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Vince Sportswear Line Is Sold

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Vince, the five-year-old contemporary sportswear label of luxury basics that became a $50 million business, will be bought by the Kellwood Company, the companies said yesterday.

A deal was signed by Kellwood and the owners of Vince, which include the sportswear company John Paul Richard, with a purchase price of $75 million, according to one of the owners.

Kellwood, with brands including Phat Farm sportswear and Sag Harbor dresses, is one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the country and has added several contemporary collections with designer names over the last few years. Last week, the company said it would begin producing an Oscar de la Renta lifestyle collection for Macy’s department stores under a license agreement with Oscar de la Renta.

Vince, based in Los Angeles, was started in 2001 by Rea Laccone and Christopher LaPolice, industry veterans who had worked together building Laundry by Shelli Segal until that business was sold to Liz Claiborne in 1999. Richard Hirsh, the owner of John Paul Richard in Los Angeles and Ms. Laccone’s former employer, agreed to back them in the venture, using a holding company called the CRL Group. Sales of the Vince collection are expected to reach $45 million this year, according to a statement from Kellwood, based in St. Louis.

A zip-front cashmere hoodie sweater introduced in the first collection for about $240, along with matching T-shirts, became the Vince label’s signature described as a grown-up version of the Juicy Couture velour tracksuit. The collection, which has expanded with trendy linen shorts, washed leather blazers and fur-trimmed sweaters, is now carried in 400 stores, and a line for men is planned for next year.

In an interview last month, Ms. Laccone said the company was created with the concept of luxury basics that were casual and made of high-end fabrics, but not prohibitively expensive. The customer she had in mind was herself, “a woman who travels a lot and carries an Hermès bag.”

The companies said that Mr. LaPolice and Ms. Laccone had agreed to stay with the company after the sale.