Delta Galil Industries Ltd. has signed a global licensing agreement with Columbia Sportswear Co. to produce a collection of socks for men and women bearing the Columbia name.

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In the exclusive deal, Delta Galil will develop, manufacture and distribute a line of outdoor lifestyle socks and high-tech styles designed for a variety of activities, including hiking, trail running, skiing, snowboarding and hunting.

Distribution will be aimed at Columbia stores as well as department and sporting goods stores, and specialty retailers worldwide.

Isaac Dabah, chief executive officer of Israel-based Delta Galil, said the Columbia name will be a “great addition to our licensed portfolio.”

“We look forward to applying our strength in design, product and material innovation and global distribution to grow the Columbia brand and our own business,” said Dabah.

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The collection will be unveiled at the Columbia booth during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City, which runs Jan. 23 to 26.

Ohad Cohn, president of Delta Galil’s sock division, described the outdoor sock market as having “tremendous potential.”

“This is a very hot market right now in which you don’t have true global brands like Columbia.…The market is dominated by very few players, all of whom are purely niche brands, and we believe that the marketplace could use a great socks collection from a leading outdoor brand such as Columbia,” said Cohn. “It will be a truly incremental business with no cannibalization to our current business.”

Delta Galil’s portfolio includes several other sock licenses: lifestyle socks by Converse, sports socks by Wilson and fashion socks by Kenneth Cole New York.

Cohn said a men’s collection will kick off the launch at retail in August for fall. A women’s line will follow for spring 2014.

Suggested retail will be $22 to $25 for high-tech styles of merino wool and Dri-release wool blends that feature performance attributes such as wicking, heel enforcement with Kevlar and targeted cushioning temperature management. A lifestyle group aimed at department stores in wool and cotton blends will retail for three pairs for $18, and two pairs for $20. The collections will be produced in the U.S., Israel, South Korea, China and Pakistan. Delta Galil sales teams in the U.S., Canada and Europe will represent the line worldwide.

The men’s line will be rendered in basic black, white and gray as well as green and burgundy, while the women’s line will feature “more fashion colors,” said Nancy Dickey, merchandising director at Delta Galil.

A wholesale sales projection was not available, but the combined men’s and women’s lines could generate more than $15 million the first full year, according to industry estimates.

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