NEW YORK — It started out as a whimsical print on T-shirts and then moved on to handbags, sleepwear, home accessories and activewear. Now, The Girls, the budding label started by Larchmont, N.Y.-based Melissa Gitelman, is putting its print on socks.

In April, The Girls was licensed to Los Angeles-based legwear firm K. Bell for socks. While the line has been previewed in recent weeks, K. Bell is officially launching it during the spring market that starts today. Plans are to ship first deliveries to department and better specialty stores by the end of September.

“Some people always wear shoes without socks, but I have always been a sock wearer,” said Gitelman, who started her business in 1999 when she created The T Co., selling T-shirts that featured a whimsical print of a girl with a specific characteristic.

Now there are 60 girl motifs, from Reading Girl to Cooking, Shopping, Yoga and Golf Girl.

The company began licensing The Girls through the Minneapolis-based licensing agency MHS Licensing last year.

“It’s a great product for socks,” said Tami Lambert-Fast, account manager at MHS Licensing. “No matter how demure or wild you are, you can still wear socks, since the motif is almost hidden. And if you want to show off your personality or one of your favorite pastimes, you can wear the knee-highs with a little skirt.”

The sock collection features 20 cotton, nylon and spandex styles with such motifs as Yoga Girl, Shopping Girl and Equestrian Girl.

“The type of girl we are using dictated the type of the sock,” said Jann Middo, K. Bell’s vice president of product development. “For instance, the Equestrian Girl is on a knee-high sock for equestrian boots.”

The line’s wholesale prices will range for $3.75 to $5.50 a pair. According to Middo, first-year wholesale projections are between $1.5 million and $2 million.

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