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Pratt Institute Students Challenged To Create Colorful, Bold New Earphone Designs For New York-Based Audio Accessory Brand me.u

  (August 05, 2014)

NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Pratt Institute, a global leader in higher education, announced today a collaboration with me.u a premier, design-driven audio accessory brand based in New York. The partnership provides Pratt students the opportunity to design color, material, and packaging concepts for me.u's upcoming line of high-quality earphones. The winning designs will be produced and sold in stores beginning in early 2015. The products aimed primarily at the student market will be available in college bookstores across the country.

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Participating students were given creative reign within several production parameters, says Pratt Industrial Design Adjunct Associate Professor Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, who supervises the project. She said students could make their choice of color developing a color story with up to four shades; choice of material such as plastic or metal, among others; and choice of finish such as matte, shine, and texture. In addition, students are challenged to create concepts for cord management and storage, and/or a redesigned carrying case for the earphones. The designs must fit the aesthetics of me.u's product line, which follows a colorful and bold street style to draw the attention of artistic, creative, and socially involved student customers.

"The partnership between Pratt and me.u is an exciting new opportunity," said Ludovic Leroy, Pratt's Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships and Institutional Support. "This project challenges students to put their creativity and design knowledge to use in a real business setting while providing a meaningful opportunity for them to create products that meet the company's specific needs, and to get feedback directly from top business leaders."

"The collaboration between me.u headphones and the Pratt Institute is a perfect fit," said Johan Persson, Creative Director, C'Monde Studios. "Our headphones embody cutting-edge design and an aesthetic that appeals to the creative nature of the individual, just as Pratt is world-famous for nurturing the creative spirit in its students. When I think of the type of consumers who would be drawn to our products, Pratt students immediately come to mind."

Participating Pratt Institute students, who are majoring in fashion design or industrial design, were chosen by faculty and staff members based on their skills and their abilities to meet the requirements of the design brief. They have been working on designs and undergoing client and instructor reviews of their work. Winning designs are expected to be chosen and announced in the next few weeks, and fabrication and manufacturing activities for an early 2015 roll-out will begin this fall.

Pratt students have worked previously with corporate entities including Umbra and Barnes & Noble, to develop products that are sold in retail stores across the country.

The me.u line is distributed by HPI International, Inc., a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based, value-added wholesale distributor of technology, hardware, and technology accessories. The range was developed in conjunction with C'Monde Studios, a Swedish award-winning industrial design studio based in Hong Kong.

About Pratt Institute:

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is a global leader in higher education dedicated to preparing its 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences. Located in a cultural hub with historic campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Pratt is a living lab of craft and creativity with an esteemed faculty of accomplished professionals and scholars who challenge their talented students to transform their passion into meaningful expression.

About C'Monde Studios

C'Monde Studios is a Swedish award-winning industrial design studio based in Hong Kong, specializing in industrial design, design concepts, branding, and visual identities. The company is famous for creating designs that take their shape where business, technology, and culture intersect. For further information, visit

About HPI International, Inc

HPI is a value-added re-seller of technology, hardware, and tech accessories, catering to the U.S. college bookstore market. The company offers exclusive high-end, popular products from manufacturers who are recognized for product lines that create buzz, giving today's college bookstore a strong competitive edge over traditional big box retailers. For further information, visit


Regine Labossiere, Goodman Media International or 212-576-2700

Adam Sohmer, Sohmer Associates LLC or 347-497-4965

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SOURCE HPI International, Inc

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