E.O. Hand, chairman and chief executive officer of Hartmarx Corporation (NYSE: HMX), today announced a wide-ranging strategic partnership with Ted Baker, the UK-based clothing designer and retailer. "Ted Baker is one of the most dynamic global brands in today's market, having experienced unparalleled success in the UK. We look forward to acting as a strategic partner in building the brand and growing its presence," said Mr Hand.

"By partnering with Hartmarx, we plan to significantly develop our business and brand outside of the UK. This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for two companies with very similar vision and cultures to actively grow Ted Baker both at wholesale and at retail," said Ray Kelvin, chief executive officer and closest man to Ted Baker.

Homi Patel, president and chief operating officer of Hartmarx, explained, "Hartmarx will act as exclusive agent, master licensor and licensee for all categories of Ted Baker men's, women's, children's, home furnishings and bath product classifications marketed in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and all of Central and South America. We will distribute the same product created by Ted Baker UK for its domestic market, augmented with special items designed by the London team that we will source and manufacture for distribution in the Americas. We have had preliminary conversations with several well-known companies who are extremely interested in sub-licensing the brand."

Known for its innovative styling and irreverent attitude, Ted Baker is currently available in many of the finest specialty stores in the US. In addition, Ted Baker UK operates eighteen freestanding stores and twenty-five shops in leading department stores and one store in New York City's SoHo area. Ladieswear is an increasingly important part of the business and presently constitutes 40% of the total business.

Hartmarx produces and markets business, casual and golf apparel under its own brands including Hart Schaffner & Marx, Hickey-Freeman, Palm Beach, Coppley, Cambridge, Keithmoor, Racquet Club, Pusser's of the West Indies, Royal, Brannoch, Riserva, John Alexander, Desert Classic, Sansabelt, Barrie Pace and Hawksley & Wight. In addition, the Company has certain exclusive rights under licensing agreements to market selected products under a number of premier brands such as Austin Reed, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Pringle of Scotland, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Claiborne, Evan-Picone, Pierre Cardin, Perry Ellis, KM by Krizia and Daniel Hechter. The Company's broad range of distribution channels includes fine specialty and leading department stores, value-oriented retailers, e-commerce channels and direct mail catalogs.