Oakley Inc (NYSE:OO) Tuesday announced the release of its Fall 2000 apparel line, the latest culmination of work in performance technical wear that began in 1997 and continues to advance under the guidance of professional athletes.

"When competing in extreme environments, athletes have always been forced to choose between comfort and performance," said Oakley president Colin Baden. "Our goal was to maximise both. We achieved breakthroughs in moisture transport, vapor abatement and water repulsion while minimizing the weight and bulk of substrate materials to emphasise comfort and flexibility. The result is a composition of membranes which exceeds the performance of any biological model Mother Nature has produced."

"Winter apparel demands the highest level of technical performance. Our innovation extends from the design and cut of a garment to the surface chemistry of the fabrics from which it is constructed," said Baden.

One of the challenges for Oakley's science lab, the company said, was to develop an array of hydrophobic coatings that would repel water while releasing interior moisture at transport rates never before achieved in the industry. "If a sports garment is designed only to warm the wearer and repel water, it fails on at least two levels: it impedes movement and causes moisture build-up. That means it offers all the performance benefits of an insulated rubber straitjacket," continued Baden.

In releasing the build-up of perspiration, the company's top textiles outperform the industry standard by 47 per cent on test ASTM E96B, the assay of moisture vapor transfer from the American Society for Testing and Materials. That translates to superior comfort during high activity, as well as reduced temperature drop when activity has ceased, the hazardous result of heat conductance by moisture.

Climate protection is enhanced by coating technologies rated as high as 25,000mm water resistance. To reach this level of water repulsion, Oakley developed hydrophobic coatings that allow textiles to endure the pressure of an 82 ft column of fluid - the equivalent of over 35lbs of water per square inch of surface area - with no leakage.

The degree of technical advancement in the Fall 2000 line can be seen in the company's new Trinity Jacket and Trinity Pant. The seams are bonded by triple needle stitch-work using high-tenacity nylon. Special lubricants reduce friction as thread passes through the eye of the needle and reaches velocities that exceed 5000 repetitions per minute, producing enough heat to melt lower quality fibers.

Both the Trinity Jacket and Trinity Pant feature durable nylon tri-laminates with 25,000mm water resistance and the flexibility of ergonomic articulation. Hidden closures streamline the exterior while webbing tabs offer easy grasping of pocket closures, even with gloved hands. The jacket includes underarm zip vents, a snow skirt with pant tabs, a double-layer storm placket and draw cords in the hem, collar and detachable hood. The pant includes a second layer of fabric in abrasion areas, a quilted seat for added insulation, a full front entry, snow gaiters with external zip plackets and side-seam zips for easy on, easy off.

About Oakley Inc
Oakley offers an expanding line of premium performance footwear, apparel, accessories, watches and prescription eyewear to consumers in more than 70 countries. Trailing-12-month revenues through June 30, 2000 totaled $300.2m and generated net income of $40m - a 13 per cent net margin, excluding a one-time after-tax restructuring charge of $8.2m recorded during the fourth quarter of 1999. Oakley, Inc press releases, SEC filings and the company's Annual Report are available at through the company's website at www.oakley.com.