Footwear company Skechers USA Inc is set to enter the swimwear market with a new range of one- and two-piece costumes aimed at women and juniors.

The Skechers Beach range, to be designed, distributed and marketed under license by Christina America Inc, will hit department stores in the US, UK and Canada in time for summer 2004.

According to Skechers president Michael Greenberg, the swimwear line will be a "natural extension" of the company's existing range.

Christina America spokesperson Dan Elituy agreed, saying the range would capitalise on the California-based brand's "high profile image".

"The brand has successfully personified an active, fashion-forward lifestyle that will translate easily into the world of swimwear," he said.

As an extension of the new product line, Skechers will also launch a range of sandals, designed to coordinate with its swimwear, under the Skechers Beach name.

Christina America is a leading North American swimwear manufacturer, having produced garments under license to Gottex and XOXO, among others.