Tony Jashanmal and Craig Leavitt, CEO of Kate Spade New York open the brands first store in the UAE

Tony Jashanmal and Craig Leavitt, CEO of Kate Spade New York open the brand's first store in the UAE

Liz Claiborne-owned Kate Spade is set to expand in the Middle East as part of the recently streamlined group's expansion plans.

Kate Spade New York has opened its first store in the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai Mall today (17 April). The store is the company's second in the Middle East after opening a store in Kuwait in early March.

Liz Claiborne, which is set to change its name to Fifth & Pacific Companies next month, plans to expand into territories in the middle east in 2012 and 2013 through its Kate Spade brand.

The expansion will take place through the company's partnership with Jashanmal Group and stores will include women's ready-to-wear, handbags, small leather goods, fashion accessories and jewellery. The Jashanmal Group will have exclusive distribution of the brand across UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Last year, Liz Claiborne announced plans to refocus its energies on three lines - Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand. As part of the moves it sold off its namesake Liz Claiborne brand, as well as the Monet, Kensie, Kensiegirl, Mac & Jac, Dana Buchman, and Mexx.

Craig Leavitt, CEO of Kate Spade New York said: "We are confident that the Middle East market will be a key growth area for us, and intend to have a meaningful presence in the region, opening in three new markets as a starting point.

Tony Jashanmal, group executive director said: We are confident that this is an excellent addition to our portfolio of accessible luxury lifestyle brands and we are sure that it will offer our consumers an unparalleled sophisticated shopping experience."