PARIS Elie Saab will open its first store in Asia next January in Hong Kong’s Landmark Mall, as part of a plan to double its network of freestanding stores by the end of 2012.

Elie Saab managing director Chucri Cavalcanti said the choice of location was strategic, as the brand hopes to open stores in Beijing and Shanghai by early 2013 at the latest.

“We’re starting to see a lot of Asian customers in our existing boutiques, whether in Paris or in London or even in Dubai, and we feel that the brand has had enough exposure for the consumer to start recognizing it,” Cavalcanti told WWD.

“We think that Hong Kong could be our starting base in Asia from which we can get into mainland China and into other countries in Asia, like Korea, like Taiwan, like Singapore, in a much easier way once the brand is well established in Hong Kong, which is a very cosmopolitan, international market,” he added.

The Hong Kong store will be the brand’s fifth freestanding boutique after Beirut, Paris, Dubai and a shop-in-shop in London department store Harrods.
Cavalcanti said he hopes to increase this number to between eight and 10 by the end of next year, with new additions planned in the United States, Latin America, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

In addition, the executive hopes to increase Elie Saab’s points of sale in department stores and multi-brand boutiques by 10 from around 45 at present.

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