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Meet the Winter Market 2012 Project OR Student Designers

Student competitors to bring new enthusiasm and design aesthetic to the outdoor industry during 48-hour design challenge

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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – November 17, 2011 – Five design students from around the country have been chosen to compete in the eighth cycle of Project OR, the industry’s original 48-hour concept-to-prototype design competition held during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market January 19-22, 2012.

The five Winter Market 2012 competitors are:

  • Paula Lam – Senior at San Francisco State University. Raised amid the high-tech community of San Jose, Lam has a passion for combining unexpected materials for design aesthetic and function.
  • Julia Mangelsdorf – Senior at Kansas State University. Magelsdorf is currently a teaching assistant in aesthetics courses with a love for camping and hiking.
  • Lauren Mellor – Senior at Auburn University. A recent intern at Stephanie D. Couture in Portland, Oregon, Mellor balances collegiate athletics and honor roll academics.
  • Kelsee Morefield – Senior at University of Idaho. Morefield was recently featured in an International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) fashion show and is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
  • Margaret Mussman – Junior at University of Cincinnati. As a former competitive snowboarder, Mussman is a life-long adventurer with an eye for a career in the outwear industry.

Expanded biographies of each of the contestants are available on the Winter Market Project OR web page.

“Project OR continues to bridge the gap between classroom academics and outdoor industry work environment. Attending Outdoor Retailer, interacting with the professionals in the industry, and working with the suppliers’ innovative garment components and fabrics is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these students,” said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen Expositions and OR show director. “We look forward to seeing inspiring designs from our newest round of student competitors.”

On opening morning of the show, the students will be given a design brief from which they’ll make initial sketches, source materials from the fabric and garment component manufacturers on the show floor, and race the clock to build a prototype before the 48-hour time limit expires. The final prototypes will be judged by a panel of design, supplier and manufacturer industry legends who will carefully review each stage of the contestants’ work.

The winner of Project OR Cycle 8 will be declared in the afternoon of day three, January 21, after each designer has given a compelling final presentation.

Winter Market 2012 Project OR supporting sponsor is Hyperbola.

For more information about Project OR sponsorship opportunities or becoming a Project OR supplier, please contact Marisa Nicholson at or 949.226.5760.

Webisodes of past Project OR competitions can be found on

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.

Now celebrating 30 years, Outdoor Retailer ( connects approximately 40,000 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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Maura Lansford, SOAR Communications, p 801.656.0472 x2(wk), c 817.929.8123, Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, p 801.656.0472 x1, c 801.597.7515,