By  on February 28, 1994

NEW YORK -- Accessory Network has acquired the Gitano Accessories and Regatta brand names from the troubled Gitano Group, which put itself on the block last month.

According to Abe Chehebar, president of Accessory Network here, his company purchased a "perpetual royalty-free license for a one-time undisclosed fee" with the option to sublicense the name. Accessory Network had already been the licensee for Gitano Accessories.

Prior to that, the company had been a division of the Gitano Group, since 1990, until it bought itself back in February 1993.

Accessory Network will continue to produce accessories items including women's handbags, small leather goods, belts, scarves, gloves, knitwear, luggage and hats bearing the Gitano name.

As for the Regatta label, Accessory Network plans to license out the production of Regatta sportswear, accessories and footwear for men, women and children to other firms.

Although the label, up until now, has had a department store distribution, Chehebar said he is unsure if the company will continue in that direction or target it more toward mass market.

Gitano put itself up for sale after Wal-Mart Stores -- its largest customer -- stopped buying from the vendor following its admissions of customs fraud.

Despite the Gitano's much-publicized troubles, Chehebar said he thought the value of the name itself was still strong.

The extra advantage now, he added, is "we can control our own destiny with the brand."

Robert E. Gregory Jr., Gitano chairman and chief executive officer, said through a spokesman this transaction does not affect the overall plan to sell Gitano, as both Regatta and the trademark for accessories had been excluded from the offering.

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