Monday, June 23, 2008

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"Absolutely not at all," said Ford, when asked if customers were feeling the pinch.

"Our customers are maybe not buying a house or a Warhol, but they are still buying clothes," he said, without giving detailed figures. "We are way ahead of our projections."

Ford set up his own design line in 2005 with Domenico De Sole after the two left Italian fashion house Gucci following a failure to agree contract terms.

The impeccably dressed designer -- whose boots alone cost $10,000 -- already has a store in New York and more are planned in over a dozen locations including London, Los Angeles and Dubai.

The Milan store is in a clean-lined grey building which was previously home to Ermenegildo Zegna, the self-styled world leader in luxury men's clothing which has moved further into Milan's "golden quadrangle" of luxury boutiques.