You feel utterly chic and also rather smug because the outfit youre wearing is your petit secret. You picked it up from this lovely French brand thats quietly begun blooming up in exclusive locations all over town, but nobody else really knows about it yet, right? Well, not quite. If you picked up your outfit from Sandro, Maje, The Kooples or Comptoir des Cotonniers - or even Zadig and Voltaire - prepare to see a lot more of those Peter Pan collars because the French are planning their next round of expansion and this time, its going global.
Currently, Sandro makes only 13% of its sales outside of the French market, and Maje only 6%, but by 2013 the companies aim to raise that figure to 33%, and theyve got their eye firmly on the US market. Unlike their higher end compatriot Isabel Marant - who chose to begin her international expansion in LA - these brands have begun their stealthy rise in London with an aim to making that rise meteoric once they launch in New York.
Isabel Marant cornered the Hollywood celebrity market with her power jackets and skin-tight leather jeans, and although this cluster of mid-range brands have a lower price point than the French designer, their high end production and marketing place them in a similarly covetable bracket. So its likely that in the very near future well be seeing the quirky Left Bank chic clothes of Sandro, Maje and co. decorating the backs of stars ranging from Jessica Alba to the cast of Jersey Shore.
Whether that ubiquity will enhance the standing of the brands or detract from it is yet to be seen.More