Repetto, the French maison known for its professional ballet shoes, flats and bags, has announced plans to launch an apparel collection by the end of 2012. The line will include about 25 items in 80 variations and will be a pret-à-porter collection designed by Emilie Luc-Duc, who formerly worked on the Vanessa Bruno and Dior kidswear collections. Average retail prices will fall around 250 with sales starting in Italy and France, responsible for 50% of the brand's revenue. Jean-Marc Gaucher, Repetto's owner, president and CEO, commented: "If you're successful in these two markets you can be successful everywhere else in the world."

With plans to open 60 more stores by the end of the year in the Middle East, Philippines, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Europe, Gaucher may be on to something. Earlier in October Repetto, which was founded in 1947 by Rose Repetto, mother of choreographer and dancer Roland Petit, and bought by Gaucher in 1999, opened its first corner (27 sqm) at the la Rinascente department store at the Piazza Duomo in Milan. Later this month the brand will open another 30 sqm corner in Berlin's KaDeWe and a monobrand shop in Aix-en-Provence by the end of November.

2013 is already shaping up with a monobrand store set to open for the first time in Shanghai and others planned for Milan, Rome and Venice in the second half of the year. Gaucher's transformation of the company into a more affordable and internationally distributed brand led to a registered ?1 million in sales by the end of 2011 with stable expectations for 2012 as well. The brand's sales volume is equally distributed between professional dance shoes and fashion footwear.