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PARIS — French lingerie company Maison Lejaby has nominated Ivana Nonnis, a former chief executive officer of La Perla North America, to the newly created position of U.S. manager, effective this month.
This story first appeared in the June 30, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The house that has been working with agents in the country so far will now have a Brooklyn-based subsidiary instead. “The U.S. market represents a big potential for us,” Maison Lejaby ceo Alain Prost told WWD. “We want someone who dedicates her energy, activities and talent to Maison Lejaby.”
Nonnis was ceo of La Perla North America from 2006 to 2008. After La Perla, she opened her own showroom where she represented several brands, including the Dutch lingerie brand Marlies Dekkers. She had a contract as their manager for North America from 2009 until 2013.
Nonnis will be responsible for developing Maison Lejaby’s distribution network in the country. “We could consider expanding with department stores and via franchises down the road,” Prost said. The house’s main line and its Elixir line for bigger cup sizes are currently available in about 100 multibrand stores in the country, while its luxury label, Maison Lejaby Couture, is sold exclusively at Barneys New York.
The U.S. market could represent about 10 percent of the house’s business in the next five years, Prost said. The company generates a total turnover of about 30 million euros, or about $40.9 million at current exchange.