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SHAKOPEE, Minn. -When the runway got a dose of reality, as in reality television show programming, Shakopee's Christopher Straub saw his chance.

"Fourteen weeks on television is not a bad way to start your fashion career," Straub said referring to his stint on Lifetime'sProject Runway back in 2009.

Straub's ascent into fashion stardom can be directly linked to his 12-week-stay on that show in season six.

Since appearing on Project Runway, Straub's career in fashion design has kept a steady pace holding runway shows and showcasing a new line of clothing and accessories at Maurice's.

"I went from being in eight boutiques in the country to 800 stores nationwide," Straub said of his success.

That is the kind of career launch reality shows can deliver.

Professor Missy Bye heads the apparel design program at the University of Minnesota.She says shows like Project Runway and the up and coming NBC fashion design showFashion Star have done wonders for the marketing of the profession.

"It has really increased the applications to our program and I think programs across the country; it has just made this field more accessible," Professor Bye said.