MILAN — Kenneth Cole Productions has found a new partner for its fashion eyewear.

The firm has inked a four-year licensing pact, beginning in spring 2004, with Italian group Marcolin for the production and distribution of Kenneth Cole fashion sunglasses in the U.S. Previously, eyewear firm B. Robinson Optical Inc. produced this line, but that arrangement has been discontinued, a company spokeswoman said.

The new agreement, covering the Kenneth Cole New York, Reaction Kenneth Cole and Unlisted brands, is expected to generate sales of about $45 million over its four-year duration, according to estimates from a Marcolin spokeswoman.

“We look forward to working with a world-renowned brand such as Kenneth Cole and taking their currently successful business to the next level,” said Maurizio Marcolin, who oversees the style and licensing operations of his family’s company. Marcolin posted revenue of $189.55 million (166.8 million euros) in 2002.

The Marcolin-made eyewear will be distributed in department and specialty stores, as well as Kenneth Cole New York boutiques across the U.S., excluding optical channels. Kenneth Cole also has an optical licensing agreement with Clearvision Optican, which manufactures optical frames for Kenneth Cole and Reaction that are distributed solely to optical stores.

“The licensing venture will enable Kenneth Cole Productions and Marcolin to work together in developing and designing sunglass collections that uphold Marcolin’s high-quality standards while portraying the proper brand images for Kenneth Cole New York, Reaction Kenneth Cole and Unlisted,” Marcolin said in a statement.

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