Children's wear designer Happy Kids Inc, which licenses clothes under brands including Izod and Calvin Klein, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The New York-based firm has assets of $54.7 million and liabilities totalling $82.1 million, according to its filing in the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

Happy Kids, which employs around 175 people, owes CIT Group $33 million and Deutsche Bank about $24 million.

The company asked the bankruptcy court to approve its plan to obtain $53 million of debtor-in-possession financing from CIT to help fund its operations.

Happy Kids was acquired for $125 million in 1999 by a private investment firm owned by Jack Benum, Mark Benum and Isaac Levy.