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[09/24/08 - 02:13 PM]
USA Network, Debra Messing, Designer Lauren Merkin and Renowned Illustrator Sujean Rim Join Forces to Create Signature Handbag and T-Shirt for 'The Starter Wife'
The "Molly" will make its television debut on the season finale of THE STARTER WIFE, when it will appear on the arm of Molly (Messing) herself.

[via press release from USA]

USA NETWORK, DEBRA MESSING, DESIGNER LAUREN MERKIN AND RENOWNED ILLUSTRATOR SUJEAN RIM JOIN FORCES TO CREATE SIGNATURE HANDBAG AND T-SHIRT FOR 'THE STARTER WIFE'

In A Network First, USA Extends Show Brand Via Fashion Partnerships To Broaden Appeal

NEW YORK � September 24, 2008 � USA Network has teamed up with celebrated handbag designer Lauren Merkin and Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing, star of the hit series THE STARTER WIFE, to create the custom "Molly" handbag, a chic clutch named in honor of the equally chic character who inspired it, THE STARTER WIFE's Molly Kagan. USA has also enlisted renowned illustrator Sujean Rim to create an original work inspired by the series and its spirited and fashionable heroine, Molly Kagan. In a nod to Molly's glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, energy and �lan, the one-of-its-kind design will be featured on a signature t-shirt made exclusively for THE STARTER WIFE. Messing stars as the newly single and ever so stylish Molly Kagan in the Emmy Award-winning series THE STARTER WIFE, which premieres on Friday, October 10 at 9/8c on USA Network. The announcement was made by USA's Alexandra Shapiro, senior vice president, brand marketing & digital.

"For USA, these unique partnerships demonstrate a fresh approach to extending THE STARTER WIFE brand into the fashion arena while providing fashion-conscious consumers the opportunity to tangibly connect with Molly's stylish sensibility," said Shapiro.

Messing, no stranger to Best Dressed lists, actively shared her renowned fashion savvy during the design process of the handbag with designer Lauren Merkin. "As an artist, it's been both rewarding and fun to team with Lauren Merkin and USA in designing the "Molly" clutch," said Debra Messing, star and executive producer of THE STARTER WIFE. "It's more than just a fun fashion item, it's an extension of Molly's feisty character," she added.

THE "MOLLY" CLUTCH

The "Molly" will make its television debut on the season finale of THE STARTER WIFE, when it will appear on the arm of Molly (Messing) herself. The clutch will be offered as part of a national Text-To-Win Sweepstakes following the season finale and as a promotional giveaway via print and digital outlets. Fans of Lauren Merkin and THE STARTER WIFE will also be able to purchase their own signature "Molly" clutch exclusively at laurenmerkin.com beginning the first week of October. The "Molly," a clutch made of amethyst baby croc patent with satin side details, will have a retail price of $295 and will be available in several fabrications.

USA NETWORK/MERKIN & SUJEAN ANNOUNCEMENT

Lauren Merkin is a name familiar to celebrities, stylists, fashionistas and countless savvy shoppers. Those in-the-know when it comes to fashion have been turning to Merkin for her hip, elegant and affordable handbags for years; her popular clutches have appeared numerous times on the pages of fashion magazines such as InStyle, Lucky, and Harper's Bazaar, as well as in the hands of dozens of stylish stars, including Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum and Liv Tyler. Now the "Molly" is poised to join "Eve", "Lucy," "Lola," and the many other designs (all bearing the names of women) that make up Merkin's collection of refined, feminine and fun modern classics. Lauren Merkin's collection is available at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Scoop, Searle, shopbop.com and various independently owned retailers across the county.

THE SIGNATURE "STARTER WIFE" T-SHIRT

The signature STARTER WIFE long sleeved t-shirt featuring Sujean's original design will be available for purchase at the NBC Experience store and online at starterwife.usanetwork.com the first week of October. It will also be offered as a promotional giveaway on-air and online and in select print publications. The shirt has already made its way into the hands of many of fashion's elite during last week's New York fashion shows; over 3,000 shirts were distributed in the official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week gift bags, as well as in those given away by OK! Magazine and US Weekly.

The partnership between USA Network and Sujean Rim around THE STARTER WIFE was a natural one, as both the series and Sujean's work share a similar stylish sensibility. Sujean began her career designing shoes and accessories before leaving the fashion industry to pursue illustration fulltime. Since then, she has become well known in the fashion world and around the globe for her signature watercolor designs, which have been commissioned by a wide variety of companies from Tiffany & Co., to Target. Her work is perhaps most familiar to the 2.6 million subscribers of DailyCandy.com, the insider's guide to all things hip, new and stylish, for whom Sujean has created a signature look with her singular, fashion-savvy illustrations.

USA NETWORK is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. The #1 network in basic cable, USA Network is seen in nearly 94 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.





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