DuPont LYCRA and Nine West Group have joined forces to launch LYCRA elastane as a component in Nine West's Easy Spirit shoe division. Nine West, a subsidiary of Jones Apparel Group, said the relationship has the potential to expand throughout all of its retail divisions.

The agreement will encompass LYCRA innovative material and construction technologies for combining the stretch and recovery property of LYCRA with leather. The first Easy Spirit shoes with LYCRA will be unveiled in March 2001 in the 200 Easy Spirit retail locations. Known for comfort and fit, these new Easy Spirit models will also be designed to appeal to a younger audience.

"Expanding our offerings with this new footwear brings another level of innovation and differentiation to the Easy Spirit brand. We believe this will further enhance our market presence by providing a more versatile product to the consumer," stated Jacki Nemerov, president, Jones Apparel Group.

"We are very pleased with the business agreement developed with the Nine West Group. This will further strengthen the existing partnership that DuPont LYCRA already has with the Jones Apparel Group. It is also an excellent example of how LYCRA provides comfort, fit and freedom of movement to new markets and new uses beyond the traditional apparel segments," says Bill Ghitis, global vice president of new business development, DuPont LYCRA.

Under the financial terms of the sales-based licensing agreement, Nine West shoe brands will use the LYCRA brand and patents, including innovative proprietary materials such as Leather with LYCRA.

About DuPont
DuPont is a science company, delivering science-based solutions that make a difference in people's lives in food and nutrition; health care; apparel; home and construction; electronics; and transportation. Founded in 1802, the company operates in 70 countries and has 94,000 employees.

About Jones Apparel
Jones Apparel Group is a leading designer and marketer of branded apparel, footwear and accessories. The company's brands include: Jones New York; Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, and Polo Jeans Company, which are licensed from Polo Ralph Lauren; Nine West, Easy Spirit, and Napier.