Chinese women's wear brand Ellassay has chosen Lectra Fashion PLM to support its brand management and global business strategy.

The fashion-forward firm is the first Chinese haute couture brand to participate in New York Fashion week, and has set its sights on growing into a Chinese fashion brand that influences both the domestic and international stage.

It operates nearly 400 stores throughout China; appointed Jean-Paul Knott, former director of product development at Yves Saint Laurent as brand design consultant; and in 2009 was boosted by a CNY150m (US$24.8m) investment through an alliance with private equity firm The Carlyle Group.

"With our overseas activities, we needed a unique collection development management solution," says Xia Guoxin, Ellassay chairman.

Ellassay designs and develops 80% of products in-house and manufactures the entire range itself. Lectra Fashion PLM will help improve collaboration between the design, development and production teams, with each department able to work with the same information in real-time.

The software will also help the company better control workflow and collection planning, with the ability to produce more styles while mastering margins a critical issue as the company goes global.

Future plans include extending the footprint of the PLM project by deeply integrating design, product development and production to reinforce international business development.