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OR Announces Participating Design Programs for Project OR Summer

Students from five top design programs to create innovative outdoor recreation clothing prototypes

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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – March 18, 2009 – Continuing its collaborative relationship with top design schools throughout the country, Outdoor Retailer announced the five design programs that will participate in “Project OR,” a 48-hour concept-to-prototype student design outdoor clothing competition produced and recorded live at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, July 21-24, 2009, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The participating programs include:
•The Art Institute of California, San Francisco
•California State University, Los Angeles
•Colorado State University
•Cornell University
•Florida State University

“Now in our third cycle, we look forward to meeting the next round of student designers who will ultimately play a key role in shaping the future of outdoor fashion and apparel,” said Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer show director. “Project OR gives top design students the opportunity to work through the entire design story with fabrics and supplies they would never have access to in the classroom, while bringing attention to the innovative raw materials suppliers exhibiting at OR. A win-win for everyone involved, Project OR continues to bring a youthful and modern perspective to traditional outdoor fashion.”

One Project OR 2009 Summer Market contestant will be selected within each program listed above. Representative students from each of the schools will be announced by Outdoor Retailer in the next several weeks.

While each school has its own vetting processes, Colorado State University (home to Project OR Winter Market 2009 Winner Ron Rod) will select its representing junior-level student based on drive, extraordinary creativity and interest in pursuing a career designing for the outdoor industry.

“Because we are located in the center of an outdoor recreation mecca, many of our students are outdoor enthusiasts themselves and have a clear understanding of Project OR’s target consumer,” said Mary Littrell, CSU Fashion Design and Merchandising department head. “Project OR provides an excellent venue for our students to compare themselves with other students entering the job market at a similar time, develop contacts with both key end-product and supplier manufacturers, and get a taste of what their future careers could hold.”

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

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 summer outdoor fashion.

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, July 24, to determine a winner. The winning student receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market ’10 and a profile in Textile Insight.

Show attendees are encouraged to follow the students’ progress in designated areas throughout the show and via streaming video on the OR website. 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 ( 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 Open Air Demo Pineview Reservoir (near Odgen, Utah) on July 20, 2009, followed by the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at the Salt Palace Convention Center from July 21-24, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Maura Lansford, SOAR Communications, 801-523-3730, or
Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, 801-523-3730,