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Project Runway Star and Celebrity Designer Nick Verreos to Judge Fashion Competition at Style Week Orange County

Project Runway star Nick Verreos will judge the Needle & Thread Competition featuring top Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Debut Designer graduates this weekend at the second annual Style Week Orange County.

“I am thrilled to be part of Style Week Orange County,” said Verreos, owner of Nikolaki Designs and an alumnus of FIDM. “I’m especially excited to see what these designers came up with. It’s really fantastic of Irvine Spectrum Center to host a contest for emerging design talent to earn important scholarship funds, and it’s an honor that the winner’s fashions will be carried by a major brand like Ezekiel.”

The fashion show highlights of Style Week run from September 24 – 26 at Irvine Spectrum Center®. Nearly 10,000 trend-savvy visitors are expected to attend the runway fashion shows, designer appearances and in-store events. Tickets for each fashion show are $10 per person, and all proceeds will benefit HomeAid Orange County. Tickets can be purchased online at StyleWeekOC.com.

The event kicks off Sept. 24 with the break-out fashion show for Orange County-based LRG (Lifted Research Group). A creative lifestyle brand, LRG is a leading designer, marketer and distributor of skateboard and music-inspired clothing and accessories.

Special guests on Opening Night with coveted front row seats will include Trevor Ariza of the Houston Rockets, formerly with the LA Lakers; Ryan Geztlaf of the Anaheim Ducks; Big Black from MTV; and the entire LRG Skate Team including Chico Brenes, Rodrigo TX and Jack Curtin.

Runway shows featured during Style Week Orange County will include:

Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. LRG Spring 2010 Collection Debut

Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m. Designer Showcase Presented by Ezekiel & Active Ride

Sept. 25, 9 p.m. Branded: Saluting Emerging Designers Michele Genevieve & Oday Shakar

Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. Nordstrom Fall 2009

Sept. 26, 9 p.m. Metropark Presented by MEK Denim with Celebrity Model Albert Reed

“LRG is a cool brand; I wear it all the time,” said Trevor Ariza. “I’m really looking forward to the fashion show and post-party.”

On Friday, Sept. 25, Verreos will be on hand to judge the “Needle & Thread Competition” with six FIDM Debut Designer Graduates showing off as many as five original looks on the runway that they have created for the Ezekiel Spring 2010 Collection. The show is part of the Designer Showcase presented by Ezekiel & Active Ride. All of the designs will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including Verreos, and the designer with the best overall collection will be announced at the end of the show. The winner will receive a $4,000 scholarship and one of their designs will be carried in Ezekiel’s Spring 2010 line.

Immediately following the Designer Showcase the spotlight will shine on looks ranging from denim chic to red carpet ready at Branded: Saluting Emerging Designers Michele Genevieve & Oday Shakar.

A year ago, Genevieve launched Hollywood Million Denim, which was quickly embraced by celebrity stylemakers Kim Kardashian, Drea DiMatteo, Jenny McCarthy and Kara DioGuardi. Special guests at this show include Hollywood Million Denim fans Dawn Olivieri from “Heroes,” actress Krista Allen and actor Victor Webster from “Melrose Place.”

At the age of just 21, Shakar debuted the first pieces of his own collection at the Mercedes Benz charity event Fashion Forward Hits Beverly Hills during LA Fashion Week. After stints designing at Von Dutch and Dragonfly clothing, and creating wardrobes for music video artists including Christina Milian, Shakar recently had gowns seen on the red carpet at the ESPY Awards. He fills the haute couture niche within the Orange County design world.

Following a Nordstrom fashion show on Saturday, Sept. 26, the final show of Style Week Orange County will be Metropark Presented by MEK Denim. Celebrity model and former Dancing with the Stars competitor Albert Reed will model and be on hand at a post-show party that night inside Metropark.

More than a dozen in-store events and designer appearances will take place throughout the week, including the Metropark party with MEK Denim on Sat., Sept. 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. Celebrity model Reed will be on hand greeting customers, and customers who purchase a full price pair of MEK Denim during the party will receive a free iPod Shuffle. Other events will include a VIP party at Active Ride Shop on Fri., Sept. 25 from 8:30 to 11 p.m. where designers from Designer Showcase and Nick Verreos will be on hand along with a preview of the Ezekiel collection and discounts. The second annual Style Week Orange County builds upon last year’s overwhelming success of the first-ever Style Week Orange County, which featured appearances by reality TV celebrity Lauren Conrad, Olympic medalist Gretchen Blieler, Adam Saaks of Ed Hardy, and others.

“Both Orange County and Irvine Spectrum Center are proven trend setters and style leaders,” said Stacie Ellis, Marketing Director of Irvine Spectrum Center. “Style Week Orange County will continue its tradition of showcasing the latest fashions and emerging brands that our savvy customers demand.”

The fashion shows will take place in Giant Wheel Court at Irvine Spectrum Center, and are also visible to the general public in standing-room-only areas.

For more information on Style Week Orange County, call (949) 789-9180 or visit StyleWeekOC.com, become a fan on Facebook.com/styleweekoc or follow at twitter.com/StyleWeek_OC.

Irvine Spectrum Center, owned by the Irvine Company, is located where the I-5 and I-405 meet in Irvine. Irvine Spectrum Center offers a unique mix of shopping, dining and entertainment in a beautiful Spanish-themed atmosphere. The center draws 15 million visitors annually to Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 Cinemas, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Target, H&M and more than 130 other specialty stores, restaurants and other entertainment venues. For more information, please call (949) 753-5180 or visit www.ShopIrvineSpectrumCenter.com.