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The Best Of British

News Release

March 8, 2004

The best of British

Bulldogs, bowler hats, black taxis, beefeaters, Beckham, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The Life of Bryan, bangers and mash, a pint at the pub, double-decker buses... It's the best of British.

And now add to the list Lee Cooper, a jean company started in England and the first to make and design jeans in Europe.

Fashion conscious kiwi denim lovers will welcome the arrival of international brand Lee Cooper when it launches into fashion and menswear stores throughout the country from April 2004.

The brand is being brought to New Zealand by Pacific Brands, whose category manager believes Lee Cooper fills an empty space in the jean market.

"We have identified a gap for a well-priced jean with a strong fashion edge," says Natalie Winter.

"Denim is a staple fashion item and there is a need for a style and fit to suit every taste and body shape."

"We are launching a men's range with four styles and seven washes that give guys several choices."

Styles include comfort fit, regular fit, bootleg and loose fit with washes ranging from a dark-used look for a more formal jean to a sandblasted look with whiskering to give the jean a relaxed worn-in appearance.

More mature kiwi denim lovers may remember Lee Cooper was available here some 25 years ago, but Pacific Brand's Andrew Carpenter says the new Lee Cooper is a much more modern jean.

"Consumers are looking for a jean that is affordable and they feel comfortable in which still provides a sense of individuality," says Carpenter.

"Lee Cooper is a successful international brand and provides something new and different to the New Zealand market. It's reintroduction into New Zealand is one of the most significant developments for Pacific Brands in 2004."

The denim brand was founded by Maurice Cooper in London 1908, with the production of work-wear and 'bib and brace' overalls.

After WWII the company, renamed Lee Cooper [1], changed direction under the management of Maurice's son Harold, and were at the forefront of bringing jeans to the UK.

Lee Cooper jeans will be available from independent and fashion men's stores nationwide and will retail for between RRP$90 and RRP$129.

[1] Lee was the maiden name of Harold's wife.


Issued for Pacific Brands by Pead PR

About Pacific Brands

As custodian in New Zealand of such high profile brands as Berlei, Hanes, Lee Cooper, Jockey, Love Kylie, Holeproof, Legalong, Rio, Slazenger and Bonds, Pacific Brands is the market leader in the underwear and hosiery categories. Australian-based, the company has international sales of NZ$1.9 billion and employs 7,500 people. Pacific Brands is owned by an investment consortium headed by CVC Asia Pacific and Catalyst Investment Managers who purchased the businesses from Pacific Dunlop in November 2001.

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