ATLANTA — Extraordinary style isn’t limited to high-fashion runways or design studios. Look around any office, college campus or city block and you’ll see people with a passion for fashion and an eye for design getting creative and having fun with their individual style.
To celebrate the spirit of independent stylists and fashionistas everywhere, Diet Coke is launching the second season of its annual Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge – an opportunity of a lifetime for a style maven to become the next great fashion designer. Diet Coke is the number one calorie-free brand and number two beverage in the country behind Coca-Cola. The brand is inviting creative individuals to submit a Diet Coke-branded T-shirt design inspired by the extraordinary style of its new partner Taylor Swift for the chance to have their original creation featured in all U.S. Target stores this fall. Fans can submit their design through May 31 at DietCoke.com/DesignerChallenge.
While submissions were only accepted from students at select design schools last year, the fashionable twist in 2013 is that anyone in the U.S. with a creative and inspired idea can submit a Diet Coke T-shirt design.
Adding to the excitement, acclaimed fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, along with the top creative minds at Diet Coke and Target, will select the winning Diet Coke T-shirt design. The judges will select the top design from a pool of 10 finalists, which will be determined from an online public vote in June.
“The Diet Coke brand is the epitome of style, and I’m delighted to be involved in this unique design challenge as a judge,” said Minkoff. “As someone who took a chance and moved to New York to chase a dream, I can’t wait to join Diet Coke and Taylor Swift to support a young, talented individual in pursuing their own dreams.”
In addition to having his or her design available in the soft drink aisle in all U.S. Target stores beginning September 1, the grand-prize winner also will receive a $10,000 cash prize to pursue creative endeavors, plus a fly-away trip to meet Swift at one of her final U.S. RED Tour stops in Nashville, Tenn., this September.
“Season two of the Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge gives all of our fans the extraordinary opportunity to make their dreams of becoming the next big designer a reality,” said Erik Jenkins, Diet Coke Brand Manager. “We’re excited to see how fans infuse the aspirational and modern Diet Coke brand and Taylor’s chic style into their design submissions.”
Fans interested in submitting a T-shirt design can visit DietCoke.com/DesignerChallenge to view inspirational photos and contest rules, download hi-res assets and learn more about the Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge. Budding designers also will find creative inspiration from a video featuring Swift sharing her thoughts on personal style and how she approaches fashion. T-shirt designs must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, May 31.
The top 20 designs will be posted online at DietCoke.com/DesignerChallenge beginning June 16. Through June 30, people who vote for their favorite Diet Coke T-shirt design will have the opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Nashville, Tenn., this September to meet Swift and attend one of the final concerts on her U.S. RED Tour.
The grand-prize winner of the contest will be announced later this summer. To encourage the talented finalists to continue pursuing their creative passions, two runners-up also selected by Minkoff and the judging panel each will receive $2,500. The remaining 17 finalists will receive $250 each. The winner of the 2012 Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge was Gustavo Alonso, an up-and-coming design student at Miami International University of Art and Design, who wowed the judging panel with his design featuring a mysterious woman in a chic, red trench coat.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 16 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees.
About Taylor Swift
Lauded by The New York Times as “one of the most important pop artists of the last decade,” and by Rolling Stone as “one of the few genuine rock stars we’ve got these days,” 23 year-old Taylor Swift is a seven-time GRAMMY winner, and is the youngest winner in history of the music industry’s highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. With the 2012 release of her album RED, she is the only female artist in music history (and just the fourth artist ever) to twice have an album hit the 1 million first-week sales figure. She holds the record for the biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman, and for the second-largest song sales week overall, as well as the worldwide iTunes record for highest ever first-week album sales. With RED, Taylor became the first artist since the Beatles (and the only female artist in history) to log six or more weeks at #1 with three consecutive studio albums.
Taylor has an album on Rolling Stone‘s prestigious The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time (by women) list, and Time magazine has named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is Billboard‘s youngest-ever Woman of the Year, and her more than 100 industry award wins have included the American Music Awards’ Artist of the Year, the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year and three European Music Awards.
Taylor, who writes all of her own songs, has career record sales in excess of 26 million albums and 75 million song downloads worldwide, and her two most recent albums are two of only 18 albums in the entire history of music to sell more than 1 million copies in a single week. She has had singles top both the country and pop radio charts around the globe, and has thus far scored 13 #1 singles across multiple radio formats. She is one of the top 5-selling digital music artists worldwide, and is the top-selling digital artist in country music history.
About Rebecca Minkoff
With a vision of building a lifestyle brand for the downtown romantic, San Diego-born designer Rebecca Minkoff founded her company in 2001 after she developed a small apparel line. She spent the next few years working on the small collection until 2005 when Rebecca developed the “Morning After Bag”. The bag became an overnight sensation and Rebecca began solely concentrating on developing additional styles to build out her romantically themed day-to-night handbag collection. After four years of consistent growth in accessories under her belt, Rebecca returned to her original love of apparel design and introduced a ready-to-wear collection in 2009. Rebecca Minkoff’s designs are a favorite for modern, trend-setting everyday women and celebrities alike.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,832 stores – 1,784 in the United States and 48 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week.