Shoes from the Gianvito Rossi for Etro capsule collection.

MILAN — Etro is taking control of its South Korean business by opening a subsidiary in Seoul.

The Italian luxury house, known for its bohemian attitude, entered the country in 1993 through local partner Duo Trading. The new subsidiary is meant to strengthen the luxury house’s direct control on its business, particularly its retail operations.

Etro counts 23 monobrand stores in the Asian country including units in Seoul, Busan, Gyeonggi, Daegu, Gwangju, Changwon, Ulsan and Cheongju.

“This significant investment is aimed at strengthening and expanding Etro’s presence in South Korea leveraging direct representation and a deepened understanding of local trends and customer expectations,” commented managing director Francesco Freschi, who was an external consultant for the company for 20 years before landing this role in 2015.

“We are taking a further step ahead in our global approach with a mission to engage clients more closely and build a prosperous future in a strategic market with a high potential of growth for the brand,” he added. Since 2019, Freschi has laid out plans to enhance the company’s capabilities and reach with a focus on the Far East, the digital channel and the leather goods category.

Signaling Etro’s investment on accessories, the brand has debuted a range of collaborations to bolster the appetite for fresh, pop-tinged products. They included tie-ups with Lucasfilm on a “Star Wars” capsule and with Warner Bros on a limited-edition range of accessories dedicated to Jerry, from the Tom & Jerry cartoon.

Last year, the company also showed its commitment to the footwear category by unveiling a one-off collaboration with Gianvito Rossi on a range styles adorned with the brand’s signature Paisley motif in red and blue.

Unveiled last September at the Venice Film Festival and sported on the red carpet by American model Taylor Hill, the four-piece capsule collection will now be sold through a number of dedicated pop-up shops inside international department stores including Milan’s Rinascente; the Dubai Mall; Moscow’s GUM and Petrovsky Passage; Istinye Park in Istanbul; the Salam Department Store in Doha, as well as at Regent and other Taipei department stores, among other shopping destinations.

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