Sneaker producer Keds has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with global sourcing company Li & Fung to develop a new branded apparel collection.

The line for men and women, which will be developed jointly by the US footwear company and LF USA, Li & Fung's local subsidiary, will initially target boutiques and department stores.

The collections are expected to focus on casual wear designs, with an initial limited edition collection slated for spring 2012, to be followed by more complete collections.

Rick Darling, president of LF USA, said: "We see tremendous opportunities to build on the strong heritage and spirit of the Keds brand to bring consumers a new, differentiated apparel collection."

Keds, which is owned by Collective Brands, said the deal was "another milestone" in the company's new business model.