BCGB Max Azria, the popular Vernon, Calif.-based contemporary brand, has signed a licensing agreement with Phillips-Van Heusen to manufacturer and distribute men’s dress shirts and neckties under the BCBG Max Azria name. The new collection is expected to launch in spring 2004.

The agreement signals BCBG’s return to menswear; the company dropped its men’s merchandise several seasons ago to focus on womenswear. Currently operating more than 150 freestanding boutiques, the brand now offers women’s ready-to-wear, denim, swimwear, footwear, handbags and perfume.

The deal is also a sign that PVH, which is based in New York, is continuing its expansion into the better markets. The company made headlines earlier this year when it purchased Calvin Klein. PVH holdings also include Izod sportswear, Geoffrey Beene shirts and sportswear, and the licenses for DKNY and Kenneth Cole, among others.

(From FWD)