Local designer finalist in national Runway to Win contest
North Charleston designer Laurel Stender is one of nine finalists in the national Runway to Win design challenge for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign.
The public is invited to vote for their favorites at runway towin.barackobama.com through 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Stender, 32, is a graduate student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in graphic design.
She works for the T-shirt printing company Image Branding Group.
Stender’s design features lines that spell “Obama” and are made to look like fabric in different colors and pieces building a colorful tapestry. Stender wanted to design something that represents a patchwork coming together.
“In the end, it’s not about Republican or Democrat, black or white, blue or red. It’s about people coming together,” she said. “This kind of unity is the only way we can rebuild what is lost and experience the future we all dream of.”
The competition is part of the larger Runway to Win project.
“The project also involves famous fashion designers like Marc Jacobs, Sean John and Beyonce who have contributed designs that are already for sale.” Stender said. “Whoever wins out of the nine of us will have our shirts sold alongside these famous designers.”
The top three designs from the contest will be featured on T-shirts and tote bags, which will be available for purchase on the Runway to Win website.
Everything from pet accessories to nail polish and clothing is available as part of the full collection.
Stender volunteered with Obama’s 2008 campaign, where she worked as a poll checker on Election Day.
Stender also won first place in the Savannah Stopover Music Festival poster contest at the beginning of the year.
“I kind of made a New Year’s resolution to enter more contests,” Stender said. “Right now, I’m two for two.”