Roslyn S. Jaffe

Co-Founder, Secretary, and Director Emeritus
Ascena Retail Group
A headshot of Roslyn S. Jaffe, the co-founder, secretary and director emeritus of Ascena Retail Group

It was 1962 when working mother Roslyn Jaffe recognized the need to provide a simple solution for others like her: a one-stop, easy shopping experience for value-based, fashion-forward work attire.

That year, she and her husband Elliott founded dressbarn, a small store in Stamford, Connecticut. In the years that followed, the couple grew the business into a multi-brand empire, now valued at over $7.4 billion, known as Ascena Retail Group, Inc. They also cultivated an environment in which store associates were close-knit and able to rely on one another.

Throughout her career, Roslyn has been dedicated to philanthropic efforts which improve the lives of women; including being an early advocate for Dress for Success. Roslyn also recognized and heralded the importance of honoring the “everyday heroes” who continue to make the world a better place for women and children—especially in the areas of health, education, social reform and esteem.

The Roslyn Jaffe Awards are presented annually; one category honors ascena associates who embody ascena’s spirit of giving back. The awards—which include a $100,000 grand prize for an organization and two $25,000 grants for runners-up—are the perfect intersection of Roslyn’s life work. Her passion for retail stems from its ability to instill “confidence in women”. Whether through fashion or philanthropy, Roslyn has been helping to build women—and by extension, families—for more than five decades.