Hilfiger to grow Lagerfeld brand

Expansion in the US market targeted to build consumer awareness for designer label.
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He may be well-known in fashionista circles, but it seems that consumer awareness of Karl Lagerfeld's clothing collections needs a lift - brand owner Tommy Hilfiger inking a production and distribution deal with Vaprio Stile, Milan.

The venture will kick off with the fall 2008 collection, which the designer will show in Paris next February, reported Brandweek.com.

Vaprio will be targeting the US market in particular - with industry insiders speculating that Hilfiger is looking into producing a mass market Lagerfeld range here after his collaboration with H&M in 2004 proved popular. The Far East is also likely to be targeted.

"We continue to believe that volume [sales] are far from what they should be," said Anne Marino, president of licensing for Karl Lagerfeld.

"Karl Lagerfeld is a much smaller business than what the name would suggest. There is a big job to be done to grow the business to its proper potential.

"We intend to control the brand, the creative direction thereof, the marketing and licensing activities, but we plan to licence the commercial activities for various product groups, in several tiers of business, to various specialists," Marino added.

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