By and  on February 23, 2011

PARIS — Coming off a strong 2010, Lanvin continues its global march and is partnering with Mercury Group to open three boutiques in Moscow this fall, WWD has learned.

The French brand, enjoying strong momentum under creative director Alber Elbaz, is also scouting Manhattan to open a freestanding men’s unit before the end of the year, following last summer’s opening of a Madison Avenue flagship.

On Tuesday, Lanvin unveiled an 1,100-square-foot women’s store on Milan’s Via Spiga, the first of several volleys in Italy. A 1,500-square-foot Rome boutique, in partnership with local multibrand retailer Gente Roma, is slated to open before the end of the month, and the brand is zeroing in on a lease to open a like-size unit in Bologna this summer.

Lanvin executive vice president Thierry Andretta disclosed the developments in an exclusive interview Tuesday, and revealed preliminary financial results for the privately held Paris fashion house, controlled by Taiwanese media magnate Shaw-Lan Wang.

Revenues last year are estimated to have reached 168 million euros, or $223.1 million at average exchange rates, a 27 percent increase over 2009 and achieved without adding additional wholesale doors, Andretta said. He declined to specify earnings before interest and taxes, but it is understood the company’s profitability and free cash flow accelerated, allowing it to self-finance expansion.

What’s more, same-store sales — in directly operated boutiques open for more than a year — advanced 32 percent, with strength across all product categories for men and women.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” said Andretta. The executive noted that forthcoming shops in Shanghai’s IFC Complex, a 2,350-square-foot women’s boutique adjacent to a 1,400-square-foot men’s store, would be a model for future units. “Every time we have separate locations between men’s and ladies, it’s performing a little better,” he explained.

Lanvin has been particularly active in Asia, and also on Tuesday opened in Beijing’s Sanlitun retail complex.

In Moscow, the brand is already present in the Tsum department store, in partnership with Mercury, and will soon add women’s shoes and men’s footwear and accessories. The three freestanding units, slated for September openings, are in the Crocus Mall, Barvikha Village center and Tretyakovsky Passage, a luxury strip not far from the Kremlin and Red Square, each with separate spaces for men’s and women’s.

“In Moscow, our choice was not to go direct, but to find the best possible partner,” Andretta noted.

Meanwhile, the Milan unit, located in an 18th-century town house, echoes the configuration of the brand’s historic Paris flagship on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Both are narrow units with multiple windows running down one side. He declined to pinpoint revenue projections, but asserted the unit would be profitable during its first year of operation.

The decor features black-and-white Carrara marble floors, reflected by several mirrors on the walls. Furniture is Art Deco and includes a historical sofa in the shoe salon. A large bookcase displays handbags while iron black shelves, glass and metal windows display jewelry and shoes.

Different and contrasting elements are juxtaposed, such as chandeliers mixed with natural oak walls embellished with molding and irregular details. An animal print rug lies on the floor. There is also a room with evening gowns that can be curtained off for private fittings.

Lanvin plans to host a party for the Milan boutique during the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in April.

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