Monday, August 16, 2004

Airwalk(R) Lifestyle Footwear Is the Latest Brand in Expanded Athletic Line From Payless ShoeSource

Back-To-School Collection Features Fleece, Contemporary Casual Looks and Classic Skate Styles

TOPEKA, Kan., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ – Payless is helping parents send kids back to school in style without breaking the bank by offering many new brands that deliver the hottest new footwear fashions at prices everyone can afford.

The latest in the new Payless(R) branded athletic shoe collection is Airwalk(R) lifestyle footwear, available at Payless stores nationwide and for men, women and children beginning at under $20 a pair.

“The Airwalk brand – with its strong historical roots in board sports – is well-known for its innovative and authentic approach to youth culture, fashion and style,” said Duane Cantrell, president of Payless ShoeSource. “We are pleased to offer Airwalk footwear and to officially launch the line with a strong back-to-school collection that features a broad range of urban styles from the latest in fleece looks for women and girls to fashion-forward and contemporary skate shoes and oxfords.”

Fleece – also known as shearling – is a big trend for girls this back-to-school season. The natural-colored detail will be seen on everything from footwear and handbags, to shirts, jeans and hats.

The Payless Airwalk line will feature this key trend in boots and clogs available for ladies of every age from girl’s sizes 10.5-4.5 and women’s sizes 5-10 and 11, 12, 13, starting at $16.99.

“Paired with skirts, jeans and coordinating handbags, these Airwalk fleece styles will have ladies dressed in the latest look without breaking the bank,” Cantrell noted. “Payless has always been a great place to go for the latest in back-to-school fashion at a great price. Brands like Airwalk are making our stores even more popular among kids and parents alike during this important shopping season.”

As part of the Airwalk women’s collection, Payless is also introducing several distinctive casual looks this fall like the Airwalk “Debbie” Cord Oxford, a functional style that blends school appropriate with schoolhouse rock. This style comes complete with bold suede and corduroy detail, contrast stitching, matching laces and, of course, the signature Airwalk “A” icon. The Airwalk “Debbie” Oxfords are available in ladies sizes 5-10 and 11, 12, 13 in brown and tan, starting at $22.99.

Additional Airwalk styles for men, women and kids range from skate-inspired tech to casual classics. Payless is proud to announce the return of “The One,” recognized as the original Airwalk classic style and worn by some of the world’s most prominent athletes and celebrities. The clean lines and vibrant color combinations this season are sure to be a big favorite among all generations. The One will be available for men (sizes 5-11, 12, 13, 14, 15), women (sizes 5-10, 11, 12, 13) and youth (sizes 10.5-4.5) at prices starting from $17.99.

The Payless Airwalk collection is made possible through a licensing agreement between Payless ShoeSource and Collective Licensing International, the owner and license operator of the Airwalk brand.

About Payless

Payless ShoeSource, Inc., the world’s footwear authority, is the smart shopper’s source for style-right, high-value footwear and accessories for the entire family. With nearly 5,000 retail stores throughout North, Central and South America and its e-store, Payless puts more feet in the latest footwear fashions than any other specialty retailer.

About Collective Licensing International, LLC

Collective Licensing International, LLC was formed in January 2004 and is the owner and license operator of the Airwalk(R) brand, the original action sports brand since 1986. Collective is led by CEO Bruce Pettet, identified as one of the top marketers in the country by Advertising Age magazine, and a team of proven design and marketing professionals with over 100 years experience in the athletic footwear, apparel and hard goods industry. Collective Licensing is based in Englewood, Colorado.

SOURCE Payless ShoeSource, Inc.