VF SHEDS EARL: Manufacturing giant VF Corp. said it has signed a letter of intent to sell its Earl Jean brand to a privately held New York-based apparel company, which it did not identify. VF said in a statement that the sale was expected to be complete within 30 days. VF acquired Earl Jean in 2003 as part of its purchase of Nautica Enterprises. The brand generated about $13 million in sales, including income from four Earl Jean branded stores. "We have faced challenges with the Earl Jean brand for some time, and think it makes more sense to concentrate our investments and resources on growing our stronger and more profitable jeans brands," Angelo LaGrega, president of VF's jeanswear coalition, said in a statement.

NEW ADVISER: President George W. Bush has appointed Howard H. Li to serve as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. The organization aids in providing equal economic opportunities for full participation of Asian-American and Pacific Islander businesses in the U.S. where they may be underserved. Li is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Waitex International Co. Ltd., Prime Time International Inc. and Fortune USA Inc., an apparel firm based in New York since 1981. Waitex has eight facilities on the East and West Coasts, totaling 3 million square feet of warehouse space and providing complete supply chain solutions. Prime Time International Inc. and Fortune USA Inc. manufacture, import and wholesale women's and men's apparel to major department and specialty stores across the U.S. under its own 10 national brands, such as Focus 2000 and Focus Lifestyle, as well as under licenses such as Russell Athletic. Li also is director of the United Way of New York City and is chairman of the U.S.-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

PARIS BLUES PRESIDENT: Paris Blues LLC, a maker of junior denim and sportswear based in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., said Brian Kail succeeded company owner and founder Jose Quant as president. Kail joined Paris Blues in September 2003 as senior vice president of sales. He previously was senior vice president of sales for Lucky Brand Jeans and president of Bongo. Quant remains chairman and chief executive officer.

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