Upmarket apparel brand Calvin Klein, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips-Van Heusen, has entered an exclusive distribution agreement and retail store license for the Indian market.

The US-based business has signed a deal with Murjani India that includes both the ck Calvin Klein bridge line of women's and men's apparel and accessories and the Calvin Klein Jeans and jeans accessories line.

Murjani will sell the products through free-standing retail stores and select department stores.

Separately, The Warnaco Group has entered into an exclusive distribution and retail agreement with Murjani for Calvin Klein Underwear and, pursuant to its global licenses, will be the exclusive supplier of Calvin Klein Jeans and jeans accessories.

These new arrangements include the planned opening of a total of at least 40 free-standing ck Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, and Calvin Klein Underwear stores over the first five years of operation, with development beginning as early as spring 2007.

Murjani has an established retail distribution platform for luxury brands and currently has relationships with Gucci, Jimmy Choo, and French Connection, among others.

"We have been evaluating the potential of the Indian market for an extended period of time. We feel strongly that over the next decade this region will become a very important part of our global business," said Tom Murry, president and COO, Calvin Klein.

"Throughout our review of the region and potential partners, we have been very impressed with Murjani's past experiences and future plans, and feel that they will do a great job managing the strategic distribution of Calvin Klein in India."

Murjani Group managing director Vijay Murjani added: "This is yet another big step towards our objective of providing a world-class brand experience to the Indian consumer."