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Carter's Wins the 1999 Earnie Award for Most Innovative Division with its New Brand Theme Celebrating Imagination and the John Lennon - Real Love Connection

MORROW, GA – Carter's, the number-one brand in children's apparel newborn through age six, won Earnshaw's 1999 Earnie Award in the “Most Innovative Division” category. The company's brand theme, Celebrating Imagination, and John Lennon – The Real Love Collection are the two programs that the judges cited for excellence when conferring this highly regarded award. This year marks Earnshaw's 23rd year in recognizing children's wear companies leading the industry in design within 25 categories. The Earnie Award ceremony was held on Tuesday, November 9th at 6:00 p.m. at Bridgewaters, South Street Seaport, New York.

Carter's was chosen for the “Most Innovative Division” among three other nominated children's wear companies. Preliminary ballots to determine the list of nominees are selected by fashion editors from both trade and consumer publications, representatives from children's buying offices, and a selection of national and specialty retailers. The national retail subscribers determine the top three nominees within each category and then select the winners. In a $27 billion industry, according to Business and Industry News, children's wear companies focus on producing high-quality products and fresh new design concepts to meet consumers expectations. By winning the Earnie Award, Carter's has demonstrated its commitment to providing the marketplace -- gift givers, parents and grandparents -- with innovative products and marketing. The trust and confidence the Carter's brand name has inspired among its loyal customers for so many decades played a key role in the successful introduction of Celebrating Imagination. “We are thrilled to win the 1999 Earnie Award for the ‘Most Innovative Division,'” said Fred Rowan, chairman and chief executive officer of Carter's. “The Carter's brand has become a complete lifestyle brand, one based on imagination and creativity. We are strengthening our remarkable emotional connection with consumers by offering them wonderful, creative children's products and a shopping experience that is imaginative and fun,” he added. “Our customers understand that a child's creative spirit should be nurtured. Celebrating Imagination responds to that need and fills a void in the market.”

Celebrating Imagination has strengthened the company's position as the favorite brand for young children by focusing on imagination and creativity. The collection of drawings titled, Real Love for Children, created by John Lennon to visually teach his son Sean to read, is the centerpiece of Carter's imagination concept. These whimsical drawings were an integral part of the company's launch of its brand theme and its innovative new apparel and lifestyle products. Room décor, accessories and toys all feature Lennon's wonderful array of animals, which include pink elephants, purple rhinos and yellow giraffes.

The Imagination Shop is Carter's physical manifestation of Celebrating Imagination. It was developed out of consumer-driven research about how consumers like to shop. Carter's has intensely studied its brand and its consumer and found that mothers, reflecting nostalgia for their own childhood, desire a simpler way for children to play in this fast-paced society. The shop displays Carter's products and as a centerpiece, the Imagination Machine is filled with creatively inspired play products including art kits, plush toys, baby books and room accessories. It also includes an iMac that gives important information about baby's first wardrobe, and connects to Carter's informative web site, The Imagination Machine and other fixtures in the shop include interactive elements where children can see themselves in funny mirrors, play with colorful wooden pegboards and make handprints on heat-sensitive pads.

Known to millions of mothers and grandmothers, Carter's is the number-one brand for children, newborn through age six. In 1999, Carter's will sell more than 60 million units. Carter's has been recognized for more than 130 years for its creativity and innovation in design and product introductions. Carter's web site is

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Suzanne Calkins
(212) 868-1600

Mary Duffy
The Dilenschneider Group
(212) 922-0900