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First apparel retailer joins growing number of leading consumer products companies using Affinnova's IDEA™ technology to optimize the product development and marketing cycle

CAMBRIDGE, MASS./NEW YORK, N.Y. - 12/15/03 - Affinnova announced today that Aéropostale, Inc., (NYSE: ARO), a mall-based specialty retailer for young adults, has contracted with Affinnova to utilize its patent-pending proprietary IDEA™ (Interactive Design by Evolutionary Algorithms) technology to optimize Aéropostale's merchandising mix and product designs. Affinnova, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a leading provider of business decision-making solutions modeled on the science of evolution to support the product and brand development process. Aéropostale is the first apparel retailer to regularly employ Affinnova's technology to evolve products based upon real-time input from consumers, more quickly and with greater chances of market success than ever before possible.

"Great brands emerge when merchants and product developers understand their consumers intimately," said Rob Frasca, Affinnova CEO. "Aéropostale's passion to stay close to the evolving tastes of its teen consumer base, and the premium it places on speed to market, provides us with an ideal opportunity to showcase the ROI implicit in Affinnova's methodology. Affinnova offers a compelling value proposition that allows companies of all kinds to significantly boost their ability to win in a high-stakes and constantly changing market landscape."

"Consumers continually demand that we react more quickly to changes in fashion trends and to their tastes," said Julian R. Geiger, Aéropostale chairman & CEO. Affinnova's IDEA™ Technology provides us with profound market insights, helping us to mitigate risk and develop products with greater assurance that they will succeed in our rapidly changing market. We believe that our arrangement with Affinnova gives us a competitive advantage in the teen apparel market."

Aéropostale is the first apparel retailer to join a growing number of leading consumer products companies including Affinnova's IDEA™ technology into the product development and marketing process. These companies include ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and Staples.

About Aéropostale, Inc.

Aéropostale, Inc. (www.Aé is a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories that target both young women and young men aged 11 to 20. The company provides customers with a selection of high-quality, active-oriented, fashion basic merchandise in a high-energy store environment. The company maintains complete control over the proprietary brand by designing and sourcing all of its own merchandise. Aéropostale products can be purchased only in its stores, which sell Aéropostale merchandise exclusively. The first Aéropostale store was opened in 1987. The company currently operates 460 stores in 41 states.

About Affinnova, Inc.

Affinnova harnesses the voice of consumers to help companies develop more successful brands and products. Its unique, patent-pending technology uses genetic algorithms to "evolve" product designs in response to consumer preferences. Affinnova's technology has been adopted by a growing list of blue-chip customers including eleven Fortune 500 companies. Affinnova is privately held and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information about Affinnova, visit

About IDEA™

Affinnova's patent pending IDEA™ (Interactive Design by Evolutionary Algorithms) technology evolves virtual products, concepts, packages and brands based on consumer preferences. IDEA™ technology allows for exploration of wider design and creative spaces, holistic optimization, the identification of interaction effects (feature synergies), and preference-based market segmentation.