By  on April 22, 2009

MILAN — Leveraging 25 percent annual growth, Missoni’s second line, M Missoni, is expanding its product offer with accessories this summer and a new denim collection for spring 2010.

Over the past two seasons, more woven pieces have been introduced to a collection that draws from the Italian house’s knitwear heritage. The playful fall lineup has an Eighties feel, with oversized intarsia sweaters, cozy fur vests and geometric prints on tops and dresses.

A more comprehensive collection will help support the company’s retail strategy, with plans to roll out directly owned and franchised stores worldwide, said Luca Vianello, general director of Valentino Fashion Group, M Missoni’s licensee.

“The brand has a strong identity and there are many opportunities to develop new collections, such as a denim one,” said Vianello.

In January, Missoni and VFG renewed their licensing agreement for another 10 years. The license for the lower-priced Missoni brand, which was launched in 1953, was originally signed in 2005.

In 2008, M Missoni’s sales rose 27 percent to 60 million euros, or $88.2 million at average exchange rate. The brand is available at more than 1,000 points of sale and there are also seven directly owned stores (five in the U.S., one in Macau and one in Hong Kong) and 15 franchised boutiques in locations such as Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing. A directly owned store in Milan is in the works, possibly for 2010. Stores will open in London in the near future and in France by yearend. The U.S. accounts for 35 percent of sales, followed by Italy, with a 20 percent share. The company is keen to develop the Asian market, which today accounts for 7 percent of sales.

Alberto Damian, division director, said the company is also boosting its accessories business, which often reprise the brand’s recognizable patterns. The first collection made in-house, leveraging on VFG’s know-how, bowed this spring.

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