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November 10, 2009

Fur-Free and Fashionable

The HSUS, The Art Institutes Announce Cool vs. Cruel Fashion Competition Winners

The Humane Society of the United States

NEW YORK — The Humane Society of the United States and The Art Institutes are pleased to announce that Ingrid Bergstrom-Kendrick from The Art Institute of Vancouver was named the grand prize winner of the fifth annual Cool vs. Cruel Fur-Free Fashion Design Competition.

Ingrid Bergstrom-Kendrick will be honored at the Cool vs. Cruel awards ceremony in New York City on Wednesday. The event will be hosted by HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle and will feature DJ Samantha Ronson.

This year, students chose from among four designs with animal fur created by established, high-end luxury designers to improve upon by creatively reinterpreting the animal fur using only cruelty-free alternatives.

Bergstrom-Kendrick successfully used layering of the dress fabric on the sleeves to explore the concept and volume of animal fur. Her design was selected by a panel of industry professionals including designers Marc Bouwer, Charlotte Ronson, Nick Friedberg, Victoria Bartlett and Elizabeth Olsen; magazine editors Dana Wood, Mickey Boardman and Shelly Vella; and renowned fashion photographer Nigel Barker.

"These winning garments testify to the reality that couture and fur-free fashion can go hand in hand," said Sarika Reuben, deputy manager of the fur-free campaign for The Humane Society of the United States. "We are always amazed at the creative, cruelty-free ways Art Institute students find to reinterpret animal fur."

According to Bruce E. Dempsey, vice president, academic affairs specialist for The Art Institutes, Cool vs. Cruel provides students, "an outlet where they may showcase their fashion design talents demonstrating their abilities to create beautiful, wearable clothing while taking into consideration compassion toward animals."

As grand prize winner, Ingrid Bergstrom-Kendrick will receive a trip to attend the Cool vs. Cruel awards ceremony in New York City. She will also receive a five-day internship with acclaimed fur-free fashion designer Victoria Bartlett. Second place winner Jeremy Hunt from The Art Institute of Indianapolis will receive a $600 cash award. Third place winner Gilberto Alvarez from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale will receive a $400 cash award.

The awards ceremony will be held in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 7-10 p.m. at the Bowery Hotel at 335 Bowery, and will be attended by many of the celebrity judges. (By invitation only; please email requests to hsullivan@humanesociety.org).

To view the 16 finalists online, click here. To learn more about the Cool vs. Cruel competition visit: The Art Institutes or The HSUS' Web sites.

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The Art Institutes (artinstitutes.edu) is a system of more than 40 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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