We are ready to reveal the 12 phenomenal designers who made it into the line-up for the VIP Runway Finale on August 27!   “We have an outstanding group of Finale designers,” said OFW Producer, Brook Hudson. “Only two-tenths of a point separated the designers in the finale from those did not make it – competition was tough!”

The top 12 designers represent the best of the upcoming week of fashion shows.  They were determined on Saturday after meeting with the OFW Selection Panel one final time before hitting the runway. Designers presented their completed collections to the panel for evaluation, with the top scoring designers earning the coveted Saturday night positions.

Omaha Fashion Week is thrilled to share with you these fabulous designers who will compete for the Omaha Fashion Cup at the VIP Runway Finale:

  1. Aubrey Sookram, Markoos Modern Design: Aubrey is showing a children’s wear collection featuring a mixture of unique prints.
  2. Madison Durant, La Rae Fashions: Fifteen-year-old designer and runner up contestant on the season finale episode of Project Runway: Threads Season One. Her collection includes evening wear and glamorous swimwear inspired by the French Riviera.
  3. Jane Round: Former student at the Fashion Institute of Technology and currently residing in New York. This collection will feature hand detailing in the form of weaving, beading, dying and printing natural fibers.
  4. Chris DiGiorgio: Young designer who incorporates a futuristic but grungy aesthetic. His unisex day/street wear collection has pieces that are equally wearable for men and women.
  5. Monnie Winslow, Monika Spook: Monnie creates alternative art, clothes and jewelry inspired by her experience with depression, featuring natural elements such as bones and rat paws.
  6. Buf Reynolds: Buf is showing a chic, minimalist collection with pants that catch the wind like sails and body conscious dresses with skeleton-like cut patterns.
  7. Abbey Parodi, Parodi Designs: Senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Featuring unusual fabrics with a modern take on Greek tragedy, exploring how a woman goes from victim to heroine.
  8. Mitch Henderson, Mitchell: Seventeen-year-old designer from Omaha showing a sleek,  pop-inspired collection featuring heaps of Barbie-pink neoprene.
  9. Breanne Reiss: Breanne holds a master’s degree in apparel design. She experiments with silhouette, pattern, and texture in her designs with her modern take on prairie-pioneer chic.
  10. Audio Helkuik: Educated in fashion design and showing leather accessories layered over color-blocked spandex and mesh.  
  11. Karissa Goosic, gooky: Fifteen-year-old who will be showcasing a collection inspired by artist, Keith Haring. Karissa began designing at just eight years old.
  12. Leah Kettelson, Leah Kareen: Leah holds a degree in apparel design and fashion merchandising from Georgia Southern University. She has worked with designers Elise Overland and Michael Kors in NYC. She will be showing a beautiful line of evening wear.

The OFW Selection Panel includes six industry experts who scored designer presentations in April and have acted as mentors and advisors to designers as they have prepared for shows over the summer.  The panel includes:

  • Vanessa Barrett, jewelry designer and fashion/interior stylist;
  • Nick Huff, co-owner of Hutch, a local business in Omaha that curates local, modern, and vintage art and furnishings;
  • Autumn Foland, CEO/Principal at Remlo Studios and has over 18 years of retail, wholesale and styling experience;
  • Dan Richters, a veteran OFW designer who has participated for nine years and whose work is represented at a showroom in LA;
  • Dr. Barb Trout, a former professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design program;
  • Denise Ervin, graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA with 25 years of experience in fashion design.

The Finale is not the only night designers will be eligible for prizes.  Designers will also be scored during their weeknight shows, with the highest scoring designer each night receiving a $500 check from SAC Federal Credit Union.  All designers will be in the running for these prizes. “We love this because even if a designer didn’t have the best showing at Rack Check, they still have an opportunity to win some money at OFW and be recognized for their hard work.” Nightly winners will be announced after shows have concluded, on August 29.

Audience members will still be able to connect directly to designers via text during shows, to express interest in buying a specific garment, by texting the designer’s name to 88202. “Our hope is that this will generate additional sales leads for designers.  So often we hear that people are interested in buying the clothes, but don’t know how to get in touch with the designer.  Now we are making that connection easier than ever.”

The public is invited to meet designers for Shop the Runway Sunday at the Omaha Design Center on Sunday, August 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  “We’ll be serving up the OFW team’s favorite brunch menu…donuts, mimosas and coffee,” said Hudson. “This is a great chance to try on and buy that outfit you fell in love with on the runway.”

Don’t miss out on your chance to see our Top 12 August 27th! We hope to see you alongside the runway at the Omaha Design Center on 1502 Cuming Street in North Downtown Omaha. Finale tables seat 10 guests and range from $1000-$1200. Get yours now at www.omahafashionweek.ticketleap.com.

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