Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PROJECT OR: OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET’s REALITY SHOW HIT


Winner Ron Rod and supporter sipping the bubbly.





OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET WINTER 2009, SALT LAKE CITY

January 25th, Salt Lake Palace Convention Center





Words, Images Judith Ecochard and courtesy of Outdoor Retailer Market

With an appreciative nod to Heidi Klum ‘s reality show wunderkind, last week’s huge OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET WINTER 2009 had it’s own version of a grueling, 48 hour contest…challenging design students with the task of conjuring and stitching up a fashionable woman’s mid-layer garment that “embodied performance, technical, eco-friendly materials and creative design.”

Unlike the NYC version however, tradeshow attendees and exhibitors got to see the designers at work…with a room off the main floor given over to their respective ateliers. Needless to say, the pointed barbs that characterize the televised Project Runway…were not happening.

















But the high level of craftsmanship was there. IMHO-none of these outfits deserved a “You’re Out...Please Leave The Runway” comment.

In fact, we were impressed with all of the sketches, and use of source materials from 3M, CORDURA® Brand Fabrics, Coville, ITW Nexus, JRC Reflex, Lenzing, Nüwa Textiles, Outlast, Polartec, PrimaLoft, Schoeller Textil AG, Sympatex Technologies, United Knitting, Vermont Organic Fiber Company and YKK.








And we were really impressed that the group of contestants--- Curt Sousa, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising; Luba Lowry, Savannah College of Art and Design; Lucy Brooks, Fashion Institute of Technology, Stephanie Sandstrom, California College of the Art, and winner Ron Rod, a design student from Colorado State University…were able to focus and “make it work” with all the curious onlookers taking a peek.



















THE WINNER:
Ron Rod’s top prize ensemble, coined “The Rocker” is a part of the “wear your technology” theme that is catching on in the performance wear category.

Using technical and eco-friendly fabrics from Schoeller, ITW Nexus and United Knitting, Rod’s prototype jacket had a fully functioning Q10 System’s PANiQ intergrated sound system with a textile touch pad to control it all. Wow.

For luddites like us, the eye-catching diagnol stripes on the torso and hand warmer pockets were reason enough to want it now.

Congrats are in order for all of the contestants…