Swiss Army Brands, Inc. announced Monday that it plans to operate its Victorinox Apparel business as an in-house division and is ending its licensing agreement with Tropical Sportswear Intl Corporation, the current licensee for the Victorinox Apparel brand.

Going forward, Swiss Army Brands will assume all design, sourcing, sales, marketing and distribution responsibilities for Victorinox Apparel. Swiss Army Brands described the decision to conclude its licensing agreement with TSI as amicable as it allows TSI to focus on its core business of private branded men’s and women’s casual and dress sportswear. The transition will be completed in 90 days.

“The strategic growth of Victorinox Apparel is a key area of focus for us in 2003,” said Susanne Rechner, president of Swiss Army Brands, Inc. “Our decision to bring Victorinox Apparel in-house gives us the opportunity to directly manage the growth of this business, while making sure that it strategically aligns with our overall brand vision. We appreciate the work TSI has done to launch Victorinox Apparel and build a solid foundation for the brand. With this new structure, Swiss Army Brands has an important opportunity to work more closely with our current retail partners, while growing our distribution within specialty and fine department stores. We will also have greater integrated marketing opportunities for Victorinox Apparel in connection with our core watch and multi-tool businesses, as well as our licensed line of travel gear.”

With the move in-house, the Victorinox Apparel structure remains intact and will be managed by the current team, including Robert Boland, vice president of sales and marketing; Donrad Duncan, senior director of design, and Sang Lee, senior director of sourcing and manufacturing. A general manager will be named shortly to lead the new division.

The Victorinox Apparel design studio, retail showroom and business offices will be located at 285 West Broadway in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. The Victorinox Apparel collection is distributed through finer department stores, Swiss Army SoHo, high-end specialty stores and select outdoor retailers in the United States and Canada.