Repetto is making strides to up its presence in the U.S., under recently installed chief executive officer for the Americas Gilles Assor.
Assor, a shoe industry veteran who previously served as vice president for the Americas at Robert Clergerie, is developing new product lines and promotional efforts to help buoy the brand’s buzz. As previously reported by WWD, Assor looks to increase the brand’s sales in the Americas by six times over the next two years.
A new capsule collection with Barneys New York will be released this month, inspired by archival designs. During New York Fashion Week, the brand previewed its new Repetto Studio — a dance studio and space where the label will host classes, showroom appointments, and fulfill custom orders.
“I only arrived eight months ago with the priority to reposition brand with wholesalers and our own retail stores. This is the reason I’ve decided to work closely with Barneys, Just One Eye, Opening Ceremony and Joan Shepp,” Assor said.
Assor is also investigating new freestanding store spaces on the West Coast, as well as in Miami and a second New York location.
He will also turn to Repetto’s roots as a supplier of dance shoes and apparel. Through this, he looks to increase the brand’s athleisure and performancewear sales. Currently, these products account for 10 percent of sales, but Assor aims to increase that ratio to 30 percent.
“Repetto is a fashion line but it’s a dance line too,” said the executive. “We have dance ready-to-wear, bags, ath-leisure. We are not trying to take over market from Bloch or Capezio, but Repetto excels in bespoke pointe shoes. We are very particular and have dancers from every big company in the U.S. using Repetto ballet shoes.”
Assor is currently working to isolate a few of these dancers as brand spokespeople, to be used in campaign and digital imagery. The brand has a particularly close relationship with the San Francisco Ballet.
During New York Fashion Week, Repetto opened a Stateside “studio” as something of an improvised showroom. Located in West Chelsea, the space officially opened on February 5 and will host dance classes, events and wholesale meetings.
Explained Assor: “I wanted to do something different than opening a showroom. From a business perspective, the space is empty most months and I wanted a place with traffic and energy all the time, even when it’s not fashion week. Repetto has never had a dance studio before, it’s a very good angle be able to show Repetto in a different way and be able to have a space where we can test many different things.”