Branded apparel company Hartmarx Corporation has appointed Jerry Kaye as head designer of the company's licensed Dr Martens and Lyle and Scott Vintage labels.

Kaye, who has more than 20 years' professional design experience, launched his own design and brand consulting firm in 2005.

Prior to that, he worked as men's design director and then creative director of Perry Ellis.

"We are pleased to have as accomplished a designer as Jerry Kaye in place as we launch the Dr Martens and Lyle and Scott Vintage apparel brands," said Eric Prengel, group president of HMX Sportswear, the Hartmarx division responsible for marketing the brands.

"Jerry's vast experience in taking heritage brands and making them modern and relevant in today's marketplace will be invaluable to HMX Sportswear as we continue to build a targeted portfolio of global lifestyle apparel brands," he added. 

The move comes after Hartmarx reached an agreement with Dr Martens licence holders Airwair International and R Griggs Group in April to develop a range of men's and women's casual clothing under the Dr Martens brand.

The range will be launched with men's wear in autumn 2009, with a women's wear collection to follow in 2010. Hartmarx has held the Lyle and Scott licence in the US since 2003.

It aims to develop an "exclusive, higher-tier" collection targeted at better department stores and specialist retailers.

"I am anxious to bring my broad experience in apparel design and branding strategy from the realm of fashion-forward lifestyle collections to the development and reinterpretation of major global brands that already possess such unique cultural heritage," said Kaye.