Womenswear and accessories retailer Monsoon Accessorize is to step up its online operations with the launch of a standalone site for its accessories arm following the appointment of former Fat Face director Kristine Kirby to the newly created role of ecommerce and multi­channel marketing director.

Kirby, who left the role of home shopping director at Fat Face in May, is spearheading the launch of a standalone site for Accessorize in October.

At present, Monsoon and Accessorize product is sold through one UK site. Kirby said: “We know that Monsoon and Accessorize have a separate customer and their own USPs so we need to give Accessorize its own space to shine.”

The site will be UK-only but will ship to Europe and the US.

Kirby, who prior to Fat Face was ecommerce and systems director for young fashion chain Lipsy, will also oversee the launch of a series of separate overseas websites for both chains. The current site sells in sterling and ships to the Europe and the US. The first overseas online shop will be a standalone Accessorize site in the US, where it has begun a store roll-out. It opened the first Accessorize site in Washington in March. Four more are planned this year.

Websites for individual European countries, with country-specific languages and currency, will also be rolled out from the first quarter of 2011, initially for France, Germany, Denmark and Ireland, where the group already has stores. “From now on we will follow the pattern of separate Monsoon and Accessorize websites for each territory,” said Kirby.

The existing Monsoon website will also be relaunched early next year with higher quality imagery and editorial on the chain’s ethical sourcing initiatives.

Kirby said the company was targeting “significant growth” from its multichannel operations next year and had “high hopes” for overseas.