Prince, a leading manufacturer anddistributor of premium racquet sports equipment, footwear and apparel, has announced a partnership with ILNA, Inc. (Interloop North America) that will allow the Winston Salem, NC-based sock company to develop, produce, distribute and market socks bearing the Prince name in the United States, Canada, Europe and parts of South Asia (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh).

ILNA is a subsidiary of the Pakistani-based company Interloop, Ltd., a vertically integrated manufacturer that supplies hosiery to leading athletic apparel and lifestyle brands and retailers around the globe. ILNA will be responsible for the overall brand management and design direction as well as the sales efforts within the United States. In addition, ILNA will work closely with Eurosox Plus, B.V. who will manage the hosiery business in Europe on behalf of ILNA.

The focus of the new hosiery line will be to elevate the already high respect athletes and racquet sport enthusiasts have for the brand by enhancing the oncourt playing experience and becoming a part of their post-match and off court lifestyle.

“We love the authenticity of the Prince brand and its innovation heritage,” said Shelley Rider, President of ILNA, Inc. “Prince socks will embody all that players respect about, and have come to demand from, the brand, designed with world class technologies that create a new level of performance and fit.”

Prince recently introduced to the market its new 2014 global product range of racquets, strings, bags and footwear set to begin shipping on October 15. The introduction of hosiery to the existing product offering will continue to round out the complete product offering. The initial line will feature a core, highly technical, offering designed specifically for the most savvy athlete as well as a full off court line intended to allow consumers to wear the brand in non-competitive settings.

Consumers can expect to see Prince socks in time for the Grand Slam tennis season in 2014.

“Socks are not only an essential need for tennis players on the court, but we are confident that, on the back of this globally trusted and admired athletic brand, there is a substantial off court business as well,” said Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer at Authentic Brands Group LLC, which owns the Prince brand. “We looked for the right partner who not only understood the specific technical nuances and needs of very savvy athletes, but also had the strongest experience in design, production, sourcing and retail, overall. Immediately we were impressed with the capabilities, vision and plan that ILNA presented and are excited to see their first line hit the market for consumers.”

Prince is owned by, and part of, the Authentic Brands Group, LLC family of companies.  ABG brands include Juicy Couture®, Marilyn Monroe®, Judith Leiber®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Palm Beach®, Misook®, Spyder®, Prince®, Ektelon®, Viking®, Bobby Jones®, TapouT® and Sportcraft®.