Now would seem like a good time to own a fashion brand, especially if you're looking to cash out. Plenty of companies, such as Liz Claiborne (NYSE:LIZ), Jones Apparel (NYSE:JNY), and Quiksilver (NYSE:ZQK), have dipped into their coffers to add brands to their stables and identify future potential growth opportunities.

Last week, Oxford Industries (NYSE:OXM) joined the party, announcing the close of its $145 million cash-and-debt purchase of Ben Sherman, a London-based casual apparel company with a hip reputation and ties to the Mod movement of postwar England that, in a fashion and cultural sense, still has influence today. This represents an interesting addition to Oxford's stable. Ben Sherman should be a useful and diverse name on Oxford's roster of house brands and licensees, which include Tommy Bahama and the logos of Tommy Hilfiger (NYSE:TOM), Nautica (NASDAQ:NAUT), and others.

Things have been going rather well for Oxford, which also last week reported full fiscal 2004 (ended May 28) financial results. (Keep in mind that this year's numbers look good compared with year-ago figures in large part because Tommy Bahama was purchased last year.) Revenues jumped 46% to $1.12 billion; net income nearly doubled. Gross margins were better, too.

Given this, it's not difficult to see why Oxford, which Tim Beyers profiled back in January, outperformed the S&P 500 by a significant margin over the last 12 months. Looking ahead -- and incorporating the Ben Sherman acquisition -- the company now expects fiscal 2005 sales of about $1.3 billion and EPS of $2.70 or better. Currently, trading at about 15 times next year's low-end estimate, Oxford looks like a company well worth a closer look.

Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story.