"For sure, it’s going to be a core business for Vestimenta," said Ron Frasch, chairman of Bergdorf Goodman, and a former licensing partner of Calvin Klein during his tenure at GFT. "It’s a brilliant move from a manufacturing point of view."
Murry said there is also a long-term opportunity for opening additional freestanding Calvin Klein stores with Vestimenta in Europe and Asia.
"In those markets, specifically, Calvin Klein’s share is modest compared to its high name recognition," Bassetti added. "Obviously, we want to increase distribution there, but we also want to further develop the brand in the U.S."
While the impending deal covers only ready-to-wear, Bassetti said that the two companies were also discussing Calvin Klein’s accessories collection and that a similar license for accessories could follow.
"We’re both very open to future developments," Bassetti said, adding that a joint venture, similar to the one Vestimenta shares with Giorgio Armani, could also one day develop with Calvin Klein.
Vestimenta, the longtime licensee of Giorgio Armani, formed Borgo21 with the designer in 2001 for the production of Armani’s signature women’s and men’s collections. Armani controls 60 percent of the entity and Vestimenta the remainder.
"There’s always a possibility for a similar project to come about with Calvin Klein," Bassetti said. "Of course, we want to secure the first couple years of the licensing agreement."
The Calvin Klein license is the latest in a series of moves taken by Vestimenta to transform its image and beef up its bottom line. In January, Vestimenta signed a licensing agreement to produce Trussardi’s men’s wear collection and last year tapped up-and-coming Italian designer Nicola del Verme to modernize the image of the venerable Italian tailored clothing label. Vestimenta also produces the Emanuel Ungaro women’s collection and controls a 50 percent stake in the men’s wear label Piombo.