In a groundbreaking project to launch careers for fashion students, Silhouettes, in collaboration with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), today recognized eleven student designers for innovation in women's plus-size apparel.

Silhouettes is a leading catalog and online retailer featuring moderate to better fashion apparel and accessories for women size 12W-34W. This year, Silhouettes has underwritten and sponsored a project focused on design and challenging FIT students to create original clothing for the plus-size market. Combining creative expression and career aspiration is central to the FIT education, and that approach is the driving force behind Silhouettes' link to the Fashion Institute of Technology. FIT has been a primary staffing resource for the fashion industry for nearly 60 years. Today, with more than 12,000 students and 30 fields of study, FIT has a firm commitment to career-focused education.

Stephen Marks, president of Silhouettes, organized the alliance with the goal of creating an opportunity for students to acquire real-world experience. "For many years we have envisioned an alliance with FIT," says Marks. "We view the Silhouettes project at FIT as a living laboratory and as a stage for the ideas and designs of students to come alive. The positive learning and interaction between our professionals and the students continue, and we are dedicating ourselves to FIT and the future of fashion," declared Marks.

A panel comprised of executives from Silhouettes and FIT chose eleven students to honor. A selection of their designs will be available in a variety of Silhouettes catalogs and on the website, www.silhouettes.com, over time. The student finalists were selected based upon their ability to interpret fashion trends and their own ideas for the plus-size marketplace.

"We continue to receive tremendous student response to the program. Not only have they learned about a design career, they have had a beneficial mentoring experience with the Silhouettes professionals. I believe FIT and Silhouettes share the same creative ideal," stated FIT project supervisor and plus-size expert, Mark-Evan Blackman.

Motivation for creating this interactive association with FIT also arose from Silhouettes' desire to breathe new life into the plus-size market. The Silhouettes team encouraged the sharing of ideas with FIT students. Believing the collaboration will allow Silhouettes to stand out in the marketplace, student designers worked with fresh colors, imaginative patterns, and cutting-edge fabrics, opening the doors to a bright future for style beyond size.

The eleven student designers are Milda Bublys (Bloomfield Hills, MI), Kate Duecy (Seattle, WA), Elizabeth Evertsz (Queens, NY), Karina Feliz (Passaic, NJ), Junko Kawabata (Hyogo, Japan), Holly (Hyun) Kim (Baltimore, MD), Janet Li (Brooklyn, NY), Marlon Martinez (New York, NY), Keummi Park (Seoul, Korea), Rekha Singh (Dehli, India), and Kelly Simpson (Miami, FL).

Silhouettes offers stylish, modern wardrobing essentials with consistency of fit. A full range of high quality apparel and companion accessories are found in the pages of the catalog and online at www.silhouettes.com, all created for the size 12W to 34W woman. Trained fashion consultants, well versed in the needs of the plus-size customer, are available 24 hours a day when you call 1-800-704-3322. Or shop on-line at www.silhouettes.com.

Silhouettes is part of Hanover Brands, Inc., the business-to-consumer subsidiary of Hanover Direct, Inc. (Amex: HNV), a leading, specialty direct marketer with a diverse portfolio of specialty catalogs and proprietary products delivered via direct mail and electronic commerce.

About the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

A leader in fashion education, FIT is a State University of New York college of art and design, business and technology. The college's educational outreach extends to fashion's more broadly defined industries, including design, business, and communication, by offering career preparation in more than 30 related fields leading to AAS, BFA, MA, and MPS degrees. Strong industry connections contribute to FIT's cutting edge curriculum and the success of its graduates. Alumni include Calvin Klein, Norma Kamali, Michael Kors, and Victor Alfaro.