Nautica Apparel Inc. has signed a licensing agreement with Itochu Prominent USA LLC for the manufacture and distribution of Nautica men’s dress shirts.

Itochu will assume distribution beginning this fall in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Brendan Sullivan, the newly named president of VF Sportswear. Nautica is a subsidiary of VF Sportswear, said “Itochu has a proven record of developing fashionable, quality tailored clothing and we look forward to building a successful category together.”

“The Nautica brand, with its rich long history and valuable heritage, will fill an important traditional niche in our shirt business model. We look forward to this addition to what is an important core competency for Itochu,” said Dan Orwig, group president of the men’s division of Itochu.

The fall collection of dress shirts will center around classic Americana looks with a nautical twist. It features high-count poplins and oxfords, along with other novelty fabrics in navy, marine, indigo, tidal green and burgundy on a backdrop of white, khaki and rope.

The collection will be carried in major department stores and better specialty retailers.

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