As part of ongoing efforts to upgrade the quality and fashion focus of its apparel lines, Wal-Mart has teamed up with award-winning sportswear designer Mark Eisen for a capsule collection under its George brand.

The high-end George ME (em-ee) by Mark Eisen collection will make its debut in mid August for Fall 2006 and will include tops, bottoms, jackets, and knits, available in misses and plus sizes.

Launched 16 years ago in the United Kingdom, George branded apparel has enjoyed strong growth in the UK at Wal-Mart's Asda subsidiary. 

The range is known for offering high fashion at low prices, and by its regular infusions of fresh and interesting new looks.

Wal-Mart now hopes to enhance the brand's appeal to US customers with pieces featuring Eisen's all-American design aesthetic.  

"The George line represents fashion for value around the world," said Claire Watts, executive vice president of product development, apparel and home merchandising for the Wal-Mart Stores Division. 

"George ME will be especially appealing to the value-driven shopper who wants versatile pieces that stand the test of time."
      
Mark Eisen added: "This is an incredible opportunity. The idea of bringing a sampling of my vision, taste and style for women's design to the largest shopping audience in the world is truly exciting."