Apparel retailer Candie's Inc said profitability of its new licensing and brand management business model pushed up its first-quarter net income.

First-quarter net income totalled $787,000 compared to net income of $33,000 in the same quarter last year.

Licensing and commission revenue for the quarter increased 78 per cent to $4.3 million, up from $2.4m in the comparable quarter for the prior year.

The first-quarter results reflect the company's transition from a footwear and jeans wear operating company to a multi-brand licensing and management business.

Chairman and chief executive officer Neil Cole said: "Our portfolio of intellectual property is becoming more diversified with brands that serve different segments of the retail marketplace and reflect both wholesale and retail licensing models. Our partnership with Kohl's will transform Candie's from a footwear brand to a total lifestyle concept."

Candie's Inc licenses its Candie's, Bongo and Badgley Mischka Itrademarks on a variety of women's apparel, footwear and accessories. Through its wholly owned subsidiary Brightstar Footwear Inc, the company also arranges for the manufacture of footwear products for mass market and discount retailers under the private label brand of the retailer.