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NEW YORK — LF Asia, a subsidiary of Li & Fung Ltd., has become the master licensee for the U.S. Polo Assn. brand in China.

This story first appeared in the April 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Under the agreement, LF Asia will source U.S. Polo Assn.-branded apparel and accessories for the Chinese market, and will also partner with select retailers to bring the product to Chinese consumers.

David Cummings, president and chief executive officer of USPA Properties, which owns the U.S. Polo Assn. brand, said, “Li & Fung’s unrivaled design and development expertise will build on and accelerate the impressive results we have achieved in Asia over the last few years. As we continue to rapidly expand our international operations, we believe LF Asia’s leadership in this critical market will make a significant difference.”

For more than a decade, U.S. Polo Assn. merchandise has been available in China. The company’s agreement with Bestill International Co. terminated in December.

“U.S. Polo Assn. is an internationally recognized brand with a unique heritage dating to 1890, as well as a strong consumer appeal,” said Jason Rabin, president of LF Asia. “We believe this is a tremendous opportunity to bring the authentic style of polo to the Chinese market through our partnership with the USPA Properties team.”

Jim Scully, vice president of licensing for U.S. Polo Assn., told WWD that the deal will span all product categories in apparel and related accessories, such as footwear, handbags and small leather goods.

USPA Properties has licensees throughout North, Central and South America, as well as Asia, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The merchandise is available in more than 130 countries.

He said the U.S. Polo Assn. collection, designed in New York, is primarily classic American sportswear, geared to women, men and children.

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