THE OPPOSITE SEX: Known primarily for its elegantly tailored men’s wear, Neopolitan suitmaker Kiton is working on boosting its women’s wear footprint in Asia and at home in Italy. Maria Giovanna Paone, vice president and daughter of Kiton founder Ciro Paone, speaking in the garden of Kiton’s recently renovated Milan boutique, said the family-run company hopes to raise its number of worldwide women’s wear stores — complete with made-to-measure and prêt-à-porter — to 10 from four, by 2013. “Women’s wear is doing especially well in places like the United States, Korea and Japan,” she said, adding sales have risen about 15 percent in the first nine months of 2011.

The cocktail celebration feted recent expansion of the boutique to accommodate its latest women’s collection. While Kiton has sold women’s wear abroad since 1995, the Milan boutique is actually the first Kiton store that will sell the women’s wear line in Italy, Paone said.

This story first appeared in the September 22, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Also at the event were avant-garde fashions from young designers Nicholas Julitta and Andrea Colombo, who worked with Kiton’s staff in Naples to craft a women’s capsule collection that will make its debut at Mi Milano Prêt-à-Porter trades how, which kicks off Friday. While looks were reminiscent of Kiton’s sartorial heritage, the duo’s sleeveless double-breasted suit dresses and asymmetric skirts fuse some modernity into the historic label.

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