Luxury lingerie and swimwear brand Eres will open its first dedicated in-store space, at Barneys New York, in mid-July.

This story first appeared in the June 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“It’s a really big deal for Eres,” said Celine Kaplan, spokeswoman for the Chanel-owned French brand. “It was a very long negotiation. Barneys will be the exclusive retailer for Eres in New York.”

The 220-square-foot area will house a full range of Eres lingerie for fall-winter 2011 and swimwear for 2011. Fixtures will emulate the ambience of Eres boutiques with silver chrome and blonde wood fixtures similar to the luxury leather Valextra space at Barneys.

The Barneys venture follows the opening of a 430-square-foot Eres store in East Hampton, N.Y., in May. Eres will add a fifth unit in Paris in the trendy Marais district, opening June 19 and operating through July 28. The 320-square-foot store will reopen in mid-September following the traditional French vacation hiatus.

Eres currently operates 18 boutiques worldwide including ones in Beverly Hills and Palm Beach, Fla., and 14 in Europe: eight units in France, three in Italy, two in Spain and one in Belgium. There are also seven in-store shops at major department stores in France, one shop at Selfridges and another at Jelmoli in Zurich. Eres closed two stores in Manhattan last year — one on Madison Avenue and a second unit in SoHo.

Regarding the shift in strategy, Kaplan said, “We changed our distribution formula, mainly through partner boutiques.…We generally partner with local retailers who understand the Eres business and customers. It is a win-win situation.”

Chanel bought Eres in 1997. Eres was known primarily for its swimwear, but in fall 1998, with the guidance and financial muscle of Chanel, an upscale collection of lingerie bearing the Eres name was launched.

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