Designer Tom Ford, formerly creative director of Gucci, plans to expand the product line at his Manhattan flagship boutique, which is slated to open later this year.

Mr. Ford signed a deal with Italian clothing manufacturer Ermenegildo Zegna Group to create a menswear line, which will include ready-to-wear and made-to-measure clothing, footwear, and accessories. Initially, the line will be available only at the Manhattan store, with wider distribution beginning in 2007.

He plans to open the boutique, a 9,679-square-foot shop located at 845 Madison Ave., to coincide with the launch of the menswear line’s fall 2006 collection. “This agreement with Zegna is perfect for the Tom Ford brand and will ensure its place as the first true luxury brand of the 21st century,” said Mr. Ford in a statement.

The Zegna deal is the third major venture for Mr. Ford since he started his own firm with former Gucci Chief Executive Domenico De Sole.

Late last year, Mr. Ford launched a beauty and fragrance line with Manhattan cosmetics maker The Estee Lauder Cos., and he has entered into an agreement to produce Tom Ford-brand eyewear in partnership with the Italian Marcolin Group. Following the opening of the Manhattan flagship, Mr. Ford plans to open stores in Milan, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo over the next three to four years.

Source: Newyorkbusiness.com

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