WWD.com/globe-news/designer-luxury/boucheron-making-u-s-moves-1610971/

PARIS — Riding the momentum of its 150th anniversary year, Boucheron is angling to expand its business in the U.S.

This story first appeared in the July 8, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Paris jeweler, which is owned by French retail and luxury group PPR, said Monday that it had several initiatives to build a presence in the U.S., including a distribution deal with Neiman Marcus, an American e-commerce site and an appointment-only New York salon.

Boucheron also is teaming with theater sensation Spiegelworld on a traveling show called “Désir” that will trace the history of the house, founded by Frédéric Boucheron in Paris in 1858.

In conjunction with the show, Boucheron will operate a pop-up boutique that will tour with Spielgelworld’s production. Désir — billed as part cabaret, part circus — is scheduled to open in New York on Aug. 14 before traveling to Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago.

“We love to surprise and enchant our clients and not just with our incredible pieces of high jewelry,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, Boucheron chief executive officer.

Boucheron has had a limited presence in the U.S., with Europe and Asia contributing the majority of sales. Last year, for instance, Boucheron inked a deal to open 10 shops in China. It operates only one U.S. boutique, in San Francisco, which opened in 2002. The address of the New York salon, which is expected to open this fall, has yet to be set.

The decision to wholesale its gems in the U.S. with Neiman Marcus signals the brand’s desire to capitalize on the momentum Bédos has brought to the brand, which recently moved into the black after several years of losses.

Boucheron said Neiman Marcus would open two Boucheron points of sales, in Bal Harbour, Fla., and Beverly Hills, with the goal of launching more in the near future.

Meanwhile, the company’s American e-commerce window, boucheron.com, will go live in October (Boucheron launched an e-commerce venture in Europe last year). It will offer the company’s full range of products as well as made-to-measure pieces.

Boucheron has launched several special products this year to commemorate its anniversary, including a chocolate necklace, jewelry by Harumi Klossowska de Rola and an ultracomplicated watch by Richard Mille.

This fall, a range of products designed by international artists is being planned. A spokeswoman declined to give details.