IN THE BAG: Junior sportswear company Necessary Objects has signed a licensing agreement with Cudlie Inc. to produce handbags and small leather goods under the Necessary Objects by Ady Gluck-Frankel Handbags label.
The spring collection, which includes items from framed faux-lizard metallic bags to printed totes that contain matching umbrellas and raincoats, launched during this month’s accessories market. Vintage looks and clutches in stripes and sherbet colors also will be important. Wholesale prices range from $6 to $60.

Necessary Objects launched an intimates line last year under a license with International Intimates, and there are plans to expand into other fashion categories.

JONES LETS GO: The ties between Jones Apparel Group and Esprit look set to be cut loose earlier than anticipated. According to sources familiar with the situation, Jones, which manufactures licensed Esprit women’s footwear, luggage, handbags and small leather goods through its Nine West division, is prematurely terminating its deal with Esprit as a result of disappointing sales. Jones obtained the exclusive license in July 2002, with Esprit Europe, a subsidiary of Esprit Holdings Ltd. Nine West launched a licensed Esprit handbag collection with eight groups in November 2002 for spring 2003 selling. On average, the bags retailed from about $30 to $42 and targeted distribution to department store main floors, retail specialty stores and other direct-to-consumer channels in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico.

The agreement was scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2007, with the option to renew if sales levels were met. Spokesmen for Jones and Esprit declined to comment.

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