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Fashion Design Student Competes in 48-Hour Outdoor Wear Design Competition

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

Outdoor Retailer celebrates 10th cycle of design competition with an impressive group of student competitors

enter photo description
Kent State senior fashion design student
Jillian Miranda will compete in tradeshow
organizer Outdoor Retailer’s signature
design competition from Jan. 23 – 26 in
Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jillian Miranda, a senior fashion design student from Kent State University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, was recently chosen to compete in tradeshow organizer Outdoor Retailer’s signature design competition from Jan. 23 – 26 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Only five talented student designers from state universities across the country were chosen to participate in Project OR - Cycle 10, an event that promises to be the tradeshow's most historic and vibrant student design competition to date. The outdoor industry's original 48-hour concept-to-prototype design competition, Project OR - Cycle 10, will be held concurrently with the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

"These five students join an exclusive group of top-level product designers invited to go head-to-head in front of the entire outdoor industry," says Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen Expositions and Outdoor Retailer show director.

Miranda, from Chardon, Ohio, is a former competitive aerial skier with a passion for outerwear and travel. Most recently, Miranda completed a summer internship with 686, an innovative, fashionable outerwear and technical apparel company located in Los Angeles, Calif.

“Last year, I was runner-up for the 686 Reclaim Project at SnowSports Industry America. I was given an internship with 686, which I completed this past summer,” Miranda says. “It also gave me the tools to design and create my senior collection, which is a men’s ready-to-wear line specific for bike commuters.”

“Jillian has a passion for that segment of the industry,” says Associate Professor Sherry Schofield, who also is associate director of Kent State's School of Fashion Design and Merchandising. “Her senior collection, which will be showcased in the annual fashion show in April, will be a great collection highlighting functional men’s garments, which go from bike to boardroom.”

On the opening morning of the show, the five competitors will be given a design brief from which they will 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 Outdoor Retailer-selected design, supplier and manufacturer industry professionals that will carefully review each stage of the contestants' work. The winner of Project OR Cycle 10 will be declared the afternoon of day three after each designer has given a final presentation. Project OR is possible through support from the outdoor and textile industries. Past sponsors include Hyperbola, Cordura, GE/eVent, Invista, Rogers Corp, Schoeller, YKK and media partners, Textile Insight and WGSN. Project OR is directed by Eric Steele of Steele Media and guided by academic liaison Kathlyn Swantko of Fabriclink.

"Five years after the inception of our signature design competition, the industry continues to be inspired by and actively employ the young designers who have braved the gauntlet of Project OR," Haroutunian says.
The prize for the winning design includes a profile in Techstyle Insight Magazine, as well as an all-expense paid trip to Outdoor Retailer’s Summer Market in August 2013 to serve as a mentor to the chosen competitors.

Webisodes of past Project OR competitions can be found on www.outdoorretailer.com. Extended student biographies are also available here.

The other four Winter Market 2013 student competitors hail from Middle Tennessee State University, California State University Long Beach, University of Delaware and Missouri State University.

Outdoor Retailer 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.