Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK — Poised for an aggressive strike at the U.S. market, Eres, the upscale French lingerie and swimwear maker, will be opening a second 1,000-square-foot boutique in SoHo in June.
The 98 Wooster Street location is next door to a boutique of its parent company, Chanel.
With the marketing guidance and financial clout of Chanel, Eres opened its first unit in Manhattan in November at 625 Madison Avenue.
The second shop will emulate the “intimate luxury” of the Eres boutiques worldwide — white walls, blond wood fixtures and furnishings, soft overhead lighting that has a romantic relief effect, and signature Eres-logoed Lucite hangers, said Irene Leroux, the company’s founder and designer.
The concept and the ambience of the Eres boutiques — including a third U.S. unit opened in Palm Beach, Fla., last October — was created by French architect Georges Rabineau.
The Paris flagship is located on the Right Bank on the Rue Tronchet. It also has shops in Saint Germain des Pres on the Left Bank, the high-ticket Avenue Montaigne, the Rue de Passy in the expensive 16th arrondissement and in Saint-Tropez.
Plans are still in the works for Eres boutiques in other locations in the U.S., including Los Angeles and Bal Harbour, Fla., said Alain Kowalik, director of marketing and commercial affairs.
The right side of the new SoHo shop will feature two grand windows that Kowalik said will “give the impression of a showroom open to the street.”
Eres, once a privately held swimwear company that Leroux founded in 1968, was acquired by Chanel in June 1997. Following the introduction of a capsule collection of lingerie in fall 1998, the intimate apparel made its U.S. debut at Bergdorf Goodman in September 1998, where Eres swimwear was a bestseller.
Kowalik noted that a line of luxury legwear under the Eres label will be sold exclusively at Eres shops in the U.S. beginning in July. He dismissed the idea of selling the legwear to U.S. department stores, however.
“We sell a total look,” Kowalik said. “The department stores don’t get it and they merchandise everything in different areas.”