Perry Ellis International Inc on Wednesday agreed a licensing deal with Paradise Shoe Co for a new line of casual footwear, belts and hosiery for men and women under the Cubavera and Havanera brand names.

The Florida-based company said the agreement is for distribution in the US, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. The initial launch for both brands will be late January.

Perry Ellis president and CEO, Oscar Feldenkreis, said "Cubavera and Havanera are growing, exciting brands for Perry Ellis Inc, and we expect a favourable consumer reaction to this product line extension.

Paradise will design, market, and distribute a full selection of sneakers, sandals and casual shoes beginning with the fall season of 2003.

"This deal will allow us to continue to capitalise on the considerable strength of the Cubavera brand, and will reinforce our proprietary presence in the Latin market."

Chicago-based Paradise also designs and distributes Sensai sandals and Tommy Bahama footwear, belts and hosiery for men and women in the US, Canada and the Caribbean.