Outdoor Retailer Selects Students for 2010 Winter Market Competition

Five students from the nation’s top design schools will join the outdoor industry in January to showcase their outdoor apparel concepts and exhibiting suppliers’ products

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – Oct. 19, 2009 – Project OR is a 48-hour concept-to-prototype student design competition that provides a forum for exhibiting suppliers and future designers to collaborate and showcase creative winter outdoor apparel designs using the market's most innovative materials.

“The high-caliber students selected for Project OR's fourth cycle are going to be challenged with a completely new concept in the design brief under development now,” said Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer show director. “The process of Project OR gives the students the opportunity to design, source and create amidst the industry they hope to work in after they graduate, while at the same time exposing the industry to the students' fresh interpretations of outdoor apparel using innovative materials from our supplier exhibitors.”

Project OR invites one student from five of the nation's top design schools to participate in each cycle of the competition. Each design school selects one student from its program to represent the school at Outdoor Retailer. While each school has its own vetting process, Florida State University, alma mater to Summer Market Project OR winner, Lindsey Schuyler, evaluated its potential Project OR Winter Market representatives based on their self confidence as much as their creativity and ability to execute a design.

Wanda Brown, associate design instructor at Florida State University, said, “Project OR teaches the students the reality of meeting demands which is important to understand because the market is so fiercely competitive right now.”

Brown uses Project OR videos from past cycles as part of her classroom instruction to prepare her students for the variety of demands they will face as designers.

“Project OR is enriching our program because I can use the videos from past cycles to better teach about functional outerwear,” Brown said. “Before I had the Project OR videos to teach about jackets, it was hard for students sitting in the classroom to grasp design concepts because we mostly wear bathing suits in Florida. I remind my students that they might go into an industry that cares about outerwear.”

The Project OR Summer Market 2009 video is available at Winter Market Student Participant page.

Past sponsors and contributing suppliers of Project OR have included 3M, CORDURA® Brand Fabrics, Concept III Textiles, Coville, ITW Nexus, JRC Reflex, Lenzing, Lunabrite Inc., Nüwa Textiles, Outlast, Polartec, PrimaLoft, Proctor & Gamble, Schoeller Textil AG, Sympatex Technologies, United Knitting, Vermont Organic Fiber Company and YKK.

For more information about Project OR sponsorship opportunities or becoming a Project OR supplier, please contact Marisa Nicholson at marisa.nicholson@nielsen.com.

About Project OR
Project OR, produced and recorded live at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, is a 48-hour concept-to-prototype student design competition meant to inspire innovative outdoor concepts.

Filmed in a reality-competition type format, Project OR begins with an initial Design Brief that challenges the students to create a garment that is original, an innovative use of performance and eco-friendly materials and has a practical application for the outdoor market.

Once initial garment designs are complete, contestants turn their drawings into product using the latest fabrics, zippers and other clothing components provided by participating Outdoor Retailer supplier exhibitors. With sourcing complete, contestants spend the remainder of the 48-hour deadline at their work station (equipped with sewing machines, cutting tables, pressing equipment and tools) building their final prototypes.

Project OR's panel of judges, comprised of Outdoor Retailer-selected designers and industry trend-setters, review each contestant's final prototype and presentation on the last day of the show, to determine a winner. The winning student receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '10 and a profile in Textile Insight (see most recent winner profile ).

Show attendees are encouraged to follow the students' progress in designated areas throughout the show and via streaming video on the OR Web site
. Attendees can submit their vote, via a ballot box by the contestant work stations, for the Project OR People's Choice Award.

About Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer (OR), produced by Nielsen Business Media 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 (www.outdoorretailer.com) gathers approximately 40,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Winter and Summer Market shows.

The next opportunity to preview the future of the outdoor industry will start at the All Mountain Demo at Snow Basin Ski Resort in Ogden, Utah on January 20, 2010 followed by the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market at the Salt Palace Convention Center from January 21-24, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Maura Lansford, SOAR Communications, 801-523-3730 (wk), 817-929-8123 (cell), mlansford@soarcomm.com or
Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, 801-523-3730 (wk), 801-597-7515 (cell) csmith@soarcomm.com