(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Leg Avenue hired Manuel da Campo, in a newly created post, as director of international sales. Immediately before making the switch to sexy lingerie and costumes, da Campo had spent several years in sales at the high end French design house, Marithé + François Girbaud (which sells apparel for both women and men). He told BODY that he has spent, in all, 18 years in the fashion industry, working with some of the “very big groups in Europe,” and is “very familiar” with the Middle East as well.
“I want the international” segment of Leg Avenue to grow, declared the executive “to be 50% of the company,” adding “the U.S. is a great market, but Europe has 500 million people” and has the same potential. While Europe and the Middle East will be his first priorities, Latin America and Australia will also receive early attention
da Campo joined the company at the start of the summer, attended the recent Paris lingerie show, and, along with Leg Avenue president Mike Tsai, visited various foreign markets, before arriving at the company’s headquarters in California. “The company’s growth is phenomenal in Europe, truly phenomenal,” he said. This growth is a result of a “mix of the right choices, product-wise and sales-wise. The right people selling the right product. The company made the right choices in terms of distribution,” he emphasized. Overall, he added, “We are growing 30 percent, year after year, in Europe. We want to consolidate our presence. We want to become the leader in Europe and we will be.”
The Leg Avenue strategy is based on a network of international distributors (as opposed to a company-owned approach) many of which have been in place for a while. “We have a fantastic sales team,” said da Campo. On the international scene, he noted lingerie is “more important” than costumes, mainly because Halloween is not as widely celebrated as it is in the U.S. Nevertheless, “Halloween is growing” in international markets he said.
In the U.S., Leg Avenue, has successfully branched into licensing, especially with its costumes. But da Campo said that licensing is not yet part of the international strategy.
Overall, the new executive is particular optimistic about the future. “We have a great product, we can deliver on time, the price is perfect.”
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