CHANEL TO HELP ERES ENTER U.S. MARKET

Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — With the guidance and financial muscle of its owner, Chanel, the Eres luxury intimate apparel and swimwear label is planning to open its first U.S. store in New York in September.
Eres will occupy a 1,000-square-foot space at 625 Madison Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. It will also be the company’s first store outside France.
“We’re very excited. This is our first boutique abroad,” said Alain Kowalik, managing director of Eres, in an interview Wednesday about the U.S. retail plan. “When you are an international brand, you need to be in New York.”
Kowalik also said the company needs to be in other top sites but said it was too soon to discuss where or to give details about the Madison Avenue store.
The company was founded in 1968 by designer Irene Leroux and acquired by Chanel in June 1997. The collection, launched after the union with Chanel, has an ethereal, lace-free, understated look made from microfiber blends, and is well known for great fit. It’s also known for eye-popping price tags, as among the world’s most expensive lingerie and swimwear lines. Bras are priced from $160 to $180; panties, $80 to $90, and swimwear, $180 to $280.
Eres currently operates only four stores, three in Paris and one in St. Tropez, and is a household name in France. It’s distributed in hundreds of retail doors in Europe, including Harrod’s, El Corte Ingles and Galeries Lafayette. The Eres retail expansion in the U.S. will be slow and methodical, with carefully chosen, prestigious locations. Big cities with a strong, affluent fashion customer base are being targeted, reflecting Chanel’s own retail strategy in the U.S.
Eres in the U.S. is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, where the label was launched in America 10 years ago, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Jeffrey and Calypso St. Barth.
Other upscale lingerie and foundation brands include Aubade, Chantelle, Lejaby, Lise Charmel, Hanro, La Perla and Princess Tam Tam.