PARIS — Christian Lacroix is paring down — and it’s all for the better.

In an effort to align his core ready-to-wear business more closely with the house’s couture image, the designer has phased out two long-running diffusion lines, Bazaar and Christian Lacroix Jeans, while expanding his main signature collection with more accessible items like knitwear and even denim.

Nicolas Topiol, chief executive officer of Lacroix, outlined the changes to WWD and said Lacroix’s new owner, Falic Group, of Florida, is confident they will lead to “good avenues to growth.”

In fact, Topiol said doubling the size of the Lacroix business is “definitely feasible” as the firm embarks on a retail expansion and brings licensed products to new international markets. Sources estimate the brand generates annual revenues of about 40 million euros, or $50.7 million at current exchange. Topiol said the consolidation of its rtw lines, which took full effect with the cruise collection, is already generating results. Sales for the season more than doubled as buyers embraced a collection that spanned everything from crested, polo-style dresses and simple capri pants to lacy cocktail dresses.

Lacroix’s spring 2007 collection, to be unveiled to the trade starting July 18, will fully reflect the new merchandising approach.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s issue of WWD.

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