Winners of the Winter Market 2014 Project OR: The Master’s Competition

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Winners of the Winter Market 2014 Project OR: The Master’s Competition

Tarzana, Calif. February 10, 2014 ­– The FabricLink Network (FLN), the leading website for textile networking, education, and sourcing for the textile industry and Outdoor Retailer, announces the talented winners of the Master Competition from the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Project OR: The Masters Competition.  Industry leaders served as Project OR judges and ten contestants returned to compete in the 48-hour design competition.

"It was exciting to see the various prototype garments developed by these ten creative designers,” noted Kathy Swantko, president of the FabricLink Network. "And because of the variety of designs, the competition was able to showcase a broad array of wonderful technical fabrics provided by several OR exhibitors and Project OR suppliers."

Kenji Haroutunian, Emerald Expositions Vice President and Outdoor Retailer Show Director, and Kathy Swantko, Design Center sponsor and president of the FabricLink Network, lead a motivational introduction to kick off the four-day competition. The contestants, who were grouped into five, two-person teams, had one morning to develop concept boards for the first round of judging and 48 hours to complete cutting edge outdoor garments for one adult and one child outerwear jacket.

The overall winners in this high pressure cooker event were, Katy Jessee and Alycia Gillaspie. They chose a high-end finish to their garments with technical wools; the finishing and details lead to their ultimate win. Jessee graduated from Missouri State University in the Fall of 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design with an emphasis on Design and Product Development and a Fine Art minor. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's Degree in Project Management from Missouri State University while working as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Fashion and Interior Design. Gillaspie is a recent Summa Cum Laude graduate from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with a B.S. in Textiles, Merchandising, and Design concentrating in Apparel Design and minoring in Entrepreneurship. Together they found a winning solution. 


The winner for the first round of design boards was the team of Ron Rod III and Silvia Guttmann. Rod graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Apparel Design and Production and went on to work for Pearl Izumi for three years. He is currently a Pro Team Apparel Liaison at Trek Bikes. Silvia Guttmann has won several national design competitions and has also been issued three design patents. She is currently a Senior Designer and Team Leader at 3M.

The contestants who returned from previous years included: Alycia Gillaspie (Winner Cycle 10), Katy Jessee (Winner Cycle 9), Ron Rod III (Winner Cycle 2), Lindsey Schuyler (Winner Cycle 3), Faith Anderson (Winner Cycle), Amy Dorie (Winner Cycle 7), Margaret Mussman (Winner Cycle 8), Silvia Guttmann (People’s Choice Winner Cycle 6), Jillian Miranda (People’s Choice Winner Cycle 10), Ryanniel Ocampo (Winner Cycle 1).

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 Kathy Swantko, president of the FabricLink Network, said, "As a member of the Project OR Organizing Team, it was rewarding to see how these former students have progressed from their initial student Project OR Competition, knowing that Project OR played an important role in their growth as professional designers."

 “As a supporter, observer and veteran of the Outdoor Retailer show for 18 years, I was overwhelmed by the talent, execution and delivery of such sophisticated materials, designs and end production in such a short time period.” adds Beth Cochran Communications Director for FabricLink.

The judging panel representatives from apparel companies shared their passion for outdoor recreation and industry, as well as their design knowledge with the contestants. This season’s judges included Pam Theodosakis, Trendologist and co-founder of Prana; Tobin Teichgraeber - Sr. Head of Product, Americas RCC/PUMA International; Skip Yowell - co-founder of Jansport, and a long-time member of the OIA-Outdoor Foundation and Big City Mountaineers boards; Haysun Hahn - the Founder of Fast Forward Trending, a global consultancy specializing in design trends and color for consumer products. Celebrity Judge Mila Hermanovski of Project Runway and currently a Fashion designer out of Las Angeles, CA., joined the judging panel for this year’s event.

“Project OR was honored to have this diverse group of talent and experience serving as judges for the Master’s Competition,” said Pam Theodosakis, Trendologist and co-founder of Prana. “As a group our congratulations to the hard work and dedication of these celebrated alumni of the Annual Project OR. Each team presented winning concepts and excellent results.”

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About the FabricLink Network:

Kathlyn Swantko, a textile advocate and educator, is president and founder of and, the on-line textile resources that make up the FabricLink Network. (trade-to-consumer) and (trade-to-trade) provide information about new products and marketing opportunities for specialty textiles, textile-based products and services. The two sites offer; valuable content and technical information, news releases on innovations, fabric descriptions, usage and care, supplier history and contacts. Seven searchable indexes make the FabricLink Network websites the “go to” resources for developers of textiles, fashion designers, and researchers. In addition, the Network offers effective platforms for all businesses, from small niche-based companies to large broad-based textile manufacturers. This gives the ability to reach other businesses within the supply chain and the consumer. Visit the FabricLink Network ( and on twitter at FabricLinkNet, and on Facebook at

Kathy Swantko can be reached at (818) 345-7501, or at

Communications Contact: Beth Cochran, 406.579.7909

About Project OR:

Sponsored by Outdoor Retailer and Bemis and held at the winter show Project OR for 2014 is a design competition that celebrates the functionality, originality and design of outdoor recreational clothing. Over the 48 hours of the show, designers produce original garment prototypes, utilizing innovative performance and eco-friendly materials that have a practical application in the outdoor market. On Day 3 of the show, the Project OR judges will review each contestant’s final prototype and presentation, and announce the final winner. The Project OR student competitors are filmed in a reality- style competition that begins with an initial Design Brief, followed by the creation of a conceptual drawing, the sourcing of materials for the project, the actual production of the garment and the final presentation before a panel of design The People’s Choice Award is awarded, based on OR Show attendee votes for their favorite contestant’s design.

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 Emerald 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. 

Consistently named among Trade Show News Network’s 25 fastest-growing tradeshows by attendance, Outdoor Retailer ( connects approximately 50,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Summer and Winter Market shows, and thousands more through its year-round online resources and platforms.



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