Liz Claiborne Inc. released yesterday its Q2 and first six months results for its direct and partnered brands business.

Net sales from continuing operations for the first six months of 2008 fell $24 million to $2.088 billion, or 1.2% from the first six months of 2007, due primarily to decreases in its partnered brands segment, offset by increases in its direct brands segment.

Net sales included an $81 million decrease associated with brands or certain brand activities that were closed or exited and which had not been presented as part of discontinued operations.

The impact of changes in foreign exchange rates in its international businesses increased net sales by approximately $95 million, or 4.5%, in the first six months of 2008.

Net sales for its direct brands segment in the first six months of 2008 were the following:

Mexx - $631 million, a 14.4% increase compared to last year.

Juicy Couture - $288 million, a 52.2% increase compared to last year.

Lucky Brand - $228 million, a 14.7% increase compared to last year.

Kate Spade - $57 million, a 44.3% increase compared to last year.

Operating loss was $47 million (2.3% of net sales) in the first six months of 2008, while operating income in the first six months of 2008 was $40 million (3.3% of net sales) compared to $80 million (8.2% of net sales) in 2007. The direct brands segment adjusted operating income in the first six months of 2008 was $66 million (5.5% of net sales) compared to $86 million (8.8% of net sales) in 2007.

In the partnered brands segment, operating loss in the first six months of 2008 was $87 million (9.9% of net sales) while the adjusted operating loss in the first six months of 2008 was $4 million (0.4% of adjusted net sales).

Net loss in the first six months of 2008 was ($54) million compared to net income of $30 million in 2007.

Liz Claiborne Inc.’s partnered brands comprise the department store-based brands with strong consumer franchises including the Liz Claiborne and Monet families of brands, Enyce, Kensie, Kensiegirl, Mac & Jac, Narciso Rodriguez and the licensed DKNY Jeans Group.

Gearing up for the 2009 relaunch of Liz Claiborne women’s and men’s divisions under Isaac Mizrahi and John Bartlett respectively, the company narrowed its full year 2008 adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $1.40 to $1.50 from a Range of $1.40 to $1.60.