Alexi Andriotti Accessories, which is known abroad as the H&M of accessories, is opening it first stores in North America.

This story first appeared in the November 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Athens-based company is launching units on Friday in Orlando and Miami. The firm was founded in 2000 by former Greek model Alexis Andriotis and has since grown into a $25 million retail chain with 70 shops throughout Greece, Italy, Turkey, Romania and the Middle East.

Andriotis estimated the locations should bring in more than $1 million in first-year sales. The firm expects to expand into other domestic markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago over the next five years, aiming to eventually hit the $50 million mark in the U.S.

Andriotis chose Florida, which has been hit hard by the economic downturn, because he feels the state’s consumer base appreciates modestly priced, glamorous accessories.

“Florida is a perfect fit, and its demographics reflect a laid-back, European attitude and lifestyle,” Andriotis said. “The customers there are incredibly open to costume jewelry and the combination of good weather allows for more opportunities to accessorize.”

Alexi Andriotti Accessories feature pearl, silver and gemstone jewelry, as well as leather handbags, fedora hats and silk and cashmere scarves. The line ranges from a $4 hairpin to a pair of $150 crystal-encrusted Converse sneakers, with the majority of items priced between $12 and $50. While the stores are primarily geared toward women, the U.S. stores will eventually expand their collections to include items for men and children.

Andriotis said the store’s offerings are what Americans need during this troubled period.

“With fashion-forward designs at reasonable prices, everyone can afford to be a trendsetter,” he said.

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