By  on October 22, 2009

PARIS — It’s all points east for Lanvin as the company gears up for a major show in Japan and initiates a retail push in Asia.

Signaling the importance of the region as a future driver for European fashion firms, creative director Alber Elbaz and men’s wear designer Lucas Ossendrijver are headed to Tokyo to restage their spring-summer women’s and men’s collections next Wednesday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, a sumo wrestling stadium.

Elbaz plans to invite 1,200 guests and construct an industrial-flavored set of metal scaffolding, showing men’s and women’s collections in succession.

It’s all to help celebrate the Paris house’s 120th birthday, and to mark the reopening of Lanvin’s Ginza flagship, which was shuttered for four months for a complete refurbishment. The boutique was enlarged to 4,900 square feet and equipped to handle custom-made men’s suits.

“It’s a strong signal for all of the Asian market,” said executive vice president Thierry Andretta, also disclosing Lanvin would open a 2,900-square-foot boutique in Shanghai’s Plaza 66 in mid-November, its first company-owned store on the Mainland.

In January, a 2,800-square-foot unit is slated to open in Singapore’s new luxury shopping mall ION Orchard, in partnership with Club 21.

Andretta said he would soon finalize a deal to open a boutique in Beijing in the second half of next year, and a major flagship in Hong Kong also tops his wish list.

“We are still 70 percent wholesale, 30 percent retail and our goal is to progressively grow to at least 50/50,” he said.

As for Asia, he characterized it as an immediate priority. “We need to be on board now. We cannot wait,” he said. “Once we’re out of the economic crisis in 2010, we will look again in more mature markets.”

That said, fast-growing Lanvin continues to make moves in various regions, and imminent openings include a 2,100-square-foot women’s store in Bal Harbour, Fla., in early December, just in time for Miami Art Basel festivities. Lanvin is also mulling an opening in Las Vegas in the first half of 2010, Andretta noted.

At present, Lanvin operates 18 company-owned boutiques and 21 franchises. Recent openings include a women’s boutique on London’s Mount Street, a franchise unit in the Dubai Mall, plus a slew of shop-in-shops — for men’s wear and accessories mainly — at stores including Le Bon Marché in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Harrods in London.

Andretta said Lanvin would likely close the books on 2009 with a slight decrease in revenues due to the economic crisis, but that double-digit growth would likely resume next year.

Last year, sales at Lanvin advanced 29 percent to 140.4 million euros, or $206.6 million at average exchange rates, as reported.

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