By  on August 10, 2011

NEW YORK — Nanette Lepore, a staunch supporter of domestic production, has set its sights on opening stores in China.

Lepore has signed a three-year agreement with Tokyo Style Co. Ltd. and Tokyo Style Shanghai Commercial to open freestanding stores and shop-in-shops in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.

The first shop-in-shop will open next March or April in Jiu Guang department store in Shanghai, followed by four more freestanding stores or shop-in-shops during 2013. Two will open in Shanghai, one in Beijing and one in Hong Kong, according to Robert Savage, chief executive officer and president of Lepore. These shops will range from 1,600 to 1,800 square feet, he said. Whether they are freestanding stores or shop-in-shops will depend on the availability of space, said Savage, who is Lepore’s husband.

To date, Lepore’s only Chinese distribution is with Seibu Department Stores in Hong Kong.

Most of the clothing carried in the Chinese shops will be manufactured here, and it will be supplemented with licensed merchandise. Lepore already has 21 in-store shops and freestanding stores in Tokyo. Its other international store is in the London neighborhood of Notting Hill.

Stateside, Lepore has seven freestanding shops: two in New York, and one each in Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Bal Harbour, Fla., and Boston.

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