Footwear and accessory specialist Steven Madden has signed a licensing agreement with Gina Group to develop new hosiery lines under the Steve Madden and Steven brands.

The collection, set for launch in the company's stores in February 2008, will include footed and footless legwear, Steven Madden said, including leggings, hose and novelty items.

Department stores and speciality retailers will stock the range from next July.

"Licensing continues to be a key growth opportunity for Steve Madden as it allows us to diversify our product offering and tap into new markets," said Rob Schmertz, Steven Madden brand director.

"This line of hosiery will complement our existing lines of licensed accessories and will further extend the reach of our brand to satisfy the different fashion needs of our consumers."

In October, Steven Madden announced that unnamed third parties had expressed interest in buying the company. A committee was formed to explore the merits of any bids for the business.