New York-based designer Tom Ford, along with his business partner Domenico De Sole, announced they have signed a number of agreements with franchise and wholesale partners to launch the Tom Ford brand into new cities starting next spring, according to Fashionunited.co.uk. Ford will open his next company-owned store in Milan, Italy, replacing the former Ermenegildo Zegna store on Via Verri, just off of Via Montenapoleone. Construction on the roughly 10,000-sq.-ft. space is slated to begin early next year, with the opening planned for early summer 2008. “It’s bigger than the New York store, and we’ll have not only more selling space, but more stock space as well,” Ford said. The Milan store will draw from the design of the Madison Avenue flagship, but its architecture will also “reflect the Milanese spirit of the multiple-floor, Fascist-era palazzo”. Ford’s line is also slated to appear in select stores such as Harrods, Lane Crawford, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Ford has signed a lease for a second U.S. store, but did not reveal the location. The designer currently has franchised stores under construction in the Middle East, Moscow and Hong Kong, and plans to open a London flagship in 2009. Ford expects to open 100 standalone stores and many in-store shops over the next eight to 10 years. “The time is now,” he said.