Perry Ellis International, Inc (Nasdaq: PERY) and Alpha Shirt Company today announced an agreement naming Alpha as the distributor for Perry Ellis menswear in the corporate market. Alpha will begin distributing Perry Ellis apparel in 2001.

The agreement gives Alpha distribution rights of Perry Ellis menswear to the advertising specialty and promotional products industries.

"What we have seen over the past 18 months is a more sophisticated attitude towards corporate casual," says Kelly Conway, vice president of marketing for Alpha Shirt Company. "With the growing ASI market, distributors have been forced to go out and find brands to fill certain corporate identity requirements. We feel Perry Ellis does that in the best way imaginable."

While branded apparel is not a new trend in the industry, the agreement marks the first time that one of retail's "big six" designer menswear brands enters the corporate arena. "At this point, the topmost segment of the corporate market is populated almost exclusively by golf brands," said Allan Zwerner, president of licensing of PEI. "We believed that the timing was perfect to make a splash in the ASI market with a brand that has tremendous recognition and prestige due to its strong position in better department stores."

Once the decision was made to enter the wearables industry, Perry Ellis knew finding the right partner would be vital to its success. "There were several factors that made us consider Alpha," said Zwerner. "Alpha's history and experience with exclusive retail brands played a major role in our decision. In the end, the choice to work with Alpha was a simple one."

The agreement calls for Alpha to carry several styles of Perry Ellis apparel, including woven sport shirts, fine gauge knits and button-down oxford shirts.

About Perry Ellis International
Perry Ellis International markets men's, women's and children's products in over 40 different categories under the Perry Ellis, Perry Ellis Portfolio and Perry Ellis America trademarks. Perry Ellis products are available in the United States and in more than 26 countries with worldwide retail sales of over $1bn. Supreme International, a division of PEI manufactures, markets and distributes other trademarks both domestically and internationally. Additional information on PEI is available at

About Alpha Shirt Company
Founded nearly 70 years ago, Alpha Shirt Company is the leading full-service distributor of imprintable apparel in the United States. Alpha delivers blank, branded apparel to the Advertising Specialty Industry (ASI), promotional product, embroidery and screen-printing segments. Alpha has also established a branded strategy that has allowed the company to establish exclusive relationships with several prominent retail brands, including Perry Ellis, Columbia, The North Face, Antigua and Champion. For more information, visit