The Jones Group Inc. (ticker: JNY, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
L.e.i. Brand Partners with Country Music Superstar Taylor Swift
Swift to be Face of L.e.i.'s 'This is L.e.i. Country' Back-to-School Campaign
NEW YORK, May 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
(NYSE: JNY) ("Jones") today announced an exclusive partnership agreement with
triple-platinum country music sensation Taylor Swift. The 18-year-old
singer-songwriter will be the face of the L.e.i. Back-to-School 2008 print,
mobile and online advertising campaign, to be called "This is L.e.i. Country."
The campaign will feature Ms. Swift surrounded by an assortment of L.e.i.
denim jeans and tops.
L.e.i. (life. energy. intelligence.), the brand for juniors, junior plus
and girls, will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores nationwide
beginning in July 2008 for Back-to-School, and in Canada in the fourth quarter
"Taylor Swift perfectly exemplifies the spirit of L.e.i. - she has the
authenticity, spirit, intelligence and wit of the modern American girl and she
is a role model for today's youth," said Jack Gross, Group Chief Executive
Officer, Jeanswear Division for Jones Apparel Group. "This collaboration
marks another exciting step towards strengthening our strong merchandising
relationship with Wal-Mart and bringing the L.e.i. lifestyle brand to a
broader audience of juniors and girls consumers. We are proud to collaborate
with Taylor and believe that this partnership is ideal for L.e.i., Wal-Mart
and Taylor herself, as we bring junior consumers' favorite jeans to their
Stacy Lastrina, Jones Apparel Group, Executive Vice President Marketing,
said, "The ad campaign's creative direction takes inspiration from Taylor as
one of America's youngest and fastest rising country music superstars. The
innovative marketing support will be launched through an integrated, multi-
media format including a print, online and mobile marketing campaign, and will
include prominent point of sale visual support within Wal-Mart stores."
Taylor Swift, said, "When I'm onstage I'm likely to be wearing sundresses
and cowboy boots, but when I'm offstage, hangin' with my friends, songwriting
or taking care of business, my comfort zone is a great pair of jeans. L.e.i.
jeans fit great and look great, and the price is right. I love the jeans and
I love what L.e.i. stands for, Life. Energy. Intelligence."
The "This is L.e.i. Country" campaign will be shot by world famous
photographer Peggy Sirota, and will debut in August issues of select fashion
and entertainment magazines, including Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen and
US Weekly. In addition, the campaign will feature an extensive online
component targeting the junior girl audience, which will include sweepstakes
and contests tied to meeting Ms. Swift and attending her concerts.
Widely hailed as the first bonafide country music star of the MySpace
generation, 18-year-old Taylor Swift currently has singles climbing both the
country and pop radio charts. At the age of 17, Taylor became the youngest
person to single-handedly write and sing a number-one country single entirely
on her own ("Our Song" spent 6 consecutive weeks at #1 atop Billboard's
Country Singles Chart), and she is the first female solo artist in country
music history to wrote or co-write every song on a platinum-selling debut CD.
At 14, she signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music, and in 2006 released
her self-titled debut CD on Big Machine Records. Taylor Swift has reached
triple-platinum (3 million sales) status and has spent 18 weeks so far in the
#1 position atop Billboard's Country CD Sales Chart. Taylor is consistently
ranked Country's #1 artist on MySpace, and was named Country Music's Hottest
Female Artist of 2007 by AOL Music and Best New Artist of 2007 by the editors
Taylor won 2008 CMT Music Awards for Video of the Year and Female Video of
the Year and was recently named Superstar of Tomorrow at the 10th Annual Young
Hollywood Awards, making her the first musician to ever receive this
prestigious award. She is the reigning CMA Horizon Award winner, as well as
the Nashville Songwriters Association International's Songwriter / Artist of
the Year. She leads the field of female nominees for this year's Academy of
Country Music Awards with three nominations: Top Female Vocalist, Album of the
Year, and Top New Female Vocalist. Taylor was also named one of People
Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in 2008. She is on tour this year with
Rascal Flatts, and has also toured with George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Tim
McGraw & Faith Hill and Brad Paisley.
The William Morris Agency represented Swift on this partnership. L.e.i.'s
partnership with Taylor Swift will extend for one year. Further details about
the agreement are not being disclosed.
L.e.i. is an acronym for LIFE, ENERGY, INTELLIGENCE. L.e.i.'s Declaration
of Independence is claiming a freedom from old ways of thinking that are no
longer accurate and appropriate. L.e.i.'s products and marketing embrace the
authenticity, cheekiness, intelligence and wit of today's modern American
About Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (http://www.jny.com) is a leading designer,
marketer and wholesaler of branded apparel, footwear and accessories. The
Company also markets directly to consumers through its chain of specialty
retail and value-based stores. The Company's nationally recognized brands
include Jones New York, Nine West, Anne Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, Kasper,
Bandolino, Easy Spirit, Evan-Picone, L.e.i., Energie, Enzo Angiolini, Joan &
David, Mootsies Tootsies, Sam & Libby, Napier, Judith Jack, Albert Nipon and
Le Suit. The Company also markets costume jewelry under the Givenchy brand
licensed from Givenchy Corporation and footwear under the Dockers Women brand
licensed from Levi Strauss & Co. Each brand is differentiated by its own
distinctive styling, pricing strategy, distribution channel and target
consumer. The Company contracts for the manufacture of its products through a
worldwide network of quality manufacturers. The Company has capitalized on its
nationally known brand names by entering into various licenses for several of
its trademarks, including Jones New York, Evan-Picone, Anne Klein New York,
Nine West, Gloria Vanderbilt and L.e.i., with select manufacturers of women's
and men's products which the Company does not manufacture. For more than 30
years, the Company has built a reputation for excellence in product quality
and value, and in operational execution.
SOURCE Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
CONTACT: Stacy Lastrina, Executive Vice President Marketing, Jones
Apparel Group, +1-914-640-4228; or Joele Frank and Sharon Stern, both of Joele
Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, +1-212-355-4449/
/Web site: http://www.jny.com /