By  on July 2, 2007

HONG KONG — Asprey, the London-based luxury brand, is eyeing expansion.

Gianluca Brozzetti, Asprey's group chief executive, said here that the brand is looking to "important world cities," including Moscow and New Delhi and other Asian capitals, for further growth. "Five years ago, there were only two points of sale, now there are 20. We have a strategy of catching up with other big luxury brands, but we have to be realistic," said Brozzetti.

For the last fiscal year ended March 31, Brozzetti said Asprey's sales were $42 million. "In the last 12 months, we came through restructuring and we've almost doubled in size," he said. "Retail sales worldwide, excluding New York [where the new flagship opened in April], grew 19 percent. These are good results, but there is still a long way to go."

Describing Asprey as a "hidden jewel," Brozzetti said the brand is working with Lane Crawford Joyce Group to study business opportunities in Asia, particularly in such cities as Shanghai and Beijing. Lane Crawford Joyce Group currently manages Asprey's only store in Hong Kong, located in The Peninsula Hotel. That store opened in November.

Besides adding points of sale, Brozzetti said Asprey will continue to expand product lines. Most recently, the company added ready-to-wear, hiring designer Hakan Rosenius (formerly of Paul Smith) as its creative director. Asprey also unveiled a collection of accessories, leather goods and fashions featuring its newly awarded coat of arms. The insignia was awarded by the Royal College of Arms and marks the company's 225th anniversary.

Brozzetti said the milestone anniversary has provided a marketing opportunity for Asprey; to wit, a new ad campaign highlighting the range of the company's goods and craftsmanship has been launched worldwide.

Similarly, Asprey is involving itself with high-profile events, including the Royal Gala held here in honor of Belgium's Prince Philippe and his wife, Princess Mathilde. The royal couple was here to promote diamonds from Antwerp at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair.

Nearly 400 of the city's elite business leaders, government officials and socialites attended the black-tie affair for which Asprey donated items for auction, including a white gold and diamond necklace from the Daisy collection, an alligator steamer bag and a No. 8 limited edition watch. The items fetched more than 900,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $115,166, for the Hong Kong Community Chest.

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