Puma North America has named Blue Water Design Group, a division of Apparel Ventures Inc., the official licensee of its swimwear and beachwear for women in the US market.

Blue Water, which already acts as a swim licensee for several fashion brands, will be responsible for the design, merchandising, sales and marketing of the collection.

“Translating the PUMA brand personality into women’s swim and beachwear is vital to our growth in the US as there is a great opportunity for PUMA in this apparel sector,” explained Jay Piccola, President and General Manager for Puma North America.

“Given the company’s seasoned expertise and understanding of the marketplace and our brand positioning, Puma is thrilled to partner with Blue Water for the first collection in September.”

Blue Water will help Puma target wholesale partners, particularly key department stores and independent swim specialty stores.

The new swimwear and beachwear collection for women is expected to debut at the Miami Swim Show in July 2009, followed by a launch at Puma stores and select wholesale partners in September 2009.