By  on July 23, 2007

PARIS — Very few American designers could characterize the opening of a string of boutiques in five European countries as a homecoming.

But Diane von Furstenberg can, since she’s a native of Belgium whose father was born in Russia and who has worked or been schooled in France, Spain and England.

Next month and in September, the designer will open boutiques in Brussels; Moscow; Paris; Saint-Tropez, France; Madrid, and London, underscoring the global appeal of her fashions and a decade of development abroad since she relaunched her iconic brand, famous for its wrap dresses.

“The moment I started there was an immediate demand in Europe and America,” von Furstenberg said in an interview at her apartment here, which boasts breathtaking views of the cupola of the Académie française. “It really has grown organically, as things go in Europe.”

At present, international sales represent about 45 percent of von Furstenberg’s business, a figure expected to reach 50 percent soon. It’s an impressive showing given that many American designer labels still have a limited footprint in Europe, with some retrenching in recent years.


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