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But for all the praise, stores are said to have been very cautious with their orders because of the collection's uncertain future. Retailers should be pleased with the news that it has found a new home in Fingen.
"The Fratini brothers had been eyeing such a deal for a long time," said a source here. "They have a reputation for high-quality products and timely deliveries."
The upper-tier Calvin Klein Collection business has struggled to maintain the momentum it had in its heyday in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Several larger department and specialty stores that had a significant Calvin Klein Collection business have drastically reduced their departments. In 2004, Collection raked in $200 million in worldwide retail sales in all categories. According to sources, its U.S. women's wholesale business is estimated to be less than $5 million.
Collection still plays a crucial role in setting the tone and image of the multicategory Klein brand, which rakes in $3.3 billion at retail. While its contribution to the bottom line is small, Collection's point of view and advertising campaigns still steer the direction of the Calvin Klein better and cK Calvin Klein bridge sportswear businesses.
Costa was in Milan this week showing the clothes to European buyers and preparing for the official opening today of a Calvin Klein Collection store. The shop had a soft opening this summer.
The Milan unit is the second Klein store to open in Italy within the past year. A Rome boutique opened in fall 2004.
The three-story boutique, which covers more than 5,000 square feet, is located in Corso Matteotti, a few steps away from the city's Duomo, and Via Montenapoleone, in the golden fashion shopping triangle. The store is owned and operated by L'Innominato SpA, but is modeled after the Calvin Klein Collection stores designed by architect John Pawson. New York-based architect Enzo Manola designed the interior.