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National Women's Fashion Retailer maurices Announces Christopher Straub From Lifetime's Project Runway as Celebrity Designer

Hometown Designer, Hometown Stores, Hometown Fashion; Sun., Nov. 20: Online Fashion Showcase and Live Chat With Christopher; Tues., Nov. 22: Line Launches on maurices.com; Fri., Nov. 25: Line Launches in Stores (November 14, 2011)

DULUTH, MN -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/11 -- maurices (NASDAQ: ASNA) - All throughout his appearance on Lifetime's wildly popular Project Runway, Christopher Straub insisted his hometown was Shakopee, Minn. Not nearby Minneapolis.

No matter how far Straub goes -- and, by the way, he made it all the way to the top five in season six -- he doesn't want to forget where he came from. Perfect for maurices, a women's fashion retailer with nearly 800 stores nationwide -- many of them in towns much like the young designer's.

The exclusive Christopher Straub for maurices full line of clothing, accessories and a fragrance launches Nov. 22 on maurices.com. Starting Black Friday, Nov. 25, 80 select maurices locations will carry the full line, with the other 720 stores carrying his accessories and fragrance. Prices are in the hometown-friendly range of $12 to $89.

Customers can get an up-close look at Straub and his new line in a unique online fashion showcase. People can watch through maurices' Facebook page the evening of Sun., Nov. 20. An engaging interview and behind-the-scenes look at his new fashions will be followed by a runway show and then a live video chat with Christopher.


"We started working with Christopher earlier this year through our Main Street Model Search," says Brad Hartmann, maurices vice president of marketing. "The contest was all about finding girls from hometowns across America who, like Christopher, have a big-time dream," says Hartmann. "In their case, it's of being a model. Christopher understands what they're feeling and experiencing because he's been in those same uncharted waters."

Hartmann said Straub did such a great job, and connected so well with the winning models who represent maurices' core customers, the company wanted to continue the partnership. "We thought he could bring that same understanding and sensibility and, ultimately, high fashion to a line of clothing for hometown girls. And he nailed it. We can hardly wait for the launch."

Straub, who was introduced to fashion design by his mother, an illustrator for a popular Twin Cities retailer, jumped at the chance. "When the opportunity came up," he says, "I knew exactly what the line would look like; I knew exactly the signature pieces," says Straub. "Dresses are my favorite thing. And so I developed three that just look fantastic on. We did some separates, some bottoms and this great faux fur jacket."

That doesn't mean the assignment was an easy one. maurices prides itself on making fashion available to everybody. That means it not only has to be affordable, but also available in a wide range of sizes.

Straub was more than up for the challenge. "All together the collection really speaks for itself," he says. "It has good texture and patterns and colors, and there is really something for every girl." His dresses are available in sizes 1/2 through 13/14 and his separates in sizes XS through XL.

Hartmann doesn't expect the collection to be available for long. "This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our customers to have an exclusively designed product that can't be found anywhere else, for as little as $12." Hartmann adds, "Our stock of these products is fairly limited, and when they're gone, they're gone."

But this won't be the last people see of Christopher Straub for maurices. He's already working on an exclusive spring line for the hometown fashion retailer, solely featuring his favorite item to design: dresses.

About maurices
maurices
, a division of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), is the leading hometown specialty store and authority for the savvy, fashion-conscious girl with a twenty-something attitude. Today, maurices operates 800 stores in 44 states. maurices stands for fashion, quality, value and customer service. Offering sizes 1-24, our styles are inspired by the girl in everyone, in every size. For store information and to shop online, visit maurices.com.

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CONTACT:
Jessica Stauber
WestmorelandFlint on behalf of maurices
jessica(dot)stauber(at)westmorelandflint(dot)com
218-727-1552


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