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PUMA(R) and Neil Barrett launch"Italia" Kit

    Milan, Italy (ots) - Today, PUMA(R) and Neil Barrett launch the 2004 Italian National Team kit at Stadio Meazza (San Siro), Milan. Named creative director of PUMA's Italia Collection in 2003, Neil Barrett provided the creative vision of the new playing kit, lifestyle apparel range and personally designed the offical formalwear for the team.  The team will represent Italy in the complete kit on March 31st against Portugal.          Neil Barrett has worked closely with PUMA's design team to combine the brand's technical sport expertise with his fashion sensibility for a full spectrum of Italia products that spans performance sport, lifestyle and fashion. The inspiration for the new playing kit came from protective armour worn by Roman gladiators blended with Barrett's signature "layered" garments.  Various items from the jersey, short and shocks, reflect this inspiration.            "PUMA is a brand known for blending elements of sport, lifestyle and fashion and this collaboration with Neil Barrett and the Italian National Team is our strongest campaign to date where each element has been executed under one umbrella," said Jochen Zeitz, PUMA Chairman and CEO.  "In January we debuted the fashion element on the catwalk here in Milan, and now we are back to reveal the kit along with the rest of the range."          Neil Barrett specifically designed a formal "representation suit" for the players.  The team officials, both men and women, will also wear a PUMA suit designed by Barrett.  A version of this will be available for consumers this autumn in PUMA's 96 HOURS collection, which was debuted at Milan Fashion Week during Neil Barrett's catwalk show.          To complete the Italia collection, there is a complete lifestyle range.  This collection blends PUMA's sportlifestyle positioning under the direction of Neil Barrett.  Key elements of this range include the integration of embroidered badges and unique appliqués.          All PUMA Italia products will be available at retail on April 3 in PUMA Flagship Stores and select retailers.               Note to the Editors:          All product and event images will be available to download from the Web by logging onto https://www.pumaspace.com  Username: ITALIAPR Password:  pumamilan  PUMA Neil Barrett Italia sport, lifestyle and fashion product images will be posted at 3:00pm Monday, March 29; the official team photo available at 8:00pm Monday, March 29; and team photo formalwear will be posted March 30.               About Neil Barrett          Of British descent, Neil Barrett's professional history is thoroughly Italian, including five years as Senior Menswear Designer at Gucci, four years as Design Director of Prada Menswear and launching his own brand name collection in 1999 produced by among others, the Prada Group and Allegri. For further information, please visit www.neilbarrett.com               PUMA(R) is the global athletic brand that successfully fuses influences from sport, lifestyle and fashion. PUMA's unique industry perspective delivers the unexpected in sportlifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories, through technical innovation and revolutionary design.  Established in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 1948, PUMA distributes products in over 80 countries.  For further information please visit www.puma.com.      ots Original Text Service: PUMA AG Internet: http://www.presseportal.de

Football Contact: Lucy Finnegan Football Marketing PUMA +44 207 439 0960 lucy.finnegan@puma.com

Media Contact: Lisa Beachy International Public Relations PUMA + 1 617-488-2945 lisa.beachy@puma.com

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