Christina Oertel wins Project Handbag design contest

May 09, 2008 - United States Of America

maurices, the leading small town specialty store and fashion authority for the savvy, trend-conscious girl with a twenty-something attitude, and FashionIndie.com, which provides an independent view on fashion design, announce the winner of their Project Handbag design contest.

"We're so pleased to announce Christina Oertel as the winner of our design challenge," says Lisa Rhodes, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at maurices.

"We reviewed hundreds of great submissions. Christina's design is fun, stylish and practical and has a 20-something attitude that perfectly represents the maurices brand."

Beginning this past January, aspiring designers were invited to visit maurices.com and FashionIndie.com to submit handbag sketches for the Project Handbag Design Contest.

Fashion Indie then narrowed the entries to ten finalists and sketches of the selected bags were posted on FashionIndie.com and maurices.com for public voting.

The top three vote-getters continued on to a third round where a panel of fashion industry experts selected Christina as the grand prize winner.

"We care very much about what our customers think. Our goal for this project was to provide current and potential customers the opportunity to not only tell us what they'd like to see in our stores, but to design it," says senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Vivian Behrens.

"Since maurices believes in being an active participant in its communities, we choose not to work with celebrities and instead reach out to our customers and up-and-coming designers to help fulfill their dreams."

"My bag takes a somewhat classic style and enhances it with layering and great detailing," says Christina. "The silver and wood accents play off each other and because the outside is sophisticated and structured, I added bright fabric to the inside to make it more fun."

Christina, a Wisconsin based, 27-year-old graphic designer and mother of two, had her winning handbag design premiered to the fashion press at a media event in New York City on May 7, 2008. The handbag will now be mass produced and sold exclusively in all maurices retail outlets in September, 2008.

"Thousands of people voted and we're thrilled that Christina's design was chosen," says Daniel Saynt, founder of Fashion Indie.

"Her design was new and fresh and fashion-forward and we can't wait for consumers to be able to purchase it at maurices in the Fall."