Baylor Senior Is Selected for National Design Competition

August 2, 2012
Kaylyn Smith

Photo courtesy of Kaylyn Smith

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WACO, Texas (August 2, 2012) - Being selected as one of only five for any national competition is exciting. Kaylyn Smith has found herself in an even better position, as the competition can help put her career on the fast track while she is still an undergraduate.
Smith, a Baylor senior, was chosen to compete in the ninth cycle of Project OR Summer Market. According to Outdoor Retailer's website, "Project OR is a design competition held by Outdoor Retailer that celebrates the functionality, originality and design of outdoor recreation clothing. Outdoor Retailer handpicks five 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."
Smith briefly outlined what the four-day competition will entail for her and the other designers.
The competition began Thursday, Aug. 2, in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a design brief, where the parameters of the competition were to be fully explained to the students.
"We are given three hours to sketch our ideas and create a board with our sketches and inspiration that we will then present to the judges," Smith said. "After getting the judges' feedback, we will have the remainder of the 48 hours to draft patterns, cut, and sew our prototype garment, which we will present to the judges on Day Three."
A panel of judges then selects a winner, and the student will receive all-expenses-paid trip to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013.
"Previous competitors have come from some of the best design programs in the country, so having one of our students selected speaks to the reputation of Baylor's apparel design program as well as to the outstanding work that Kaylyn has done as a student in our program," explained Dr. Rinn Cloud, who holds the Mary Gibbs Jones Endowed Chair in Textile Science at Baylor. "The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market is attended by thousands of outdoor apparel manufacturers, buyers, distributors and suppliers from all over the world. In addition to providing visibility for Kaylyn and our program, the competition is an excellent learning opportunity for Kaylyn that will greatly enhance her resume."
Smith explained that the process for selected contestants begins with the competition officials deciding which design schools they would like to participate, and then contacting professors to select a student to represent the program.
"It is such an honor to be selected as one of the five students attending this competition," Smith said. "Especially since my own professors, who have witnessed my work firsthand, were the ones who chose me. Going into this competition, I know that no matter how it turns out, it will an amazing experience and honor just to be there. "
Dr. Mary Simpson, lecturer of apparel design, product development and merchandising at Baylor, has had Smith as a student in design courses and is proud of her work.
"Kaylyn is a strong representative of the quality work produced by the students in the Apparel Design and Product Development program," she said. "This process has helped to develop her critical thinking skills and the ability to synthesize and evaluate the information and course content, all of which are essential components in the design process."
A live video feed of the competition can be found on the competition's website at
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by Mallory Hisler, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805