Tom Ford to open first European stores

NEW YORK, June 8, 2007 (AFP) - Former Gucci creative director Tom Ford is to open his first directly operated European stores in London and Milan within the next three years, his company announced Friday June 8th.


Tom Ford - Photo : Stan Honda/AFP

The designer's expansion plans also include franchise deals focused on Asia and the Middle East, with plans to open stores in Hong Kong and Beijing, Kuwait, Dubai and Qatar from early next year, the company said.

While the stores in Milan, London, Los Angeles and Hawaii were all due to be open within the next three years, there were also plans to open franchise stores in Tokyo, Moscow and Sao Paolo, the company said.

The overall plan would see more than 100 free-standing stores created over the next ten years, the company said, adding that it was also looking for store locations in other European cities including Paris.

"This is a great day for us as we have now laid the foundation necessary to become a true global luxury brand," Ford said in a statement.

Ford opened his first ever stand alone store in New York in April, three years after leaving fashion giant Gucci credited with turning the group around.

The up-market Madison Avenue store in Manhattan sells luxury men's ready-to-wear and tailored suiting, shirts, shoes and accessories. The boutique, which is a collaboration with Ermenegildo Zegna, is spread over almost 1,000 square meters (10,000 square feet) and is billed as offering the height of luxury and personalized service.

"We are living in an era where we have gone through all this disposable fashion, so what I am craving now is really something chic," Ford said in an interview earlier this year with fashion industry Bible Women's Wear Daily.

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