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Narciso Rodriguez and Liz Claiborne Inc. Announce Partnership Agreement

NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Liz Claiborne Inc. (NYSE: LIZ) and Narciso Rodriguez announced today that they have agreed to enter into a multi-faceted partnership agreement. Liz Claiborne Inc. is acquiring a 50% ownership interest in the Narciso Rodriguez name and trademarks from Mr. Rodriguez and will form a new company to develop the Narciso Rodriguez brand worldwide with Mr. Rodriguez as Creative Director.

Narciso Rodriguez's women's and men's ready-to-wear collections are known for their clean lines and precision tailoring. Mr. Rodriguez is the first recipient of two consecutive CFDA women's wear design awards and is a graduate of Parson's School of Design. He founded his eponymous brand in 1997.

The Narciso Rodriguez collections are distributed in luxury retailers worldwide including Barney's New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and key specialty stores. In addition to his ready-to-wear, Mr. Rodriguez has created an award winning line of fragrances distributed worldwide under an existing license agreement with Beaute Prestige International.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Rodriguez said, "I am excited about the opportunities that this partnership will offer. Collaborating with Liz Claiborne will enable me to focus on my work and all of its possibilities. Bill McComb and his team have a clear understanding of my vision and are committed to help me realize my dream."

About the partnership, William L. McComb, Chief Executive Officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., said: "Narciso Rodriguez is one of the finest American designers today and we are thrilled to enter into a partnership with this extremely talented individual and his much heralded brand. Narciso's strong following and high recognition level position his business well for considerable organic growth. In addition to the expansion of the existing collection business, we feel there are abundant brand extension opportunities in non-apparel and licensing categories, as well as increased international distribution. Further, we see potential in the direct-to-consumer channel on a worldwide basis."

Mr. McComb continued, "This is a totally different kind of deal than those we have done in the past. Unlike acquisitions of fully scaled businesses, here we are affiliating with one of the world's finest designers to organically build a broad business in a growing and profitable category that we do not currently operate in-the luxury designer segment-that is sold in productive and partnership-oriented upscale retailers. The chance to work with Narciso to significantly grow his business while retaining his unique vision of timeless elegance was right in line with our commitment to outstanding designers and design excellence. We were compelled to seize on this opportunity now."

ElixirAdvisors represented Narciso Rodriguez.

Liz Claiborne Inc. designs and markets an extensive range of branded women's and men's apparel, accessories and fragrance products. Our diverse portfolio of quality brands - available domestically and internationally via wholesale and retail channels - consistently meets the widest range of consumers' fashion needs, from classic to contemporary, active to relaxed and denim to streetwear. Liz Claiborne Inc.'s brands include Axcess, Bora Bora, C & C California, Claiborne, Concepts by Claiborne, Curve, Dana Buchman, Elisabeth, Ellen Tracy, Emma James, Enyce, First Issue, Intuitions, J.H. Collectibles, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Kensie, Kensiegirl, Laundry by Design, Laundry by Shelli Segal, LIZ, Liz Claiborne, Liz & Co., Lucky Brand Jeans, Mac & Jac, Mambo, Marvella, Mexx, Monet, Monet 2, Prana, Ratio, Realities, Sigrid Olsen, Soul, Spark, Stamp 10, Tapemeasure, Tint, Trifari, Villager and Yzza. In addition, Liz Claiborne Inc. holds the exclusive, long- term license to produce and sell men's and women's collections of DKNY(R) Jeans and DKNY(R) Active in the Western Hemisphere. The Company also has the exclusive license to produce jewelry under the Kenneth Cole New York and Reaction Kenneth Cole brand names. The initial term of the license agreement expired on December 31, 2006 and the Company is currently in discussions with the licensor for the renewal of the agreement for an additional term.

Statements contained herein that relate to future events or the Company's future performance, including, without limitation, statements with respect to the Company's anticipated results of operations or level of business for 2007 or any other future period, are forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on current expectations only and are not guarantees of future performance, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company may change its intentions, belief or expectations at any time and without notice, based upon any change in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected. In addition, some factors are beyond the Company's control. Among the factors that could cause actual results to materially differ include risks related to the continuing challenging retail and macro-economic conditions, including the levels of consumer confidence and discretionary spending and the levels of customer traffic within department stores, malls and other shopping and selling environments, and a continuation of the deflationary trend in prices for apparel products; risks related to the Company's ability to successfully continue to evolve its supply chain system, including its product development, sourcing, logistics and technology functions, to reduce product cycle-time and costs and meet customer demands; risks associated with selling the Company's Liz & Co. and Concepts by Claiborne brands outside of better department stores; risks associated with the Company's dependence on sales to a limited number of large United States department store customers; the impact of consolidation among one or more of the Company's larger customers, such as the merger between Federated Department Stores, Inc. and The May Department Store Company; risks associated with providing for the succession of senior management; risks associated with realignment of responsibilities among the Company's management team; risks related to retailer and consumer acceptance of the Company's products; risks associated with the possible failure of the Company's unaffiliated manufacturers to manufacture and deliver products in a timely manner, to meet quality standards or to comply with Company policies regarding labor practices or applicable laws or regulations; risks related to the Company's ability to adapt to and compete effectively in the current quota environment, including changes in sourcing patterns resulting from the elimination of quota on apparel products, as well as lowered barriers to entry; risks associated with the Company's ability to maintain and enhance favorable brand recognition; risks associated with the operation and expansion of the Company's own retail business; risks associated with the Company's ability to correctly balance the level of its commitments with actual orders; risks associated with the Company's ability to identify appropriate acquisition candidates and negotiate favorable financial and other terms, against the background of increasing market competition (from both strategic and financial buyers) for the types of acquisitions the Company has made; risks associated with acquisitions and new product lines and markets, including risks relating to integration of acquisitions, retaining and motivating key personnel of acquired businesses and achieving projected or satisfactory levels of sales, profits and/or return on investment; risks associated with the Company's ability to attract and retain talented, highly qualified executives and other key personnel; risks associated with any significant disruptions in the Company's relationship with its employees; risks associated with changes in social, political, economic, legal and other conditions affecting foreign operations, sourcing or international trade, including the impact of foreign currency exchange rates, and currency devaluations in countries in which the Company sources product; risks associated with war, the threat of war and terrorist activities; work stoppages or slowdowns by suppliers or service providers; risks relating to protecting and managing intellectual property; and such other economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors affecting the Company's operations, markets, products, services and prices and such other factors as are set forth in our 2006 Annual Report on Form 10-K, including, without limitation, those set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" and under the heading "Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Disclosure". The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Liz Claiborne Inc.

Investor Relations Contact:
Robert J. Vill
Vice President, Finance and Treasurer
Media For Liz Claiborne Inc.:
Jane Randel, Vice President
Corporate Communications
For Narciso Rodriguez:
Pierre Rougier
PR Consulting
Web site: