Fashion Guru Nina Garcia Launches National Design Competition

WAYNE, N.J., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Nina Garcia of the Emmy-nominated series "Project Runway" is calling upon designer hopefuls everywhere to submit contemporary and fashionable packaging concepts for the oral contraceptive YAZ(R) (drospirenone & ethinyl estradiol). 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, Garcia announced today the launch of the "YAZ: Step Up and Go Beyond" contest. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 to help jumpstart a career in design.

"Whether you are an aspiring designer, graphic artist or simply the office fashionista with a flair for what's chic, now is the chance to put your talent to the test and turn your visions into reality," said Nina Garcia.

Like many young women, Garcia dreamed of being in the fashion industry. She started her career working in the public relations department for Perry Ellis and its then head designer, Marc Jacobs. She then moved to Mirabella magazine and later to Elle, gradually rising up the ranks, and today, she is one of the world's foremost fashion trendsetters.

"The design challenge we're posing is a fashion transformation unlike any other," said Garcia. "We're taking an iconic accessory -- the birth control case -- and asking aspiring designers to take a shot at redesigning it into a chic, more sophisticated carrying case that they could slip into their purses."

Contestants can enter the contest online at Design submissions will be accepted until June 30, 2008. On behalf of Garcia, Step Up Women's Network and Bayer HealthCare, one lucky winner will receive $10,000 to invest in design classes or for the purchase of special design materials and software. The contest winner will be announced around the time of Fall Fashion Week 2008.

"At Step Up Women's Network, we are dedicated to providing women with opportunities for advancement -- whether that's in their careers, education or just their everyday lives," said Danielle Carrig, Executive Director of Step Up Women's Network. "In tandem with our mission, we are pleased to be part of this unique and inspiring contest, which will tap the potential of creative designers, and spotlight their talents that may otherwise have gone unrecognized."

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 or 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 women seeking contraception. In recent studies, nine out of 10 women taking YAZ saw improvement in their moderate acne. YAZ is the first and only oral contraceptive on the market clinically proven to treat both PMDD and moderate acne, providing women with health benefits beyond birth control.

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

The "YAZ: Step Up and Go Beyond" contest is a design competition open to people age 18 or older. Registration is available online at Here, designers will be asked to fill out a registration form and submit an electronic file of their design along with a 100-word description. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

Judges of the contest include 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 is sponsored by Bayer HealthCare, in partnership with Nina Garcia and Step Up Women's Network.

About Step Up Women's Network

Step Up Women's Network is a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to strengthening community resources for young women. Through empowerment programs, women's health education and advocacy, professional mentorship and social networking opportunities, the organization aims to educate and activate their members to ensure that women have the tools they need to create a better future.

Step Up is on the cutting edge of women's social philanthropy. The programs are designed to engage women in a way that inspires a life-long commitment to responsible, philanthropic involvement encompassing hands-on volunteer work and leadership opportunities. For more information, please log on to

About YAZ

YAZ(R) (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women who elect to use an oral contraceptive. YAZ is also indicated for the treatment of symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in women who choose to use an oral contraceptive as their method of contraception. The effectiveness of YAZ for PMDD when used for more than three menstrual cycles has not been evaluated. YAZ has not been evaluated for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

YAZ is indicated for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris in women at least 14 years of age, who have no known contraindications to oral contraceptive therapy and have achieved menarche. YAZ should be used for the treatment of acne only if the patient desires an oral contraceptive for birth control.

Women who would like to learn more about YAZ should call the toll-free number 1-888-84-BAYER or visit

Important Information About YAZ

YAZ contains 3 mg of the progestin drospirenone that has anti-mineralocorticoid activity including the potential for hyperkalemia in high-risk patients, comparable to a 25-mg dose of spironolactone.

YAZ should not be used in patients with conditions that predispose to hyperkalemia (ie, renal insufficiency, hepatic dysfunction, and adrenal insufficiency). Women receiving daily, long-term treatment for chronic conditions or diseases with medications that may increase serum potassium should have their serum potassium levels checked during the first treatment cycle. Medications that may increase serum potassium include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-II receptor antagonists, potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplementation, heparin, aldosterone antagonists, and NSAIDs.

Patients should be counseled that OCs do not protect against HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. The use of oral contraceptives is associated with increased risks of several serious conditions including venous and arterial thrombotic and thromboembolic events (such as myocardial infarction, thromboembolism, stroke), hepatic neoplasia, gallbladder disease, and hypertension. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects; women who take OCs are strongly advised not to smoke.

About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals operation of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a division of Bayer AG. One of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, Bayer HealthCare combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. In the United States, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals comprises the following business units: Women's Healthcare, Diagnostic Imaging, Specialized Therapeutics, Hematology, and Oncology. The company's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.