G-III Apparel Group Signs Camuto Group Deal

New York–G-III Apparel Group has signed a joint venture deal with The Camuto Group that will open and operate footwear and accessories retail stores under the Vince Camuto brand.

Initially focused on the outlet retail market, the companies said today they believe that there is a “significant opportunity” for the joint venture to leverage both G-III’s retail infrastructure and The Camuto Group’s brand portfolio, which Jessica Simpson, BCBG Max Azria, BCBGeneration, Kensiegirl and Lucky Brand, among others.

The Camuto Group will provide product for the new concept and will merchandise the stores. G-III will provide the infrastructure and expertise to create a retail chain, including real-estate, distribution, information systems, finance and administration. Both companies will share equally in the capital costs of the joint venture.

Vince Camuto, owner and chief executive officer of The Camuto Group, said: “We are very excited about this new strategic initiative, which will take our growing family of brands directly to the consumer through a visual and dynamic compelling concept. We also believe that, with the combined expertise and resources that this partnership brings to bear, these stores will prove capable of strong financial performance. We are confident that these stores will address a void in the outlet marketplace for fashionable but affordable women’s contemporary footwear and accessories.”

An Icon in Fashion Footwear

Morris Goldfarb, chairman and ceo of G-III Apparel Group, added: “Vince is an icon in the fashion footwear industry and we are very pleased to extend our strategic relationship with The Camuto Group. We believe that the concept will prove to be an excellent platform for the Camuto Group’s strong assortment of brands and will resonate well with a wide range of women. For G-III, this initiative will enable us to better leverage our retail infrastructure and serve as another vehicle for growth within our increasingly diversified mix of businesses.”

The companies both noted that they were targeting the opening of the first Vince Camuto store during the first half of 2011. Launched in 2005, the Vince Camuto brand has been one slated for further development, Camuto, a co-founder of Nine West,  revealed earlier this year that the brand would be expanded. Most recently,for example, Colors and Optics launched its licensed the first-ever Vince Camuto line of sunwear in August market.

Last month, G-III, an apparel manufacturer, which licenses clothes and accessories under the Calvin Klein, Sean John, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc, Cole Haan, Jessica Simpson, Guess? brands among others, said in an earnings report the company will continue to look for possible acquisition opportunities, particularly in accessories.

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