Mischa Barton and Keds Expand and Extend Relationship; Mischa Will Be the Face of Keds Around the World

Mischa Barton and Keds Expand and Extend Relationship; Mischa Will Be the Face of Keds Around the World

LEXINGTON, Mass. — Based on the success of its current North American marketing campaign featuring Mischa Barton, the Keds Corporation, a subsidiary of Stride Rite Corp., announced today that it has extended its relationship with the brand spokesperson to include international rights. The agreement, which was just inked, will expand Barton’s current role to be the spokesperson for Keds worldwide, and extend the relationship for an additional year. The brand has committed to a three-year contract with the actress from 2005 through 2007.

As part of this agreement, Barton will appear in the footwear company’s print, television and outdoor advertising campaigns, direct mail, in-store materials and online in North America and around the world, as well as make personal appearances domestically and abroad on behalf of the brand.

According to Shawn Neville, President of Keds Corporation, “We are thrilled to extend and expand our successful relationship with Mischa through 2007 and across all international markets. Mischa personifies the Keds brand essence of authenticity, classic style, confidence and cool. Together, the Keds team and Mischa will continue to create product and marketing that reflect this essence and help Keds re-connect with its rich heritage and become a leading active lifestyle brand around the world.”

“Mischa Barton is known worldwide. Her classic image transcends continents and resonates with the Keds’ consumer in all of our international markets. Our global distributors are eager to introduce Mischa as the new face of Keds throughout the world,” said Chuck Redepenning, President, Stride Rite International Corp.

Nineteen-year-old Mischa Barton currently plays the lead role of Marissa on the FOX-TV hit “The O.C.” She will begin filming “Decameron,” a Dino de Laurentis film, in Rome, Italy this summer, in which she has a lead role. In 1998 Barton made her feature film debut in “Lawn Dogs” opposite Sam Rockwell. Her hailed performance was followed by roles in such films as “The Sixth Sense,” “Notting Hill,” and “Lost and Delirious” among others.

According to Barton, “Keds is a classic, cool brand that is known throughout the world for its heritage and great style. I’ve enjoyed working with their team and look forward to continuing the great relationship we have built. We just finished shooting the next campaign, which will be even cooler and more sophisticated, tapping into the vintage element of the brand.”

The spring ad campaign was launched in March 2005 and continues through May, appearing in Vogue, Lucky, Jane, InStyle, Teen Vogue, Elle Girl, Marie Claire and Interview magazines. Additionally, on-line media, mallboards and outdoor ads were placed throughout the country. A back-to-school and fall campaign breaking in July publications of similar magnitude is planned.

About The Keds Corp.

The Keds Corp. is a subsidiary of the Stride Rite Corp., a company that markets the leading brand of high quality children’s shoes in the United States. Other footwear products for children and adults are marketed by the Company under well-known brand names, including Keds, Pro-Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Tommy Hilfiger, Grasshoppers and Munchkin. Information about the Company is available on website – www.strideritecorp.com. Information about the Company’s brands and product lines is available at www.striderite.com, www.keds.com, www.ProKeds.com, www.grasshoppers.com and www.sperrytopsider.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This announcement includes forward-looking statements which reflect our current views with respect to the future events or financial performance discussed in the release based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and information currently available. When used, the words “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “project”, “should”, “expect”, “appear” and similar expressions, which do not relate solely to historical matters identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are not guarantees of future events or performance, which may be affected by known and unknown risks, trends and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, projected or implied. Factors that may cause such a variance include, among others: the opening of new stores may be delayed; the volume of anticipated sales may decline; revenues from new product lines may fall below expectations; the launch of new product lines may be delayed; new retail concepts may not achieve expected results; general retail sales trends may be below expectations; current license agreements may be terminated; consumer fashion trends may shift to footwear styling not currently included in our product lines; our retail customers,including large department stores, may consolidate or restructure operations resulting in unexpected store closings; and additional factors discussed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We expressly disclaim any responsibility to update forward-looking statements.

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