LOS ANGELES — Skechers USA Inc. continues to step out.

This story first appeared in the November 18, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based footwear company has signed a swimwear licensing agreement with Christina America Inc., licensee for XOXO swimwear.

Under the deal, Christina America will design, distribute and market the Skechers Beach swimsuit line for women’s and juniors’. The single collection will feature mostly separates crafted in a young, sporty vibe, for those “youthful in mind and body,” according to Christina America president Joey Schwebel.

Available in women’s sizes 2 to 16 and juniors’ 0 to 13, the cruise 2005 line will ship next September to department stores and specialty swimwear chains, with first-year sales expected to surpass $6 million.

Also bowing is the Skechers Beach sandals line, available for late spring 2004 in leather, canvas, jelly and terry cloth styles.

The additions are the latest in a string of licensing deals for Skechers. Also in the works is a junior sportswear line, Somethin’ Else from Skechers, and branded apparel for its Michelle K unit.

With sales of mass market-branded footwear slumping, Skechers’ new directions are timely, especially since the company posted a third-quarter loss of $5.9 million, or 15 cents a share, for the period ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $14.1 million, or 35 cents a share a year earlier. Sales fell 15 percent to $221.8, down from $261.1 million.

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