On your mark, get set, invent.

The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market held in Salt Lake City this January is bringing back their innovative 48-hour, concept-to-prototype student design competition.

"Project OR fuses fresh design ideas and legendary outdoor design minds together in an exciting format that brings more value to the design-minded attendee," said Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer show director, "It also puts forth the real challenges professional designers face as they try to blend function, fashion and performance."

Project OR commissions five hand-picked design students from top design programs around the country to produce a garment prototype 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 supplier exhibitors. 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 OR-selected designers and industry trend-setters, reviews each contestant's final prototype and presentation on the last day of the show (Jan. 25, 2008). The winning student receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '09 and a profile in Textile Intelligence.

Outdoor Retailer (OR) previews the future of winter outdoor goods at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 22-25, 2009.