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Merrell Fuses Modern Design With Outside Performance in Apparel Launch

Redefining an outdoor category with the ultimate blend of modern design, outside performance and legendary comfort, Merrell, the outdoor footwear innovator, today announced the launch of its men's and women's apparel collections for head-to-toe living.

Portland, Ore., – Redefining an outdoor category with the ultimate blend of modern design, outside performance and legendary comfort, Merrell, the outdoor footwear innovator, today announced the launch of its men’s and women’s apparel collections for head-to-toe living. Set to premiere at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Salt Lake City January 27-30, 2007, Merrell defines “Modern Outside.”

“Just like we did with footwear, the launch of Merrell Apparel reinvents utility clothing with the technology and design to meet real-world demands,” states Jacques Lavertue, president of Merrell. “Our apparel collection takes a modern and contemporary view of the outdoors – a place we call the intersection of lifestyle and performance, or Modern Outside.”

He continues, “Now with apparel, Merrell becomes a complete brand offering our retail partners the same progressive approach to the outdoors they have come to know from our footwear.”

Building on the heritage of Merrell Footwear, Merrell Apparel begins at the heart of technical functionality. Adding to that, Merrell has set out to create products for living outside that reflect a global sense of style, color and detail. The company’s innovative proprietary technologies, such as Merrell Slick Seam(tm); a collection of laser-cut, stitchless garments, Merrell Bio-Blend(tm); a blend of sustainable materials meant to reduce impact on the global environment, and Merrell Opti-Shell(tm); a waterproof breathable fabric optimized for everyday usage, create a collection that is unique to the outdoor market. As part of the Bio-Blend collection, the Meric pant is the first denim to the market that combines merino wool and organic cotton. Additionally, Merrell’s partnerships with leading manufacturers of branded technologies such as GORE-TEX(r) Pro Shell, Paclite(r) and Windstopper(r), PrimaLoft(r) insulations, and Polartec(r) Thermal Pro(r), further position Merrell as a credible outdoor brand offering its customers style-driven performance wear. As a concept piece in the fall 2007 collection, the Cork Concept Jacket represents how Merrell will push the envelope in terms of new technologies and fabrications in completely sustainable garments.

“We’ve been in development with Merrell apparel for over 2 years and assembled a global, motivated and talented apparel team,” says Lavertue.
“We’ve leveraged all human and business resources available to provide the most comprehensive and innovative products available.”

The apparel team comes with combined experience from such brands as Nike ACG, Arc’teryx, Columbia, Marmot, Ralph Lauren, The North Face, Oakley and Juicy Couture. Creative director Tobin Teichgraeber, former VP of product and marketing at Helly Hansen, is at the helm, bringing extensive experience to the development and launch of Merrell Apparel.

Kurt Foster and Jenna Campbell, the men’s and women’s product line managers respectively, have engineered a comprehensive line that brings
style to purpose. An expert in fabric and materials will ensure that the most up-to-date technologies are used in practical form. Experienced designers and pattern makers were hand-picked based on their talents as well as their personal lifestyle to fabricate an active, modern and accessible apparel collection within the outdoor market. Merrell’s apparel team is based in Portland, Oregon. The company has also established a dedicated sourcing and operations office in Hong Kong. To take a tour through the design process of Merrell Apparel, please click on the following link:

“Modern Outside is this convergence of everyday life and active sport. The outdoor market is evolving and it’s the right time for style-driven performance wear. This is the place where Merrell Apparel sits,” says Tobin Teichgraeber.

Merrell’s expansion into apparel offers a platform for an integrated brand retail strategy and reinforces the company’s leadership position
in the outdoor market. The complete yet focused collection consists of jackets, vests, softshells and fleece as well as knits, pants, skirts, tech tees and merino tops and will be available at retail in July, 2007.

Retail price points range from $25 for T-shirts to $400 for the company’s premiere pieces; the Radiate and Universal GORE-TEX(r) Pro Shell 3-layer jackets. Products will be sold through a limited and exclusive group of retail partners throughout the U.S. as well as through its subsidiaries and distributors in over 114 countries worldwide.

About Merrell
Founded in 1981, Merrell has become known as a leader in contemporary outdoor footwear. Merrell believes in continuously expanding the outdoor journey of discovery and freedom through its products which encourage and equip everyone to get outside. Merrell products are available through leading retailers in the US and through 44 distributors and subsidiaries around the world. Merrell also has retails stores in Huntington, Long Island, NY, Atlanta, GA, opening November 20,
2006 and Nashville, TN, opening fall 2007. For more information please visit our website at

About Wolverine
With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and slippers.
The Company’s portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates(r), Hush Puppies(r), HYTEST(r), Merrell(r) Footwear and Apparel, Sebago(r) and Wolverine(r). The Company is also the exclusive footwear licensee of popular brands including CAT(r), Harley-Davidson(r), Patagonia(r) and Stanley(r). The Company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in over 140 countries. For additional information, please visit our website,

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