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De la Renta Expands Reach With Fur Pact

Keeping its eye on international expansion, Oscar de la Renta Ltd. has signed a licensing agreement with Yves Salomon SA to make and distribute a fur...

Keeping its eye on international expansion — something company executives have pledged repeatedly in recent months — Oscar de la Renta Ltd. has signed a licensing agreement with Yves Salomon SA to make and distribute a fur collection.

This story first appeared in the November 19, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company’s existing fur license with Alixandre Furs runs out at the end of this year. Yves Salomon has more of an international presence, according to Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of Oscar de la Renta.

“As business expands, international is a bigger piece,” he said. “Stores that buy our ready-to-wear and accessories have been interested in buying more than the fur that is shown on the runway.”

The new alliance with Yves Salomon, a fourth-generation furrier that dates back to Russia in 1890, will allow the designer label to sell more fur pieces within its collection in the U.S. and abroad and is expected to be a multimillion dollar business right out of the box. The more traditional approach among furriers has been to sell fur in fur salons or fur specialty stores.

Russia and Western Europe will be among the first places Oscar de la Renta furs will be sold overseas, Bolen said.

The new fur collection will consist of furs and shearlings with the designer’s signature details and embellishments. Coats, jackets, boleros, vests and such accessories as scarves and hoodies will be among the 40 styles offered. As of May or June, the designer’s furs will be available in his freestanding and select national and international stores. Wholesale prices will range from about $1,875 to $40,000 and up.

In a statement Friday, the designer said, “We partnered with Yves Salomon because of their innovative design ideas. They are breaking down walls in the traditional fur business by integrating fur and ready-to-wear.”