Sources in Italy say Fingen Apparel is in the final stages of signing a deal to produce and distribute the collection. An announcement could come as soon as today.
The Florence-based Fingen already holds the licenses for Calvin Klein Jeans in Europe and Asia, and cK Calvin Klein apparel and accessories in Europe and the Middle East. In 2004, Fingen inked a licensing deal with Jean Paul Gaultier for a denim and sportswear collection. Until last year, the group produced and distributed the Guess Jeans line in Europe. Guess Inc. bought back its license at that time.
Privately owned by brothers Corrado and Marcello Fratini, Fingen Group has deep pockets and also operates a real estate division. It would take over the Calvin Klein Collection license from Vestimenta SpA, which sold the license of its Vestimenta and Hilton brands to Italian manufacturer Nogara this summer.
As part of a long-term licensing deal, Vestimenta started producing the Calvin Klein Collection women's line for fall 2003 and took over global distribution last spring. But the company is said to be looking to exit the apparel business altogether and cut its ties to the Klein collection in the middle of the spring season's development, which leaves Calvin Klein Inc. with the task of finding a new manufacturer. CKI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.
Costa's effort for spring, presented in New York earlier this month, was widely hailed as the designer's best since taking over the women's design helm from Calvin Klein with the spring 2004 collection. Considered one of the highlights of the American spring season, the collection was full of complicated details such as interpretations of circles and cable knits.
But the premature ending of the Vestimenta license raised the question of whether the collection would be produced and, if so, whether it could even be possible for a new licensee to make such an intricate collection at such short notice.
At the fashion show, Tom Murry, president and chief operating officer of Calvin Klein Inc., said: "It will either be Vestimenta or, if we agree to transfer the license to another entity, it will be with them….We are talking to several companies."