O’Neill’s “Generation Next” In Association With Teen Vogue Hits The Runway For The 2nd Year In A Row To Showcase Emerging Talent

Integrated Design Program and Fashion Show Competition Brings Local High School Students Together to Present Dress and Handbag Designs Inspired by O’Neill’s Spring ‘10 Collection

Action-Packed Event hosted by Musician Thomas Fiss featuring Special Performance by Fanny Pak from MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” in Laguna Beach on September 25th

Irvine, CA (September 18, 2009) – O’Neill Clothing, the original California surf, snow and youth lifestyle brand, today announced the 2nd Annual “Generation Next” fashion show in association with Teen Vogue, taking place on Friday, September 25th at 7:30pm at Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach, CA.

As part of a 6-month program based at O’Neill’s headquarters in Irvine, four girls from local Southern California high schools will have the opportunity to present their unique dress and handbag designs on the runway during an exciting evening featuring O’Neill’s Spring 2010 collection, music, live dance performances, prizes and more.

Each Generation Next participant is competing for the ultimate award:
a design internship at O’Neill, a $2,000 education scholarship, exposure in Teen Vogue, and an O’Neill wardrobe for the entire winning team. Using the text to vote concept popularized by favorite reality shows, the winner will be determined via students’ text messages. All money raised at the door will benefit Boarding for Breast Cancer, (www.b4bc.org), a non-profit, youth-focused education and fundraising foundation dedicated to increasing awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection, and the value of an active lifestyle.

Buzz has been building for O’Neill’s Generation Next fashion event with Teen Vogue since last year’s packed house and enthusiastic crowd. The program launched in February 2009, with hundreds of submissions from Teen Vogue’s “It Girls” vying to be mentored by O’Neill marketing and design executives, and have the opportunity to present their designs in front of friends, family, media and industry insiders. Initial submissions were narrowed down to ten girls and then four finalists were selected: Angela Urmanita from Rowland Heights, CA; Kari Filardo of Orange, CA; Lori Ke from Lakewood, CA; and Lauren Alvarez of La Palma, CA.

O’Neill’s Generation Next program was born out of a vision by the company to have interns included in the creative design process.

“We wanted to find and support aspiring young designers who are in our backyard,” said Shelley Sheppard, marketing director for O’Neill. “We took this group of high school students from the beginning to the end of the fashion design process. The runway show is the program’s finale, and a great way to showcase and applaud all of the hard work everyone put in over the last six months.”

The Generation Next experience provided each of the finalists with hands on access to learn everything from merchandising, apparel design, graphic design, manufacturing and marketing, to ultimately creating their own runway look with the help of a fashion mentor.

“We launched Generation Next to give our young audience a chance to share their inspirations and showcase their ideas, and allow us to learn from their insights firsthand,” added Toby Bost, CEO of O’Neill. “The program helps prepare young talent for a future in fashion and/or action sports, exposing them to a variety of elements by working side-by-side with O’Neill executives and influencing career opportunities early on.”

In addition to the mentorship and real-world experience working in a fast-paced, high-profile action sports company, each finalist was tasked with building a marketing and promotions team of fellow students to help generate buzz and excitement for the fashion show. Savvy students are employing Facebook and Twitter to spread the word, and all participants created t-shirts, flyers and stickers to distribute throughout their school. To ensure another full house, buses will be transporting students from each school to the event location. For those unable to attend the event, it will be broadcast LIVE online at www.oneill.com and www.facebook.com/oneill.

Last year’s Generation Next winner, Rebekka Schuman (San Clemente), won for “Nolita,” a white island-inspired dress accented with black leather gloves for a grungy twist. Schuman is currently enrolled in fashion design school in New York and will be attending the event to congratulate this year’s winner.

For more information, please visit www.oneill.com.

About O’Neill
O’Neill, the original California surf, snow and youth lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world’s first neoprene wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop in Santa Cruz soon after.

While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative boardriding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. O’Neill’s core values – innovation in style and technology – have seen the brand devote itself wholeheartedly to the evolution of the action sports lifestyle. From the first ever neoprene wetsuit and surf leash, to the world’s first stitchless boardshorts and range of groundbreaking wearable electronics, O’Neill’s progressive spirit will always drive the company forward. For more information, please visit www.oneillclothing.com.

About Teen Vogue
TEEN VOGUE is a Condé Nast publication bringing together style-conscious girls as the number one source of relevant fashion and beauty news. TEEN VOGUE brings the sophistication and authority of VOGUE to a new generation of savvy young adults with the desire to be on the cutting edge of fashion, beauty and style. Launched in February 2003, TEEN VOGUE publishes 10 issues a year and has a guaranteed circulation of 1,000,000.