Stephen Burrows is bringing a blast of Caribbean color to the Paris runway.
The American designer, showing in France for the first time in more than three decades, hopes the showcase will boost his business in Europe and the Middle East — and extend his fashion reach into fast-growing markets like Russia and Asia.
“Every designer wants to show in Paris, and Stephen has always had a special place in his heart for the city,” said John Robert Miller, managing director of Burrows’ New York-based company. Burrows, who famously showed at the 1973 French-American fashion extravaganza at the Château de Versailles, relaunched his brand in 2002 after more than a decade away from the fray.
But he has stuck to his guns — matte jersey in figure-skimming shapes, lettuce edging and vivid color blocking — even as prices for his vintage Seventies pieces creep up into the thousands of dollars.
His signature collection, retailing from about $400 to $1,900, sells to about a dozen specialty stores, including Shop 2410 in La Jolla, Calif., Beatrice in Zurich and Evenings in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Miller said the Burrows business is still small, under $1 million at wholesale, but growing steadily on many fronts.
In February, his S by Burrows diffusion line will make its debut on the Home Shopping Network in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And an online shop — akin to a sample sale — is slated to go live on eBay in mid-October. Miller said all the visibility is bringing a lot more projects to Burrows — perhaps too many: The designer was recently approached to do costumes for a Broadway show and wonders if he has the time.
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