By  on October 14, 2009

PARIS — The competition among high-end men’s wear brands in the 8th arrondissement here just got stiffer.

Canali, the Italian luxury men’s wear firm, opened its first French flagship last week at 36 Rue Marbeuf, which already boasts a plethora of tony labels including Berluti, Cifonelli, Façonnable and Hartwood.

“This boutique represents an international window for all our customers,” said Canali family member and global communications director Elisabetta Canali, adding that France was a “very important” market for the brand.

Covering 5,381 square feet, the single-floor layout “is a new way of shopping with comfortable space in which to admire the product categories on offer, from formal and leisure collections to leather goods and accessories,” Canali said.

The opening is the latest in a series of initiatives the company is taking this year to celebrate its 75th anniversary, following its first runway show, the opening of a 15,000-square-foot showroom in Milan and the planned relocation of its U.S. headquarters in New York. The label also launched a limited edition collection (just 750 pieces worldwide) of suits and coats in cashmere-vicuna currently available at the store.

Canali plans to extend its network to 160 boutiques before yearend, increasing to 200 by the end of next year, despite a 4 percent drop in revenues in 2008 to 182 million euros, or $267.8 million at average exchange.

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