NEW YORK — With the help of Kids Headquarters, Skechers USA will launch its first apparel line just in time for back-to-school retailing.

This deal confirms a statement in WWD last week stating that Skechers approached Kids Headquarters to produce a line of children’s wear under the Skechers brand instead of the Britney Spears name. Spears is suing Skechers for several claims, one being breach of contract.

"Skechers was supposed to approach Kids Headquarters with the possibility of producing a line of children’s apparel under Britney’s name," Jonathan Solish, the lawyer for Britney Brands Inc. handling the $1.5 million lawsuit, said last Tuesday. "Now, we found that Skechers has approached them to produce a line of apparel under its own label."

Skechers officials said Monday they had no comment on the suit, and the company’s attorneys were not available.

Skechers’ line of boys’ and girls’ apparel will include activewear, outerwear and sportswear to be distributed in the U.S. Under this agreement, Kids Headquarters will design and distribute children’s tops and bottoms in denim, woven and knit fabrics, as well as coordinating outerwear and headwear using select Skechers logos. Available in boys’ sizes 4 to 20 and girls’ sizes 4 to 16, the apparel will launch to the industry at the WWDMAGIC show in February. The deal calls for Kids Headquarters to aggressively promote, advertise and market Skechers apparel for children. Skechers will also promote the apparel in connection with its advertising for Skechers Kids footwear.

According to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, net sales for the nine months ended Sept. 30 increased $16.5 million or 2.2% to $762.7 million from $746.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2001. Domestic wholesale net sales decreased slightly during the nine months due to reduced sales within the men's and women's product lines offset by increases in the kids' lines and to a lesser extent sales from the 4Wheelers line launched in the third quarter of 2001.

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