Oklahoma State University Student Wins Outdoor Retailer Project OR

Melaney Stevens, a design student from Oklahoma State University, won the 2011 Winter Market Project OR design competition. Melaney and five other designers from around the country had 48 hours to create a highly technical piece of outdoor apparel.


Oklahoma State University Student Wins Project OR at
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011

In 48 hours, Melaney Stevens designed and constructed a women's ice climbing pant, winning the judges' votes, a trip to Summer Market 2011 and a profile in Textile Insight 2011 OR WM Project OR Winner

San Juan Capistrano, Calif. and Salt Lake City, Utah - January 23, 2011 - Outdoor Retailer (OR) concluded another successful cycle of Project OR when it named Melaney Stevens of Oklahoma State University the winner of its sixth cycle held at OR Winter Market 2011.

Stevens designed a stretchable, water resistant ice climbing pant to meet the specifications outlined in the Project OR design brief including flexibility, protection and versatility. Stevens' clean, feminine take on the specialized technical garment, combined with a modern look using targeted incorporation of color, won over the panel of industry design gurus judging the entries.

"My focus is in custom bridal wear so coming to Project OR was a new challenge," Stevens said. "I like being exposed to new apparel and new fabrics. It's changed my perception and I'm going to really look in this industry for opportunities in the future."

Stevens' climbing pant featured water resistant, stretch fabric from Schoeller, reflective piping from JRC Reflex, padding for knees and shins from Poron, YKK zippers, and buckles and zipper pulls from ITW Nexus.

"Pants were a whole new category we'd never approached before, which was a great change of pace that brought out a lot of creativity from the designers," said Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer show director. "I saw really diverse designs that showed a very new way of approaching a highly technical piece of apparel."

Stevens was one of six students, including runner-up Silvia Guttmann, selected to participate in the sixth cycle of Project OR, an intense 48-hour concept-to-prototype design competition meant to inspire innovative outdoor fashion.

As the winner of Project OR, Stevens receives an all-expenses-paid return trip to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '11 and a profile in Textile Insight.

"Project OR is a fantastic opportunity to get to know young designers coming out of school and see people excited about products," said Jen Keesey, a trend consultant for fashion forecaster Promostyl and one of the contest judges. "It was refreshing to see fresh faces with some great design skills. I was so impressed with the level of detail and as a female consumer I look for those little touches."

Hyperbola, manufacturer of BOLA-TEX soft shell, and Malakye.com, an online networking and career-building resource for the action sports and outdoor industry, were presenting sponsors for Project OR at Winter Market 2011.

Show attendees followed the students' progress in designated areas throughout the show and via several online episodes on the OR website.

Still to come, the winner of the People's Choice award will be announced in the coming week in a news brief from Outdoor Retailer.

Outdoor Retailer will present the next cycle Project OR at Summer Market, August 4-7, 2011.

About Project OR
For more information about Project OR, visit the Project OR website.

About Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer (OR), produced by Nielsen Expositions of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is a full-service trade show company that creates, markets and produces high-quality expos and educational conferences. OR is the leading outdoor industry business-to-business event management company, bringing together manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation. Now celebrating more than 25 years of successful events, Outdoor Retailer gathers approximately 40,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Winter and Summer Market shows. To see future dates for both shows, click here.

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Alex Strickland, SOAR Communications, 801.656.0472 x3(wk)/ 801.742.1414(cell),astrickland@soarcomm.com
Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, 801.656.0472 x1(wk) / 801.597.7515(cell),csmith@soarcomm.com