PARIS — In a move to bolster its core women’s wear and men’s wear business, the house of Féraud on Thursday inaugurated a new flagship — its biggest in the world — on the upscale Rue Saint Honore shopping strip here.

The 3,000-square-foot, three-level store is Féraud’s first to stock all of its diverse lines, from women’s and men’s wear to its new handbag collection under license with Florence-based Koblot.

“This is an important showcase,” said Féraud managing director François-Xavier de Monts. “The new shop is a key part to Féraud’s development.”

Designed by architect Roland de Leu, the minimalist, mostly white store boasts white marble floors, ebony cabinets and sharp, stainless-steel hanging racks. Flat-screen monitors play Féraud fashion images.

The second floor is split in two by an original 1930s Art Deco marble staircase. Féraud took the building from Brecy jewelers.

Women’s wear and accessories are on the ground floor, with suits, furs and accessories on the second. Men’s wear will be housed on a separate level, which is set to open late August.

Sample pieces from designer Jean-Paul Knott’s final fall collection for the house will be available on the second floor late next month. Knott, a Belgian, had designed two collections for the house. He succeeded Yvan Mispelaere, who also had designed Féraud’s couture, which was suspended.

Both designers were hired to pilot a nascent luxury ready-to-wear line, but when it dismissed Knott Féraud, Féraud said its main label and the retail network were the priorities.

De Monts, however, did not rule out a return to the runway. “The luxury line is suspended,” he said. “But maybe not definitively.”

Meanwhile, de Monts outlined several initiatives to boost Féraud’s business. Besides the new leather goods collection, eyewear, watch and costume jewelry lines are being readied for next spring. A Féraud women’s fragrance also is slated to bow at that time.

With projected first-year sales of about $2.8 million, the shop is Féraud’s 10th wholly owned unit. There are 12 franchise stores. Three additional franchise stores — in Paris, Shanghai and Beijing — will bow over the next three months.“It’s a very busy time for the house,” commented de Monts. “We are trying hard to boost our presence and to homogenize all of our lines in one creative spirit.”

De Monts said Féraud expects to have sales of about $62 million (54.8 million euros) for 2002, a 20 percent increase from the year earlier. Next year, he projects revenues will increase about 5 to 10 percent. Dollar figure has been converted at current exchange rates.

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