500 outlets internationally.

Olivier Mauny, chief executive officer of Eres, acknowledged there are a number of upscale Italian lingerie brands, but noted the company decided to target Milan “because Milan is an important place for fashion.”

“For Eres, Italy is a very captive and growing audience, and we need to satisfy a demand and further develop our business,” said Mauny. “The Italian market had a strong demand for [Eres] for quite some time and we finally found the ideal location in the Golden Triangle in Milan, via San Andrea. Our boutique will act as a key point of sale businesswise and as a window of the brand in Italy imagewise.”

Regarding marketing, Mauny said, “We have also decided to reinforce our communication, namely through public relations, and have just signed Karla Otto to handle our p.r. We believe our Italian boutique and communication efforts will reinforce our European presence and awareness.”

Mauny would not give a first-year sales projection for the 800-square-foot store. Bras will retail from 115 to 280 euros, or $150 to $365; undies will sell for 50 to 150 euros, or $65 to $195; loungewear will be 90 to 750 euros, or $117 to $977; beachwear will be priced 80 to 475 euros, or $104 to $619, and swimwear will be 165 to 390 euros, or $215 to $508.

Addressing the Italian consumer, Mauny said, “The Italian woman is very feminine and her lifestyle is such that we firmly believe all of our categories, whether lingerie, swimwear, beachwear or loungewear, will seduce her fashion palate. She vacations in some of the world’s best destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, which are located in her backyard. So Eres is part of her must-haves.”

Mauny said the clean, contemporary ambience of the Milan unit designed by Georges Rabineau, who has designed all of the Eres boutiques, “reflects the brand — pure, graphic and elegant — where the product is the star.”

As for why the upscale Eres is opening a new boutique during a global recession, Mauny said, “The economy is what it is, but we do not want to alter our long-term strategy and change our development plan on a key market for Eres.”

Eres swimwear was launched in 1968 by its creator, Irene Leroux, who introduced Eres lingerie in 1998, a year after Chanel bought the brand. Leroux exited Eres in late 2006 and the collection has been designed by the brand’s artistic director, Valérie Delafosse, since 2007.

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