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Looking to Expand Into China, Marquee Brands Partners with Fosun

Marquee Brands is looking at long-term growth in China and to give itself a leg up on the competition, the brand management firm has entered into a partnership with Fosun Fashion Brand Management.

Fosun is a subsidiary of Fosun Fashion Group, the strategic fashion unit of the publicly-traded Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. According to Marquee, the agreement covers a select group under the firm’s portfolio umbrella, which include Ben Sherman, Bruno Magli, Dakine, BCBGMaxAzria and BCBGeneration. Marquee’s remaining brand, Body Glove, is not included in this agreement.

Western brands looking to enter new territories often connect with local partners who understand the market better. In that regard, Fosun has the experience to help grow Marquee’s brands. Under its own brand portfolio, Fosun manages luxury fashion house Lanvin, Wolford, St. John Knits and Caruso.

Michael DeVirgilio, Marquee’s president, said, “As the global landscape of retailing changes, there is little doubt that it changes faster in China than any other market. We made the strategic decision to partner with a strong organization with local operational expertise as the best approach to introduce our brands to this very dynamic market.”

DeVirgilio will be working with the team at Fosun that’s led by chief executive officer James Chen, whom the Marquee president said he’s known for more than 20 years. According to DeVirgilio, having “seen his ability to launch, support and grow global brands in China, Fosun Fashion Brand Management was the obvious choice for us.”

Chen said, “As the Chinese operating platform of Fosun Fashion Group, [Fosun Fashion Brand Management] is pleased to bring Marquee Brands into China, combining leading international brands with Chinese market competencies and Fosun Group resources. The partnership is the first step for further strategic cooperation in the near future.”

Neither firm has indicated yet what the game plan will be for bringing Marquee’s brands over to China. But the options include wholesale distribution, licensing and retail stores, as well as e-commerce platforms for each brand.