STEFANEL DEAL WILL PUT CK STORES IN EUROPE

Byline: Janet Ozzard

NEW YORK — In yet another move to build its name to a global brand, Calvin Klein Inc. has reached an agreement in principle with Stefanel SpA, the Italian manufacturing firm, to manufacture and distribute the CK women’s and men’s bridge apparel lines. In addition, a network of CK stores throughout Europe is planned.
This confirms a report in WWD Tuesday that a deal with Stefanel was in the works.
The agreement, which is expected to be completed in early 1996, covers production and distribution of the CK women’s and men’s apparel lines in Europe, the Mideast and Eastern Europe. The apparel is scheduled to launch for spring/summer 1996.
In addition, the agreement provides a license for a network of CK stores throughout Europe, beginning in 1997. Store size would range from 4,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
The deal calls for a separate joint venture to be established for the CK brand. Stefanel will also acquire a production facility solely for CK products.
Denise Seegal, president of the CK division here, will continue to manage the CK business in North America, as well as oversee the global business of CK.
“Undertaking this venture with Stefanel is a critical step in the strengthening of CK as a global master brand,” said Gabriella Forte, president and chief operating officer of Calvin Klein, in a statement. “Stefanel has precisely the kind of retail expertise in Europe that will build CK in key markets. And they have an excellent understanding of what it takes to do a volume business at retail.”
Tito Berna, managing director of subsidiaries for Stefanel Group, said: “This agreement with Calvin Klein is a great opportunity for our company to strengthen our position in the upper bridge market with one of the strongest brands — CK. Because we will be strongly focused on CK in this market, we believe we will be able to develop a highly competitive presence throughout Europe and the Middle East.”
Stefanel SpA is a publicly traded manufacturing and retail company in Italy with consolidated revenues close to $375 million (600 million lire). It manufactures knitwear, sportswear, jeanswear and ready-to-wear under its own label as well as for Romeo Gigli’s G Gigli line and the MFG Jeans and Spqrcity lines for MarithA & Francois Girbaud. It also does manufacturing for the Peter Handley, Museum and New England sportswear brands.
Stefanel also has its own retail stores here and in Europe.
Calvin Klein has an estimated wholesale volume of $210 million for its Collection and CK business, while fragrance and underwear are $600 million. Licensing royalties are estimated at $50 million for the firm.
Calvin Klein has taken several steps in the last year to build its business domestically and internationally.
Most recently, it built a 10,000-square-foot showroom for the CK bridge line in London and signed production and distribution agreements for its CK jeanswear line with the Italian jeanswear firm Rifle.

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