DIRK BIKKEMBERGS Dresses Toronto FCMILAN, Jan 27, 2010 / — With the support of its Canadian distributor, InQuattro Fashion Group, Dirk Bikkembergs has signed a collaboration contract with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns Toronto FC.

The two-year contract, which will come into effect at the beginning of the Major League Soccer season in April 2010, will see the entire Toronto FC team dressed in Bikkembergs suits for its official team appearances.

In line with a past successful collaboration with Inter Milan, Dirk Bikkembergs will leverage on the brand connection with Toronto FC to further expand its activities in the Canadian market.

Toronto FC is Canada’s leading soccer team. It was founded in 2005 and is the first non-US team to join the Major League Soccer (MLS). Its home stadium is BMO Field, which is also home to Canada’s national soccer team. The club is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which also manages the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL hockey), the Toronto Marlies (AHL hockey) and the Toronto Raptors (NBA basketball).

“We’re excited to partner with such an acclaimed fashion brand that is as popular globally as the sport of soccer,” said David Hopkinson, senior vice-president of business partnerships for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the ownership company of Toronto FC.

“Bikkembergs is a great global brand and we look forward to supporting their expansion into the Canadian market.”

Dirk Bikkembergs is the man, the designer and the brand behind three acclaimed fashion lines, which combine a love for couture with a passion for sport. Inspired by and tailored to the athletes lifestyle, the Dirk Bikkembergs Sport Couture, Bikkembergs and Bikkembergs Sport lines each make for a pure and most passionate expression of masculinity.

The Belgian designer first came to light in the late Eighties as one of the famed Antwerp Six, a group of six fashion graduates from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

In June 2001, Dirk Bikkembergs hosted a fashion show at San Siro soccer stadium in Milano, Italy. This location was a clear statement of the direction of the Dirk Bikkembergs brand: high fashion tailored to the athlete’s lifestyle.