By  on September 2, 2010

Phillips-Van Heusen and John Varvatos, a division of VF Corp., are close to signing a long-term license for dress shirts and neckwear for the designer’s signature and Star USA contemporary labels. The parties already partnered on the offerings for spring, which men’s buyers have already seen.

“We haven’t finalized the contract, but we’ve been working under a handshake agreement,” said John Varvatos. The designer is chief executive officer of a partnership with VF called John Varvatos Enterprises.

“The response has been great in the marketplace. It is truly a core competency of PVH. They understand how to run those basic businesses and the stock positions with the stores — they’re the kings of it. And even though we have the design competency, we may not have the same level of manufacturing competency. We developed and sourced it ourselves for 10 years. Now we have a lot of other things to focus on with the brand,” he said.

Varvatos expects the current distribution to remain in place, while he also foresees a fivefold or sixfold increase in volume.

“Both parties realized it could be a significantly bigger business if we put our two heads together. We’ve run a nice dress furnishings business for 10 years, both at wholesale and our retail stores, and now we’re going to get real serious about it.”

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