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Urban Outfitters and RISD Collaborate to Launch Student-Designed Capsule Collections


RISD Apparel Students Infuse Their Vision Into UO-Exclusive Creations in Designed By: RISD, Unveiling at UO Flagship During NY Fashion's Night Out

NEW YORK - Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Urban Outfitters (UO) announce the launch of limited-edition Fall 2012 collections designed by RISD students. RISD Apparel Design seniors (now alumni, class of 2012) collaborated with the Urban Outfitters Concept Team and were each challenged to design a capsule collection, infusing their own personal style and vision into UO-exclusive garments. The select collections, called Designed By: RISD, will available online and in select UO stores across the U.S. in September, with a celebratory launch at the Urban Outfitters flagship store on Broadway on Thursday, September 6, NY Fashion's Night Out.

In response to the trend of retail stores increasingly asking designers to produce exclusive collections for their customers, the annual RISD Apparel Senior Private Label Project instructs students to research and choose a store, and design around the brand aesthetics, incorporating the usage of CAD (computer-aided design) and inviting guest critics who specialize in private label to give them professional guidance.

"This year's RISD Apparel Private Label Project saw the students partnering with Urban Outfitters, challenging RISD seniors to transform it into a 'real life' design challenge, working directly with UO's Director of Concept and Trend Marissa Maximo (RISD Painting '95)," said RISD Apparel Design Department Head Catherine Andreozzi. "This project allows the students to try their hand designing for another label, and this year it was especially thrilling to collaborate with Urban Outfitters. Having several of the final projects taken to market was a bonus, bringing it full circle like never before."

Seniors visited UO's flagship Manhattan store to profile customers and learn how product is merchandised under various label offerings, as well as comprehend store layout, delivery, and price points. Retaining their own design signatures, students delivered a fully merchandised capsule collection, including original prints and yarn developed on Lectra's software. They were supported midway by UO's Marissa Maximo, who attended an all-day critique at RISD to convey advice for further development of each collection, which included requiring students to produce two textile print designs and final collections with 6 to 7 full-color illustrations of apparel designs.

"It is one of Urban Outfitters' initiatives to be a creative incubator for young and aspiring talent. We've made an ongoing effort to focus on students and through collaborating with their schools, we can help them gain valuable experience while also creating product that connects to our customers and compliments the brand," said UO's Director of Concept and Trend Marissa Maximo. "I'm a RISD graduate, so this project was especially close to me, and I was glad to have the opportunity to give back to the school in this capacity. I hope it's exciting for the students as well, because the UO x RISD private label collection will sit amongst the other inspiring, independent designers in our 'Designed By' collection, such as CO, Vice Veda, Grey Antics and Facehunter."

Meet the Designed By: RISD Designers:

·      Emily Shaw (RISD Apparel Design 2012): Looking toward a decade near and dear to her heart, designer Emily Shaw drew on music, idols and personal memories of the '90s, weaving them into her collection - one designed for free spirits and independent minds.

·      Amanda Goss (RISD Apparel Design 2012): Amanda Goss has devoted countless studio hours to her dream of working as a women's ready-to-wear designer in NYC. Now in her final year at RISD, this is her first commercially-available collection.

·      Helen Wu (RISD Apparel Design 2012): Drawing inspiration from geology and the natural environment, designer Helen Wu's collection is driven by her desire to communicate an overall sense and feeling, one underscored by a focus on material quality.

To celebrate, UO will host a live preview during Fashion's Night Out at their 628 Broadway store on September 6, 2012. Private media preview is from 5-6PM and an open public celebration will take place 6-10PM. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the designers and view the collection while enjoying the festivities planned, including an on-site sketch design competition for aspiring designers for a chance to win a collaboration with Urban Outfitters for Fall 2013. Designs will be judged by industry professionals: Stylist Doria Santlofer, Designer Katie Gallagher (RISD '09), Fashion Director of Dossier Journal Polina Aronova and Urban Outfitters' Director of Concept and Trend Marissa Maximo (RISD '95). The event will also feature live music performances by Maria Minerva and Icona Pop, a DJ set by Mike Simonetti (Italians Do It Better) and more.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the RISD Apparel Senior Private Label Project with Urban Outfitters, take a look at the video here for how Designed By: RISD came to be:

And shop the looks here:

About RISD

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has earned an international reputation as the leading college of art and design in the United States. Approximately 2,400 students from around the world study at RISD, pursuing full-time bachelor's or master's degree programs in a choice of 19 studio majors. RISD is known for its phenomenal faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities and its hands-on, studio-based approach to learning - one in which critical thinking informs making works by hand. Required courses in the liberal arts provide an essential complement to studio work, enabling graduates to become critical and informed individuals eager to engage with the world. Through the accomplishments of its 26,000 alumni, the college champions the vital role artists and designers play in satisfying the global demand for innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced "RIZ-dee") and the RISD Museum of Art help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit or

About Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters is an eclectic lifestyle retailer dedicated to inspiring customers through a unique combination of product, creativity, and cultural understanding. Founded in 1970 in a small space across the street from the University of Pennsylvania, Urban Outfitters now operates over 170 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe offering experiential retail environments and curated women's, men's, and home product assortments.

Urban Outfitters Designed By: RISD is available this fall at select Urban Outfitters stores and For more information contact Crystal Carroll at ccarroll(at)urbanoutfitters(dot)com

At RISD there's nothing unusual about suddenly finding a doorknob on a tree trunk, shown here across from Carr House,
the charming home of Student Life offices and the student-run Carr Haus Café.