Fashion Studies Students Participate in ARC'TERYX Design Challenge

PhotoFront row (left to right): Noah Johnson, Andrew Robinson, and Darrius Parker. Back row (left to right): William Duwe, Will White, Angie Belloso, and Anna Salisz.
The outdoor apparel and equipment company announced winners over the weekend.

ARC’TERYX, an outdoor apparel and equipment company, recently invited Columbia College Chicago students to upcycle expired climbing harnesses and unusable ARC’TERYX garments into something new in its ReBird Design Circularity Challenge. The winners (see below), who were given product and gift cards, were announced at the Grand Opening of the ARC’TERYX store in Oakbrook, Ill., over the weekend where attendees enjoyed raffles, games, and music.

For the competition, ARC’TERYX provided 20 expired climbing harnesses and asked students to reimagine them as something else, using Chicago and nature as inspiration. The end result could be an art piece or a new product idea. Days before the competition, ARC’TERYX added jackets to the mix as well.

"Our students quickly gravitated to those jackets to enhance their harness ideas and all landed on designing a product," says Dana Connell, director of scholarship initiatives and associate professor in Fashion Studies. 

On Saturday, April 22, Columbia held a workshop for 20 students on campus in the fabrication facility. Kevin Henry, an associate professor in Fashion Studies, led the workshop with tremendous support from facility staff members Kumiko Murakami and Maddie Vaccaro.

"It was sort of project runway style with bins of materials and the students grabbed their stuff to get started," Connell says. "The fabrication facility had the tools and equipment for students to do their work in any way that suited them. At the end of the day they turned in their products."

The top 10 designs were selected and went to the Grand Opening of ARC’TERYX Oakbrook for display, with the  winners announced at the store on April 23. 

The top three designs will be on display April 28-30 at the ARC’TERYX Chicago store located at 1007 N. Rush St., Chicago.

Congratulations to the winners below: 

  • 1st Place – Anna Salisz, Fashion Studies Product Development Junior
  • 2nd Place – Diego Urbina Gomez, Fashion Studies Merchandising Senior
  • 3rd Place – Juan Rivera, Fashion Studies Product Development Senior
  • Instagram People’s Choice – Darrius Parker, Fashion Studies Fashion Design, Sophomore