Gérald Mazzalovo, chairman and CEO of Robert Clergerie, has disclosed plans to launch a collection of handbags and other small leathergoods to accompany a more upscale Clergerie Paris line of women’s shoes, with a powerful brand policy that includes a distinctive new logo. This strategy follows on from what the company did some time ago with the Robert Clergerie men’s line, which was re-branded as Clergerie Paris as well, with a logo that has gradually come to be identified with the line – a C inside a circle.

The Clergerie Paris women’s line will be flanked by a capsule collection of handbags for Spring-Summer 2005, building up into a full line for Fall-Winter 2005/06. The two other major women’s shoe manufacturers in Romans, Charles Jourdan and Stéphane Kelian, have already invested massively in these high-margin leathergoods.

The sales network will be developed on all fronts – through the brand’s concept stores, which number 28 at the present day, franchises and the 650 multi-brand stores that work with the French firm around the world. New store openings are planned in Japan, which has proved a particularly dynamic market for the brand in recent years and currently accounts for 5 percent of annual sales totalling €30 million. A new outlet was opened this year in Barcelona and others have been redecorated.

Meanwhile, the company is working on a new business plan for the re-launch of the Fenestrier brand of men’s shoes, which is already on sale in the company’s original store on the rue du Cherche-Midi in Paris. New strategies are in the process of being defined to help finance these and other activities, including the possible acquisition of a controlling interest in other brands.