Middle Tennessee State University Senior Wins Project OR Cycle 10

In 48-hours, Alycia Gillaspie designed and constructed a women's backcountry ski jacket, winning the judges' votes, a trip to Summer Market 2013 and a profile in Textile Insight

A fashion forward and fully-functional backcountry ski jacket designed by Middle Tennessee State University senior, Alycia Gillaspie, took first prize at the end of Project OR Cycle 10, held during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2013.

Gillaspie designed and constructed a technical and feminine women’s backcountry ski jacket, matching her garment with the challenge “to be as street ready as it is shred ready.” As always, contestants were challenged to consider the garment's full lifecycle, its care requirements and how to incorporate repurposed materials.

Gillaspie's backcountry high-low hem style jacket was primarily comprised of purple Chia Her fabric. The shape played a dual role by adding justifiable range of function and motion while reflecting current design trends.

The garment included a bright blue Polartec fleece hood that could be quickly tucked into an inventive and discreet back pocket panel with limited bulk. The jacket also sported front pleated pockets, perfect for holding a rescue beacon, cell phone or MP3 player. Pleats and other strategic features were accentuated with silver Bemis reflective tape. YKK zippers, and pulls and cording from Sterling Rope were also used.

“My main focus was to meet the technical demands of the jacket first through talking to and getting ideas from the vendors about fabrications and the applications of their technologies - the aesthetics and girliness of the design just followed,” Gillaspie explained, while presenting her finished prototype.

According to the Project OR panel of judges, the student designers applied the judges’ candid feedback and pleasantly surprised the judges with their final constructions and design.

“The designers really succeeded in bringing their garments to life and making them more applicable for backcountry skiing,” said Poppy Gall, a long-time outdoor and lifestyle industries designer and Project OR judge. “The winning garment doesn’t look like anything that is currently on the market, yet it could easily be translated successfully by nearly any major brand here at the show - I applaud her for that.”

Gillaspie was one of five students, including runner-up and People’s Choice Winner Jillian Miranda from Kent State University, selected to participate in the tenth cycle of Project OR, an intense 48-hour concept-to-prototype design competition meant to inspire innovative outdoor fashion. The winning designer received an all-expenses-paid return trip to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013, and a highlight article in Textile Insight.

Hyperbola, manufacturer of BOLA-TEX soft shell, and Bemis Associates Inc., a manufacturer of heat activated film adhesives, waterproofing seam tapes and custom films, were presenting sponsors for Project OR at Winter Market 2013.

Participating material suppliers included Rogers Corporation, Polartec LLC, Schoeller Textil USA Inc, Invista, Invista-Cordura, JML Apparel Co. LTD, Chia Her Material and Brookwood Companies Inc.

Outdoor Retailer will present the next cycle of Project OR at Summer Market, July 31-August 3, 2013.

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About Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer (OR) brings together retailers, manufacturers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation through tradeshows, product demo events and web-based business solutions. Produced by Nielsen Expositions and based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Outdoor Retailer also provides and promotes retailer education, advocacy, responsibility and critical face-to-face business initiatives within the outdoor industry.

Recently named among Trade Show News Network's 25 fastest-growing trade shows by attendance, Outdoor Retailer (www.outdoorretailer.com) connects approximately 46,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Summer and Winter Market shows, and thousands more through its year-round online resources and platforms.

Maura Lansford, SOAR Communications, 801.656.0472 x2(wk)/ 817.929.8123(cell),mlansford@soarcomm.com