Ike Behar is expanding its relationship with Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.

This story first appeared in the June 30, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

After 10 years during which the Insignia Division of PVH’s Dress Furnishings group produced neckwear under the Ike Behar name, the company will transfer production and marketing of its ready-to-wear dress shirts to PVH under a 10-year licensing agreement. The deal is effective Jan. 1.

“It made a lot of sense to link our dress furnishings business to a specialist such as PVH,” said John Fowler, executive director of brand development for Ike Behar. “It’s been a good partnership, and PVH, with its acquisitions of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, has created a global network that will really help us expand our business both in the U.S. and internationally.”

By allowing PVH to produce its rtw shirts, Ike Behar can concentrate on expanding its custom and made-to-measure shirt programs as well as its burgeoning sportswear line. It will also maintain operation of its Hathaway brand in Canada and will continue to manufacture and distribute Joseph Abboud dress shirts, which it licenses from JA Apparel Corp.

Alan Behar, president of the 50-year-old, family-owned company, said: “PVH has done an outstanding job with our neckwear, perfectly aligning the design and quality with our top-tier distribution. Based on this model, we will be working with PVH to create a dress shirt component to their business which maintains the quality standards for which our family’s company is known. This strategy now allows us to concentrate on design, marketing and brand development.”

Marc Schneider, president of dress furnishings for PVH, added: “We continually look to bring the strongest brands to market and Ike Behar is certainly a key leader in the better market. We have expanded the reach of our Insignia Division to include dress shirts, as well as neckwear, and the Ike Behar offerings will fall into that group along with offerings under some of our other current brands and future partners.

Ike Behar rtw shirts retail from $135 to $225, and custom shirts average $175 to $500, Fowler said, adding that PVH will produce the shirts in the same factories in North America, South America and Italy, which should result in “a seamless transition.”

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