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Hanes To Make And Sell E.G. Smith Line In U.S.

NEW YORK -- Hanes Hosiery will handle the production, marketing and distribution of the E.G. Smith collection for the U.S.<BR><BR>Eric Smith, president and designer of World Love Productions, parent company of E.G. Smith, will develop the creative...

NEW YORK — Hanes Hosiery will handle the production, marketing and distribution of the E.G. Smith collection for the U.S.

Eric Smith, president and designer of World Love Productions, parent company of E.G. Smith, will develop the creative end.

The collection, which is for men and women, will continue to include socks and tights, with plans to add sheers, leggings, bodywear and hats.

Both Smith and Debbie Hobbs, vice president of merchandising for Hanes, declined to comment on the financial terms of the agreement between the two firms. Smith will maintain his own studio and creative control over the line.

The first collaborative collection is scheduled for fall 1994, said Smith. He is designing and shipping a transitional collection for spring 1994 to maintain the line’s continuity.

“Hanes offers tremendous resources in terms of manufacturing, marketing and distribution that I could never afford,” said Smith. “The partnership allows me to really focus on the creative side of the business.”

The 10-year-old Smith collection is known for its boot sock — a heavy slouch style in cotton — and its whimsical patterns on socks and tights. Wholesale volume is about $5 million, including overseas business, which is done through a licensee in Japan and a distributor in Europe, Smith said. In further developing foreign business, Smith said opportunities will be explored on a “case-by-case basis.” Foreign business could eventually be handled by Hanes.

Until last spring, the collection was produced and distributed in the U.S. under a license to Keepers International. When that deal ended, Smith used contractors for production.