The temperature was frigid and the rain was coming, but the Omaha Fashion Week crew subscribes to the show biz adage, the show must go on. And so 2010 is often referred to as the year it rained, or the year under the bridge…lovingly, might I add. Although I’m not sure the 45 little girls designer Yolanda Diaz brought along or those poor swimsuit models are the ones referring to this year as their favorite. Producer Nick Hudson, recalls the temperature to have been 35 degrees and even seeing a bit of snow!
But even so, 19 designers marched hundreds of models down the 276-foot runway on Saturday September 18th in the finale of Omaha Fashion Week. Designers featured in the finale showcase benefitting the Women’s Fund of Omaha were Megan Myers and Sarah White, Buf Reynolds, Jennie Mason, Wendy Stiff, Sabrina Jones, William Torres, Jennifer Pool, Dan Richters, Yoland Diaz, Michaela Cawley, Ellene McClay, Emma Erickson, Megan Hunt, Jane Round, Zara Gonzalez, Daniel Munoz, Audi Kuiken, Kevin Steward, Claire Landolt, and Eliana Smith.
This year Omaha Fashion Week focused on the marketing mantra of “Piecing Together Raw Talent”, premiered Omaha FASHION Magazine, and Metro Quarterly Magazine marked the event as “the highlight of Omaha’s social calendar; spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence.” Read the full article here: Metro Magazine
DESIGNER HIGHLIGHT: radioactive heart by jennie mason
2010 was designer Jennie Mason’s second year participating in Omaha Fashion Week (OFW). Prior to her 2009 debut on the OFW runway, she graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in 2008 and returned to Omaha showing “some bits and pieces at Bellwether Boutique.” She cites Omaha Fashion Week 2009 as her first opportunity to show in front of a large crowd.
According to Jennie, Omaha gave her the opportunity to grow up as a designer and providing opportunities to learn more about being a designer than just producing the collection. In an article with Omaha.net from 2010, Jennie cites Omaha Fashion Week as an opportunity where she “learned more about model fittings, working with hair and makeup.” Read the full article here: Omaha.net.
Jennie reminisces fondly on her experiences on the OFW runway. “There is something about the energy. When you’re in your studio working on all the pieces, you know the end goal. But seeing it on the runway in front of a giant crowd was unlike anything I had ever experienced.”
In regards to moving the runway under the bridge, Jennie, like many Omaha fashion fans has fond memories. And she loves how her photos turned out. The industrial aesthetic under the bridge provided a great backdrop for her SciFi monster-inspired line. The full collection featured looks referring to classic monsters and many of the models carried jars with eyeballs and neon lights down the runway. The full collection featured 10 menswear looks and 2 womenswear.
Mason is most grateful for her experience with Omaha Fashion Week, not only for the awesome portfolio it generated when she moved to New York, but for the lasting friendships she made along the way. That portfolio and the support of a creative community made her 2012 move to New York possible as a Color and Fashion Forecaster with Sears. There was only one office in New York so Jennie was responsible for all color trending for Sears and Kmart.
Later she would move to Seattle to work with Nordstrom where she would expand on her experience in color trending and forecasting to take on a new Fashion Forecasting role. Her job was to keep up with what was happening on the runways and make sure Nordstrom stayed on trend. She was basically the girl letting you know “you should get this color and go after this trend.” What a cool job! And today? She has moved into the products group with Nordstrom and works on creating products exclusive to Nordstrom, such as the Savvy line or Nordstrom Rack.
In her spare time, Jennie also creates beautiful handbags under her label Thalo Designs. She paints the fabric herself and hand stiches each bit of the leather. In her own words, her “recent series of work focuses on natural landforms and the beauty in our surroundings. It’s a reminder to enjoy every moment and appreciate the world around us. Breathe deeply and take in the scenery.” You can find her available product at ThaloDesigns.com.