WARNACO SIGNINGS: Warnaco Group Inc. has signed a licensing agreement with Nautica Enterprises Inc. to produce Nautica swimwear, and has also signed a lease for new headquarters at 501 Seventh Avenue. Nautica had a deal with Apparel Ventures Inc., which picked up the license for Ralph Lauren swimwear. The former licensee for Ralph Lauren swimwear was Warnaco’s Authentic Fitness division.
Meanwhile, Warnaco will consolidate its operations into the new space this summer, said Scott Pudalov of ESG/Insignia, exclusive leasing agent for the building on behalf of a partnership of Leona M. Helmsley and Peter L. Malkin. Warnaco, which emerged from bankruptcy in February, is currently at 90 Park Avenue, though it also operates from a few other offices in Manhattan. The company was represented by James Saunders and Noel Flagg of Newmark & Co. Real Estate. Warnaco signed a 13-year agreement for 160,000 square feet at 501 Seventh, a 460,000-square-foot property at 37th Street that’s being modernized with a new lobby, roof and elevator cabs, refurbished corridors and bathrooms, and various amenities. Saunders said that although the office market has “a fair amount of competitive space available, blocks of more than 100,000 square feet within this vicinity are limited.”
JCP’S BIGGER BOARD: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has elected Burl Osborne to its board of directors, increasing the number of directors to 11. Osborne is currently chairman of The Associated Press and retired in 2001 as president of Belo Corp.’s publishing division. After joining Belo in 1995, The Dallas Morning News more than doubled its circulation and won six Pulitzer prizes. “Burl Osborne’s successful business expertise in leading strategic growth, recruiting and developing talent, and directing quality improvements are consistent with all major objectives of our company,” said Penney’s chief executive officer Allen Questrom in a statement. Osborne joined Belo in 1980 after a 20-year career with the AP.
SKECHERS DEAL: Skechers USA Inc. has signed a license with the New York-based Garson International to design, distribute and market Skechers Collection men’s jackets and coats. The outerwear will be previewed through Garson’s New York showroom beginning in the second quarter, with first shipments expected at retail for holiday selling. This license agreement with Garson is the second for the Manhattan Beach-based footwear brand. The first was signed this year with Kids Headquarters to produce Skechers-branded children’s apparel.