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Aris Signs Kosiuko Deal

LOS ANGELES — Aris Industries has added another label to its stable of licenses.<br><br>The New York-based company, maker of XOXO and owner of the Baby Phat license, has acquired the long-term license to manufacture and distribute contemporary...

LOS ANGELES — Aris Industries has added another label to its stable of licenses.

The New York-based company, maker of XOXO and owner of the Baby Phat license, has acquired the long-term license to manufacture and distribute contemporary sportswear label Kosiuko in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Aris chief executive Arnold Simon said he’s projecting $10 million in first-year sales for the Buenos Aires-based line.

“It [has] great detailing — it’s like affordable Cavalli,” Simon said.

In the U.S. for about a year, Kosiuko has had a test run in about 100 stores, including Girlfriends in Newport Beach, Calif. It retails from $65 to $130. With its low-rise styling, it’s already developed a following with va-va-voom singers Shakira and Britney Spears.

Simon hopes to double Kosiuko’s U.S. presence and expand into department stores with the help of an estimated $300,000 advertising campaign over the next six months. Aris also will move Kosiuko from its Miami headquarters to a 5,000-square-foot showroom in New York next month to be closer to its own offices.

Begun 10 years ago by Federico Bonomi and his wife, Cynthia, who is a designer, Kosiuko offers clothing for men and women and has penetrated the South American market through roughly 300 specialty retailers and about 100 of its own stores.

Aris initially plans to ship women’s products by July for fall deliveries and roll out other categories later, according to Simon.

He said the label is a good complement to his existing products.

“Contemporary expensive doesn’t compete with what I have,” Simon said.

This story first appeared in the March 5, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.