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Ben Sherman signs US footwear agreement with GMI

Young fashion brand and retailer Ben Sherman signed a footwear licensing deal for the US with premium footwear manufacturer GMI USA.

The company will design, manufacture, market and distribute products under the Ben Sherman brand in North America from autumn 11.

GMI will produce 25 styles for its first season with prices ranging from $65 (£41) to $110 (£69) for casual styles and up to $150 (£94) for dressier shoes. It will also create a higher end, Italian-made range called The Plectrum Collection, which will include fashion-led trainers, moccasins, and Chelsea and desert boots. It will retail at $240 (£151) to $420 (£263).

Pan Philippou, Ben Sherman chief executive, said: “We are confident that GMI understands the Ben Sherman brand and will deliver a fashion-forward, quality product.

Meanwhile, Ben Sherman-owner Oxford Industries has sold its apparel division to Li & Fung USA, a subsidiary of the global supply group Li & Fung.

The company has signed an agreement to acquire Oxford Apparel Group, which includes Western wear brands Ely Cattleman and Cumberland Outfitters, and a two-thirds interest in the trademark of casualwear brand Hathaway. It also make product under license for Dockers and United States Polo Association and private label products for Macy’s, Target, Sears and Costco.

The deal should be completed by the end of the year and will allow Oxford Industries to focus on its branded business, which includes US lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama as well as Ben Sherman, and its tailored clothing division, Lanier Clothes.

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