Japan's $100 billion trading and investment group, Sumitomo Corp, on Friday signed an agreement with US-based Tehama Sportswear to market the brand throughout Asia.

The companies said in a joint press release the alliance will launch the brand's first line of tailored clothing in 600 doors in Japan from the start of next month.

They are also working on a complete men's and women's sportswear collection for Spring '04, with expansion to South Korea and Southeast Asia by 2005.

Tehama is a fast-growing sportswear company while Sumitomo is one of the leading marketers of fashion goods in Asia with brands such as Coach and Eddie Bauer.

"Tehama has experienced outstanding growth in the United States, Canada and Europe," said CEO Nancy Haley. "Expansion into Asia was the next step to gaining international recognition for our lifestyle sportswear brand."

She added the firm, which was founded by Haley and Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood, enjoyed a 21 per cent jump in sales in fiscal 2003 and expects sales to grow another 25 per cent in fiscal 2004 and reach $50 million by fiscal 2007.