MILAN — Dsquared has a new boutique on the isle of Capri just in time for summer — and the company will unveil six more freestanding stores by December.
Stores in Kiev and Istanbul will bow by the end of this month, a Hong Kong unit will make its debut in September, a Moscow location is set for mid-October and a Dubai boutique will open in December. In addition, a concept shop is planned for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Los Angeles store in August.
All the boutiques are franchises between individual local partners, Dsquared and Dsquared’s production and distribution licensee partner, Staff International.
Dan Caten, one of the designers behind Dsquared, said, “It’s a partnership strategy. We are partnering with people in the locations that are most valuable to us.”
Caten explained that he and his identical twin, Dean, have handled every aspect of the stores: location, window display, furniture and seasonal buying budget.
The pair will host a cocktail party Saturday at the Capri boutique, which opened in late March. Several Italian celebrities are expected to attend, including film director Gabriele Muccino, who directed “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith.
Dan and Dean Caten inaugurated their first company-owned Dsquared flagship in Milan in June. The designers said they would add other company-owned flagships in New York, Paris and London, and expect to have a combination of 25 partnered and company-owned stores by 2011.
“We have to figure out the markets where we are weaker — this is where we want to go. Definitely the U.S.: We have such a strong impact and image, but they don’t get us yet. They think we are a jeans, sweatshirts and sneakers brand and that’s not what we are about,” said Dan Caten.
The slew of new boutiques is another step forward for the 15-year-old brand, which has made its name with sexy silhouettes, tailoring and cheeky slogans. Last year, Dsquared reported sales of $155 million, and projects volume of $188 million for this year.
While freestanding stores remain this year’s business focus, the label will launch its men’s and women’s scents in the U.S. in September. A personal appearance by the designers is planned at Saks Fifth Avenue during New York Fashion Week. In March, Dsquared will debut an eyewear collection through a license with Marcolin.
Long-term plans for the label are still unclear. Dsquared’s production and distribution license with Staff International — a company owned by Diesel’s founder, Renzo Rosso — expires in spring 2012.
Industry buzz has suggested that the partnership hasn’t been all smooth sailing, and some speculate that Dsquared is looking for a new licensing partner. Aeffe is considered a prospective suitor after it stated it was interested in making a men’s wear acquisition.
“We are now doing our business plan for the next 10 years,” explained Dan Caten, who added, “We are completely happy with Staff International, but the contract is six years old, so much has happened since then — we are different people, so if the contract was to be re-signed it would need to be revisited to see what is best for who.”