NEW YORK -- Ted Lapidus Paris has signed an agreement with a U.S. investment group to license the Ted Lapidus name for a wide range of products in North America.

Ted Lapidus USA was formed by Jerry Natkin, owner of William Barthman, a luxury goods retail and catalog operation based here, and Abe Chehebar, president of Accessory Network, an accessories manufacturer.

According to a spokeswoman for Ted Lapidus USA, the firm is a licensing and marketing organization that is currently looking for luxury goods licensees for all categories of men's, women's, children's and home furnishings products. She said that all agreements signed between now and May will produce product for spring 1995 retail.

"We feel sportswear and accessories are the natural main focus initially, but that could cover so many categories," said the spokeswoman. "For men, accessories could be anything from ties to socks. For women, it could be jewelry, scarves, bags, even lingerie."

The spokeswoman pointed out that merchandise that is produced by worldwide licensing agreements out of the Paris headquarters -- such as the Ted Lapidus fragrance -- will continue to be handled through those arrangements. Ted Lapidus USA is also planning to open Lapidus stores in major cities in the U.S., with the first planned for Manhattan by the end of this year. No further details were available, said the spokeswoman. A consumer advertising campaign is slated to begin in March 1995, and the spokeswoman added that it will focus on strengthening the Lapidus image rather than on merchandise.

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