By  on August 2, 2007

NEW YORK — Seeking to expand a portfolio that includes Guess, Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole, G-III Apparel Group Ltd. has signed a licensing deal with bridge brand Ellen Tracy to produce women's suits and dresses.

G-III expects to deliver its dress line in the spring, with suits shipping for fall 2009. The company said these additions build on the apparel group's Ellen Tracy outwear business, which launched in 2004.

"We've been very successful with Ellen Tracy coats," G-III chief operating officer Wayne Miller said in an interview. "We felt [that] with the success of the coat business and our success with Calvin Klein dresses, this would be the next brand for us to launch. We feel great about it. We think it's going to be very successful."

In May, G-III signed an $8.1 million deal to acquire dress company Jessica Howard Ltd. and denim supplier Industrial Cotton Inc. Its other fashion labels include Calvin Klein, Sean John, Jones New York, Nine West, Izod and Tommy Hilfiger.

Ellen Tracy, a division of Liz Claiborne Inc., sells designer bridge sportswear at luxury department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's.

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