By  on September 12, 2007

PARIS — John Galliano has inked a licensing agreement with Morellato SpA, one of Italy's biggest watch and jewelry firms, with plans to unveil its first collection at the Basel trade fair in April.

The deal, between Les Jardins d'Avron SA, the maker and distributor of Galliano's ready-to-wear, and Morellato, which produces watches for Roberto Cavalli, Moschino and others, takes effect on Jan. 1. It calls for new collections to be introduced annually, with Galliano overseeing all creative and design aspects.

Prices have yet to be finalized, but a Galliano spokeswoman said average retail prices would be around 1,500 euros, or $2,040 at current exchange, with jeweled styles running higher.

Based in the northern Padua region, Morellato distributes watches in more than 45 countries and is targeting 2007 revenues of 270 million euros, or $367.2 million.

In a statement, Massimo Carraro, Morellato's chief executive officer, said the Galliano brand represents "contemporary luxury" and promised original, Swiss-made watches that would be "distinctly different from the mass product that has flooded the fashion market."

Although he founded his house some 23 years ago, Galliano has recently stepped up his pace of brand extensions, including a second line licensed to Italy's IT Holding SpA. In March, he also signed a worldwide fragrance licensing agreement with Selective Beauty, with the first scent expected to come to market in fall 2008.

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