PARIS — In a move to ramp up development of the John Galliano women’s wear business, the Paris house has signed a worldwide production and distribution agreement with Italy’s Gibò Co. SpA, effective with the spring 2010 collection to be presented here Oct. 7.

This story first appeared in the September 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The five-year pact with Gibò was inked Monday; however, the two companies had been collaborating earlier to ready the clothes for Paris Fashion Week, Galliano president Pierre Denis told WWD on Wednesday.

Gibò has been in charge of Galliano’s signature men’s wear for about four years, which should create synergies that will speed, for example, additional signature boutiques, Denis said. A 1,300-square-foot freestanding John Galliano boutique is slated to open in November in Bal Harbour, Fla., under franchise with an American partner.

Previously, Galliano’s top women’s collection was produced and distributed by ITC, a subsidiary of Italy’s Ittierre SpA, which holds the license for its second line, called Galliano.

“This agreement is my personal bet because I really believe in this project,” said Franco Pene, chief executive officer of Gibò. “[John] Galliano is an extremely talented designer, but has a great, yet unexploited, business potential. I think this union will work because, beside interpreting designers’ creative ideas, the retailers know our company is reliable when it comes to quality, production and deliveries.” The top collection is currently wholesaled to about 100 doors, and Denis is aiming to ramp it up to about 150 “in about two years’ time.”

Galliano also is reentering the eyewear business, having last year signed a deal with Italy’s Marcolin SpA, which also holds licenses for brands including Tom Ford and Roberto Cavalli. Denis said some of the first Galliano sunglasses would be presented at the show, typically a theatrical highlight of the week.

Galliano has inked a series of licenses in recent years, including an agreement to produce swimwear with Italian manufacturer Albisetti, children’s wear with Diesel and a license for watches with Italy’s Morellato.

A subsidiary of Japan’s Onward Kashiyama Co. Ltd., which last year acquired Jil Sander, Gibò manufacturers and distributes a variety of clothing and accessories collections for designers including Paul Smith, Michael Kors, Roberto Cavalli, Rochas and Antonio Marras.

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