Perry Ellis International Inc and MP Enterprises Srl have agreed a licensing deal to produce and distribute the men's and women's collections in Italy under the Perry Ellis America Sport and Perry Ellis America Jeanswear brands.

"After the success of the European launch of Perry Ellis America shoes, the next logical step is to launch the apparel," said Allan Zwerner, president of licensing of PEI. "We have complete confidence that MP Enterprises is the right licensee for this venture because of the experience, market knowledge, and enthusiasm of its partners."

Andrea Lato, president and chief executive officer of MP Enterprises, added: "Given the wonderful image and high level of brand awareness developed over the past two years by Perry Ellis America shoes in Italy, we strongly believe in the expansion of the brand into the apparel market.''

The Perry Ellis America Sport brand will be targeted at the 25-35-year-old age group and distributed exclusively through select fashion apparel specialty stores, while the Perry Ellis America Jeanswear brand will be aimed at 16-25 year-olds and its distribution will mirror the existing Perry Ellis America Footwear distribution.

Perry Ellis America Sport will ship to the stores for Spring/Summer 2002, while the Perry Ellis America Jeanswear brand will be presented for the first time at the Fall/Winter Pitti Uomo next January.