NEW YORK — Italian apparel giant Max Mara joins the high-end competition on Madison Avenue Tuesday, as it opens its first Manhattan store.

The shop, at 813 Madison Ave. at East 68th Street, is on two floors of a building that has been renovated by Max Mara. Luigi Maramotti, vice chairman, projected first-year sales of more than $4 million for the 3,800-square-foot boutique.

The store will carry five apparel collections — its signature Max Mara line, Sportmax, Weekend by Max Mara, Pianoforte and I Blues. It will also carry accessories, scarves and small leather goods.

Max Mara has North American shops in San Francisco, Palm Beach, Fla., Toronto and Mexico City. It has over 500 boutiques in 80 nations, of which 180 are company owned and the rest are operated through licenses, joint ventures or franchises.

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