PUMA and Neil Barrett Introduce “Italia” Collection

Milan, Italy, January 12, 2004

Barrett named Creative Director of Playing Kit and Designs Official Formalwear Collection for the Italian National Football Team

Today PUMA and Neil Barrett debut selections from their joint collaboration in his Autumn-Winter 2004 fashion show during men’s fashion week. The inspiration for the collection themed “Italia” was derived from PUMA’s sponsorship of the Italian National Football Team. PUMA has named Neil Barrett Creative Director for the new official playing kit of the Italian National Team, which will be unveiled during an important preparation game for Euro 2004 at the end of March. Barrett has also designed the official formalwear for the team as part of the 96 HOURS collection. As Creative Director Neil Barrett has worked closely with the PUMA designers and developers to combine their sport-technical expertise with his fashion sensibility.

“It has been PUMA’s mission to fuse sport, lifestyle and fashion in a unique way and our partnership with Neil Barrett and the Italian National Team is a primary example of how we are doing exactly this,” said Jochen Zeitz, PUMA Chairman and CEO. “Here in Milan, we are debuting the fashion element of the collection. Later this year, we will come full circle to introduce the official kit for Euro 2004, making “Italia” the first PUMA collection to span all categories sport, lifestyle and fashion.”

“I have always pushed the blend of technical sportswear with tailoring, be it in the cross-usage of fabrications, construction or design details,” said Creative Director Neil Barrett. “This rare opportunity with PUMA enables me to apply the reverse mechanism with one of the greatest brands in the world of sport.”

Originally inspired by travel, 96 HOURS now evolves to capture movement as its inspiring force and sport as the conceptual energy of fashion. The collection by Barrett was designed to span 96 HOURS in the life of team “Italia”. Each new season will feature a different sport in order to create a fully integrated range of apparel, footwear and accessories for the modern, international, fashion-conscious man and woman.

More details about the sport and lifestyle “Italia” collections will be provided in March during the launch of the official playing kit.