THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

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                                  DESIGNS, INC.

                            JEWELCOR MANAGEMENT, INC.

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Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
January 8, 1999
Contact:          Jacqueline Quigley  (561) 447-4713

        Holtzman calls on Designs, Inc. to make immediate drastic cuts in
                   overhead and remove anti-takeover defenses.

Earlier this week, the President and CEO of Designs, Inc. (NASDAQ:  DESI) stated
that he was pleased  with the improved  sales  results in the Levi's and Dockers
Outlet by Designs stores over the past three months. According to Designs' press
release dated January 5, 1999, the number of stores  increased from 70 stores in
fiscal 1997 to 95 stores in fiscal 1998 while sales remained  virtually flat for
the last quarter of the calendar year.

Shareholder  activist Seymour Holtzman stated, "It is incredible that management
is  encouraged  by recent sales  results.  They should not be pleased until they
return to  profitability.  The fact is that the  company  has  sustained a $71.4
million  operating loss over the 21 months ended October 31, 1998, and the price
of the stock  price  dropped to $.125 per share  during  that time  period.  The
company  should more  significantly  reduce  administrative  and other  overhead

"While  individual  and  institutional  shareholders  have  lost a lot of money,
management  and the Board of  Directors  are still  enjoying  their high  paying
salaries and board fees,  and continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars
in an  attempt  to  coerce me into  "backing  off"  from my  initiative.  Even a
symbolic gesture by senior management and the Board of Directors of taking a cut
in their  pay  would set the tone for the rest of the  company.  Instead,  it is
business as usual. I believe that there needs to be an immediate  elimination of
all overhead  and  expenses  other than that related to Levi Strauss and Dockers

Holtzman  also  contends  that  the  company  should  remove  its  anti-takeover
defenses. He stated, "The removal of the anti-takeover  defenses would also send
a long overdue positive message to the financial  community.  In my opinion, the
only purpose of  anti-takeover  defenses is to keep management  entrenched.  Why
would  shareholders  want to perpetuate  management and a Board of Directors who
are responsible for the serious losses that shareholders  have incurred?  I have
always  said that  everyone  benefits  from  good  management...  employees  and
shareholders. In  my opinion, the only people who benefit from bad management is

Page Two (2)
Designs, Inc.
January 8, 1999

"The  company  should  take  action  now to show that they are  sincere in their
stated  intentions  to make changes,  and not limit  shareholder  rights.  Their
tactics  of   attempting   to   intimidate   me  with  threats  of  lawsuits  is
unconscionable. Why in the world are they spending money to silence shareholders
who have every right to be disgusted with the financial  deterioration  of their
company, as well as the decrease in its stock price?"

"Although I have spent a significant amount of time and money in my efforts,  it
is  heartwarming  for me to receive  numerous  phone  calls and  accolades  from
shareholders  praising my efforts to  maximize  shareholder  value.  Yesterday I
received a call from a shareholder who owns 400 shares of stock.  She thanked me
profusely for my efforts and said she had hoped the company would be sold so she
could use the money  received  for her  upcoming  wedding.  Coincidentally,  she
happens to live in my hometown of Kingston, Pennsylvania."

"In my opinion,  shareholders are cynical as to whether management will actually
accept an offer to purchase the company.  Why does the stock  currently sell for
approximately  1/2 of book  value  when the Chief  Financial  Officer  stated on
December  11,  1998 that the  company  was worth  well in excess of book  value?
Shareholders  should be  mindful  that just  because  the  company  has hired an
investment  banking  firm,  it does not mean that they  will  actually  sell the
company.  They should also realize that if management  does not accept an offer,
they do not have to notify shareholders of the offer."

"I believe that this is likely a single  opportunity that shareholders now have.
Should my efforts on behalf of all  shareholders  not succeed,  the company will
then have the  opportunity  to put in more  anti-takeover  devices to perpetuate
their management at the expense of the shareholders."