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Online shoe retailer launches design contest

SEATTLE — Online shoe retailer, OnlineShoes.com, announced that four in-vogue fashion bloggers will each design a pair of customized 993 Running Shoes by New Balance, and readers will vote on who did it best.  At the end of voting, the winning design will go into production and be sold by OnlineShoes.com as limited-edition footwear. Voters can also enter for a chance to win a pair of custom New Balance running shoes. The contest runs from Tuesday, April 9 through Friday, April 19, 2013.

"A contest like this is unprecedented," says OnlineShoes.com online search marketing manager Lindsey Sutphin. "Talented fashion designers dream about this very kind of exciting opportunity—not only to see a design come to life through a legendary brand like New Balance, but also to make the designed product available for consumers to wear."

Each season, the Style Central contest features a different footwear brand and showcases one of the brand's latest styles. Popular fashion bloggers each create a unique take on a seasonal style. Visitors to the website then get an opportunity to vote on their favorite look. Bloggers for April's Style Central include Sara of "A Dose of Pretty," Julie of "Girl in the Red Shoes," Sarah of "Sarah Lee Weaver" and Emily of "Newlywed Moments."

Each of the four bloggers have created an original pair of New Balance Custom 993 running shoes through a user-controlled design interface available on the New Balance website. The design process begins with a bestselling 990 series running shoe in a single color, and allows users to deck out more than a dozen different parts of the shoe from a wide selection of color options. Designers can also create a customized message, up to eight characters long, which is embroidered on the heel of each shoe; even embroidery's color is customizable and each shoe can feature a different message.

Once the four customized running shoes are showcased starting April 9, customers have the opportunity to vote for the design they like best. The design that receives the most votes will be sent to production and featured as a Style Central Limited Edition shoe available for purchase at OnlineShoes.com. Voters are also given the chance to win an opportunity to create their own custom pair of New Balance 993 Running Shoes.