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Outdoor Retailer Announces Contestats for "Project OR"

July 28, 2008

Outdoor Retailer Announces Contestats for "Project OR"
An on Site Student Design Competition at Summer Market '08

Colorado State University, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (Calif.), Fashion Institute of Technology (N.Y.), North Carolina State University, and Washington State University to Send Contestants

Outdoor Retailer today announced the five students selected to compete in “Project OR,” a design competition debuting at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Aug. 8 – 11, 2008 in Salt Lake City.  The students, selected from the nation’s top design schools, will gather materials from show exhibitors to build prototype designs for an outdoor garment that will be unveiled on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008 at The Source and Design Center. articipating schools include Colorado State University, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (Calif.), Fashion Institute of Technology (N.Y.), North Carolina State University, and
Washington State University. Suppliers are encouraged to bring additional raw materials such as zippers, shell fabric, insulation, and foam, etc. for the student designers who must complete their projects in 48 hours. (Supplier participation forms available at

Students competing are: Kristen Jones from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.; Aimee Morrow from Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colo.; Ryanniel Ocampo from Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York, N.Y.; Casey Stannard from Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.; and Allison Stelyn from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Los Angeles, Calif.

On the first day of the show, each contestant will be provided a work station space in the Design Center at the Energy Solutions Arena (formerly the Delta Center) to design and construct their prototype design.  Each work station will be equipped with sewing machines, cutting tables, pressing equipment, and tools.  Students will only use the components they collect on the first day of the show for their design prototype.

“When we initiated our search for Project OR competitors, we decided to not focus on 'outdoor' oriented designers,” said Kenji Haroutunian, show director.  “We want Project OR to bring 'out of the box' design influence into the market.  It's a rapidly changing marketplace, where function is only part of the equation.  Fit, fashion, and flexibility, as well as a product's ‘green index’ are all important factors in today's design world.  For that reason, we are trying to keep the format as open as possible.  We are not dictating a specific garment or category for the students; we are looking forward to seeing what these young, innovative students can create from concept to prototype in only 48 hours.”

Show attendees will be able to view the progress of students’ work throughout the show via Outdoor Retailer’s website and in designated areas throughout the show. A video capturing the design contest highlights will be posted on and other partner websites.

The competition will be judged by a panel of designers and industry influencers from across the industry, combined with a live voting component for show.  The judges will review each design based on originality, innovative use of performance and eco-friendly materials, and the overall practical application for the outdoor market.

The winner will be announced Sunday, August 10 at 3 p.m. in the Source and Design Center (in The Salt Palace) and will be featured in Textile Insight in the fall.