Footwear specialist Stride Rite is poised to sell a range of Jessica Simpson branded footwear after signing a global licensing deal with the Camuto Group.

The company's Stride Rite Children's Group will design, develop, manufacture and distribute the footwear, which will be launched in the 2008 holiday period, aimed at the tween market.

Consisting of current Jessica Simpson women's styles in youth sizes and youth-specific lines, the range will be distributed through major department stores, speciality retailers and Stride Rite stores in the US.

"We look forward to taking the brand into the girls' market as part of a key strategy to expand beyond our core target and are thrilled to add the Jessica Simpson brand to our expanding portfolio," said Pam Salkovitz, president of Stride Rite Children's Group.

Vince Camuto, CEO of the Camuto Group, said the company was "extremely excited" to bring the brand into the tween footwear arena.

"Stride Rite is the ideal partner for this venture as they have the broadest depth of knowledge and expertise in this market," he added.