Fashion Guru Nina Garcia Announces Winner of National Design Competition

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 General News
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YAZ Birth Control Pill Pack Receives a Stylish Makeover from an Aspiring Handbag Designer

WAYNE, N.J., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Nina Garcia, judge of the Emmy-nominated series Project Runway, and the Step Up Women's Network are proud to announce the winner of the "YAZ(R): Step Up and Go Beyond" contest -- aspiring handbag designer Elayne Mayes of Green Village, New Jersey. Elayne's winning design will allow her to jumpstart her fashion design career with a $10,000 prize.

Designed to empower women to go beyond what they thought was possible and achieve their career goals, the "YAZ: Step Up and Go Beyond" contest gave designer hopefuls from all across the country the opportunity to enter contemporary and edgy new carrying case concepts for the oral contraceptive YAZ(R) (drospirenone & ethinyl estradiol). As a result, more than two hundred people entered, from aspiring designers and graphic artists to office fashionistas with a flair for what's chic -- all for the chance to win and to help advance their dreams of becoming a designer.

"I was really impressed with the creativity and professionalism of the entries, but what really stood out to me about the winner's new design for the YAZ carrying case was that it's not only edgy and fashion-forward, but also functional and discreet," Garcia explained. "And with its fun print and studded closure, I can definitely see a woman slipping this carrying case into her purse."

Garcia, in partnership with Step Up Women's Network, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to mentoring and empowering young women for advancement, and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals launched the contest in April 2008. The contest winner was awarded a $10,000 grand prize.

"I'm so excited that my design won! I am planning to use my prize money to enroll in computer design classes," said winner Elayne Mayes. "But, for me, the real win was having my design concept hand-selected by one of the biggest forces in the fashion industry today -- Nina Garcia."

The winner's design of the new YAZ carrying case along with the other top nine entries can be viewed online at The winning design will also be available in limited edition in 2009 online at A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Step Up Women's Network.

About the "YAZ: Step Up and Go Beyond" Contest

Launched in April 2008, the "YAZ: Step Up and Go Beyond" contest was a design competition open to people ages 18 years or older. Registration was available online at Here, designers were able to submit an electronic file of their design along with a 100-word description. Entries were judged on the following criteria:

Judges of the contest included Nina Garcia of Project Runway, Executive Director of Step Up Women's Network Danielle Carrig and Lauren Streicher, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University, Chicago. The contest was sponsored by Bayer HealthCare, in partnership with Nina Garcia and Step Up Women's Network.

Putting a Spotlight on Health

YAZ is the first and only oral contraceptive approved to treat the emotional and physical premenstrual symptoms severe enough to impact a woman's life. These symptoms, called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), can include irritability, fatigue, moodiness, feeling anxious and bloating. These symptoms can also significantly impact a woman's quality of life interfering with school, work and personal relationships with others. YAZ is the only oral contraceptive (OC) that has been shown to be effective in clinical studies to reduce monthly menstrual symptoms and improve quality of life in women with PMDD.

In addition, YAZ is proven effective in treating moderate acne in

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