Meet Omaha's Youngest Fashion Designers Today!

WHO: 70 Participants in Omaha Fashion Camp, presented by Omaha Fashion Week and Develop Model Management.

WHAT: Fashion Campers present their camp projects on the runway today for parents, press and members of the public.  Fashion Camp started on Monday, teaching kids about careers in the fashion industry along with key skills including sketching, pattern making, sewing, modeling and photography. Goodwill provided a "pop up shop" for kids to select fabrics and accessories to style their garments.  Camp culminates in a runway show where students' projects will be reviewed, with the top projects being selected for platform displays during Omaha Fashion Week August 17-22. View full curriculum + more details here:

WHEN: Friday, June 12 at 11 a.m. for the 6-10 year olds (20 campers in this group), and 4 p.m. for 11-17 year olds (50 campers in this group)

WHERE: Oakview Mall on 3001 South 144th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68144

WHY:  The fashion industry is competitive!  Kids need to start early in fostering their understanding and skills in this industry.  Fashion camp is a great way for boys and girls to exercise their math, science, spacial awareness and creative talents.  The projects will be reviewed by OFW Producers, Nick and Brook Hudson.  The top projects will be shown on platforms during the next season of Omaha Fashion Week, August 17-22!

Red Carpet Ready July 16

Omaha Fashion Week's August season is coming quickly, but are you runway ready? Before you hit the red carpets at our shows, join us for our Red Carpet Ready Event! We have a lot of fun, pampering, and prizes planned for an evening out with Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts in Regency Court on July 16th from 5-7 pm! RCR0

Sip sparkling cocktails from Peroni and enjoy hors d’oeuvres provided by Fleming’s. The professionals from Victor Victoria will be at the event to polish your look with hair and makeup tutorials and of course you will get the chance to strut your stuff on the red carpet. Experts from Develop Model Management will be alongside Photographer Herb Thompson to capture your special moment!


It certainly wouldn’t be a Red Carpet event without fabulous designer jewelry and garments. A special trunk show will be taking place during our event, hosted by the jewelry powerhouse Lagos. Other fun things to expect- A style game brought to you by Borsheims’ jewelry buyers and Dennis Merotto designs- did we mention you could win a prize package just for playing?!

This is one event you will not want to miss! The first 50 guests will be taking home a free gift bag. So gather up your friends and make a night of it! This event is free and open to the public. Here are all the details one last time!RCR18

Red Carpet Ready July 16th | 5-7pm Borsheims in Regency Court


#omahafashion #redcarpetready #borsheims


Be the money dress designer!

Money-Dress-Small If you have been to OFW before, you have likely seen or heard about the SAC Federal Credit Union Money Dress Contest. Well this season you have the opportunity to design it!

Any designer can apply and submit their design ideas for a chance to create a look that will walk the runway every night during OFW.

Here are the rules:

  • Designers are invited to submit designs from June 2nd – June 15th, 2015.
  • Designers may submit up to two designs.
  • Bills or coins must cover at least 20 % of the dress.
  • Bills or coins cannot be defaced.
  • Dress must fit a model size 0 – 4.
  • The winning design will be announced by June 22nd and the winning designer will be notified at that time.
  • The SAC Money Dress must be completed and be available to SAC FCU by July 13th, 2015.
  • Designer is responsible for guarding the dress and protecting it during Omaha Fashion Week, August 17 – 23rd, 2016.
  • Accessories are encouraged but not required.
  • The amount of money included in the dress is to remain a secret.  Designer is not allowed to disclose the dollar amount that is on the dress with anyone or anywhere.

Other details:

  • Members of the OFW selection panel will review all submissions and select the top three designs.  SAC Federal Credit Union will make the final selection of the design and designer for the SAC Money Dress.
  • SAC FCU will provide up to $700.00 to be used as design elements on or within the dress.
  • Prize money given to winning designer is $500.00.
  • Designer will have a $100 materials budget.
  • SAC Money Dress will remain the sole property of SAC Federal Credit Union.
  • Following OFW the SAC Money Dress will go on a tour of a minimum of 4 branches.  The Money Dress tour and the designer will be featured on SAC’s website and on social media.
  • SAC FCU will feature the SAC Money Dress and its designer in a news release, on their website and on social media.
  • A model will be provided by Develop Model management and Omaha Fashion Week to model the SAC Money Dress at OFW.

If you've got your eye on the prize, enter here

I can't wait to see the ideas! Good luck!


OPS Update: Careers in Fashion

The proposal to remove fashion education from the Omaha Public Schools curriculum is still on the table following the school board meeting two weeks ago.  After the proposal was presented, nearly all school board members spoke about their concerns over removing the fashion classes from the curriculum.  It sounds like all of the letters our fashion fans sent them were read and thoughtfully considered! However, we aren't out of the woods yet. Tonight there is another board meeting, which means we have another opportunity to share why this issue is so important.  It won't be up for vote for a few more weeks.  OFW will be there along with OPS fashion teachers to offer additional information about why fashion education should NOT be removed from the curriculum.

The key takeaway from the last meeting was the need for more information about job opportunities in fashion.  This became glaringly obvious after a presenter said she did a "quick search" of job postings in fashion within Nebraska and found none.  Well, the OFW team did its own "quick search" today and here is what we found:

We have several large retailers headquartered in the Midwest:  The Buckle (Kearney, NE); Cabela's (Sidney, NE); Gordman's (Omaha, NE); Von Maur (Des Moines, IA); Target (Minneapolis, MN); BonTon (Milwaukee, WI).  Here are their job postings:

  • The Buckle:
  • Cabela's:
  • Gordman's:
  • Von Maur:
  • Target:
  • BonTon:

We need to broaden our perspective of what "working in fashion" is exactly.  We LOVE our fashion designers, but this industry involves MUCH more than designing and producing garments.  It incorporates business, marketing, merchandizing, product development, forecasting, technology, content creation (photography, videography, writing/blogging), modeling, styling, public relations, advertising, graphic design, hair styling, makeup artistry and so many other things.  You will see this variety reflected in the job postings above. In fact, here's the full document of research the team pulled together today - it includes salary data as well.

It's easy for us to think of fashion classes as an experience where we learn to cut fabric, sew stitches and press pretty things.  Maybe even learn a thing or two about modeling and self confidence, heaven forbid.  But those experiences are actually the first step in a student's journey into a billion dollar industry that has thousands of well paying jobs right here in our state. If we don't prepare our students in high school for these careers, they will have fewer opportunities than their peers in other markets.

Fashion education isn't an unpopular subject at OPS...there are roughly 1,000 students enrolled in these classes right now.  It would be foolish, and sad, to throw the hopes and dreams of these students away because of misinformation about what opportunities are available to them in this industry. Let's hope the school board agrees!




Tickets for August 2015 are Now Available!

Get Ready to Join us under the Tents for August 2015!


Check out the Schedule and buy your tickets today! 

8/17: Bridal + Children's Wear + Sister Cities

Debut of brand new collections from Bridal and Children’s Wear designers, along with Sister Cities.  Featured designers: Kingdom Unlimited – Isabel Muziva; KAIT – Kaitlyn Fitzgerald; LeRoy Designs – Caleb Hanner; Quite-A-Riot – Adrienne Anderson; and Jessica Lynn – Jessica Collins.

Click HERE to Purchase

8/18: Avant Garde + Swim Wear

Debut of brand new collections from Avant Garde and Swimwear designers. Featured designers: Dan Richters; Jennifer Pool; Brave Nouvelle – Ellene McClay; Judy Bales; Sabrina Jones; and KKINI – Michaela Cawley.

Click HERE to Purchase

8/19:Ready to Wear Showcase I

Debut of brand new collections from Ready-to-Wear designers. Featured designers: Sydney Moore; Iconic by Tamu – Tamara Newson; Triple Thread – Kylie Bollwitt, Margi Hanlon, & Ashley Redinbaugh; MDFashions Aspen – Michelle Dunn; Alejandra Buenrostro; and SuShe by J. Tracey – Juantiesha Christian

Click HERE to Purchase 

8/20: Ready to Wear Showcase II

Debut of brand new collections from Ready-to-Wear designers. Featured designers: Alyssa Koory; Legalized Rebellion – Samone Davis; Molly Elizabeth – Molly O’Brien; Wallflower – Erica Cardenas & Bryan Frost; Nuevintage – Terri Buckner; and Christopher DiGiorgio.

Click HERE to Purchase

8/21: Evening wear Showcase

Debut of brand new collections from Evening Wear designers. Featured designers: Amaryllis Designs – Andrea Hurtt; Buf Reynolds; Denise Ervin Designs – Denise Ervin; alesha.beth – Alesha Johnson; Leah Kareen – Leah Kettelson; Alison Cloet; and Fella – Fella Vaughn.

Click HERE to Purchase

8/22: VIP Runway Finale

Celebrate the best of Omaha Fashion Week and watch 12 designers compete for the Oxide Fashion Cup and a $20,000 prize package provided by the Fashion Institute Midwest!  Walk the Borsheims Red Carpet at this all VIP event and enjoy the Midwest’s most glamourous night out! Designer finalists will be announced in early August.

Click HERE to Purchase

We look forward to seeing you alongside the runway, August 2015!

#BeThere #OmahaFashion

OFW Founder Nick Hudson on the Value of Fashion Programs in High Schools

My perspective on the value of learning fashion skills at an early age comes from personally being brought up in a working fashion family, my 25+ year career in fashion and seeing the opportunities that have been created for young people through the eight years of Omaha Fashion Week.

Growing up in England we didn’t have fashion as an option in school (in fact we didn’t have any practical skill options - it was a purely academic curriculum and I spent many hours studying Latin!).  But at home, I was encouraged to be entrepreneurial with my hobbies.  Both my father and grandfather owned their own businesses in the fashion industry. My first real business was a T-shirt printing company I started at the age of fifteen (we quickly branched into printed mugs and other random items!).  I continued this T-shirt printing business through university at Cambridge and it paid for many wonderful trips around the world as a student. After university I went into fashion's "little sister" industry -the beauty industry - working for the Boots Company (better known the US as the developer of Sephora). For 13 years I traveled the world working on a range of projects in business development, my last role being Vice President of International Business Development which allowed me to bring the Boots brand to the US through store partnerships with Target, CVS & Walgreens. (Boots was later was purchased by Walgreens in a $19BN transaction)

In 2004 I decided to start my own import business bringing luxury beauty, fashion and accessories from Europe to the US and I found myself moving from New York to Omaha, Nebraska. This sometimes surprises people in the places I do most of my fashion business (i.e. New York, London, Paris & Milan) but Omaha has been a wonderful base for a fashion import and distribution business.  It is central, the lifestyle here is low cost and very comfortable, but most importantly it has a LOT of very talented young people.

It was these talented young people that inspired me to start the creative hub and artists venue, Nomad Lounge, where one of the best projects that was incubated was Omaha Fashion Week. I quickly realized that there was this amazing talent base here in Omaha. The skills were much better than in other cities I had seen. I attribute this to the fact that fashion was still being taught in schools and the strength of programs such as 4-H, which don't exist in the main fashion capitals. The big challenge for these designers was that they didn’t have the money to stage a professional fashion show. Even more striking was that they didn’t believe they were as talented as young designers on the coasts or in “more prestigious” cities.  The idea to change this was simple but revolutionary. Omaha Fashion Week became the first big Fashion Week that provided a free professional platform for designers. It was and continues to be funded by members of the public through ticket sales and the corporate community through sponsorship.

The commercial company that I'm involved with here in Omaha, Design Parliament, is focused on fashion and has very small impact on the local job market. Directly we only have 10 employees, but we are growing quickly and it’s very possible we will have many more in the future. But, through Omaha Fashion Week, many jobs have been created (and talent discovered!) across many different businesses and industries from photography to hair dressing to modeling to retail. This all started because I got to practice entrepreneurial skills in fashion in my early years.

I personally have had a very comfortable income for over 18 years in the fashion industry and a wonderful career that has taken me to almost 50 different countries around the world. I have seen hundreds of people create significant wealth and satisfaction from careers in fashion. And I have seen hundreds of young people in Omaha practice their fashion talents on the OFW runway and then take those creative entrepreneurial skills to use them in fashion or in other industries.

I hope OPS doesn’t drop fashion from its curriculum options. Fashion is an amazingly creative entrepreneurial play ground that hones skills which can be used in many other fields. It is short-sighted to assume fashion is only training people for low-income, low demand jobs! Fashion and its associated areas is a core fundamental human need and globally it is an $1BN industry. There continue to be a plethora of fantastic high income opportunities for those who are interested in fashion in the Midwest! The key to being competitive and landing those jobs is to START EARLY, which further underscores the need for fashion education in our high schools.

Model Search!

Omaha Fashion Week and Develop Model Management are hosting the biannual Model Search event, looking for fresh faces to walk the runway this August!  Keep reading to find out everything you need to know for the event. WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE 2015 OMAHA FASHION WEEK MODEL CASTING


OFW Model Search June 13th @ 2:00 p.m. Westroads Mall in Von Maur Court *This will be the ONLY casting call for Omaha Fashion Week. Model contestants will compete for a guaranteed spot to walk in Omaha Fashion Week, along with vying for one pair of VIP tickets to each week night show at Omaha Fashion Week.

Model Selection Notices June 26th by midnight You will be notified if you have been selected to walk for a designer by this date.  You will NOT be notified if you have not been selected.  Please do not email OFW or Develop Model Management about your status.  Make sure you give us the correct email – one that you monitor regularly – so that you will receive a message from us if you are cast. If you are a minor and your parents are involved in coordinating your schedule, please use an email that your parents have access to when you provide us your contact details.  Finally, if you are selected, your designer will be copied on your selection notice.  Please email Jamie (who will be your contact person) and your designer IMMEDIATELY confirming that you have received your notice and will be able to participate.

OFW will be August 17th-22nd Location is being finalized and will be announced shortly.


Females: 12-30 years old, 5'7" - 6'0" tall, sizes 0-14 Males: 15-30 years old, 5'11" - 6'3" tall


General Tips for everyone: --If you choose to wear a jacket, make sure to wear your number on the outside of your jacket. --Do not wear accessories, such as a large scarf or big necklace, that will cover your number.  If we can’t see your number, we will have to discard your information. --Do not wear jewelry that makes noise when you walk, as it can be very distracting. --Make sure your hair is positioned in a way that won't cover your number when you are walking.

Adults (12+ years old): Women --A pair of heels 3” --Form fitting clothes Men --Fitted pants or jeans are great --Fitted t-shirt --Pair of slick-soled shoes (no athletic shoes please)

*This is your opportunity to show the judges that you follow the fashion industry!  Also, don’t hesitate to do even more research and check out fashion blogs like:


A great attitude!  You will not need to bring professional photos as you may have in the past. Photos will be taken at the event.


You will arrive at Von Maur court and wait in line to go through the process of taking photos, measurements, and walking on the runway. --While in line, you will receive a model number that you need to pin to the front of you. --Text "model" to 88202. You will receive a text that contains a link that will take you to a contact form. --Click on the link and fill out your contact information. PLEASE make sure that you enter your information correctly, or else we might have to discard your submission. --An OFW photographer will take your photo (headshot and full body shot) --Your measurements will be taken (waist, bust, hips, height) --You will walk on the runway & it will be videotaped. This short amount of time is your chance to shine in front of the judges! --After you finish walking, hand your model number to the OFW volunteer standing by the runway.

*The images and videos taken of you will be uploaded to a private website that OFW designers will have exclusive access to in order to select the models they are most interested in using.

Mark June 13th on your calendars and click hereto join the Facebook event!

Open Letter to OPS Board of Education: Keep Fashion in the Curriculum

Hey everyone!  It looks like an assistant superintendent at Omaha Public Schools is proposing the elimination of all clothing and fashion classes over the next two years. The Board of Education votes on the proposal Monday, May 18.  If you are as passionate as we are about keeping creativity in schools, please consider writing to the OPS board TODAY. The decision will impact thousands of kids from all socio-economic backgrounds who have an interest in fashion.  At OFW, we believe the life skills, job experience and leadership training kids receive through fashion education will benefit them no matter what career path they choose. Check out this letter written by OFW Producer Brook Hudson for some inspiration as you write your own.  Click here for a link to the list of OPS Board of Education members. Dear OPS Board of Education Members:

I am the producer of Omaha Fashion Week and it has come to my attention that you will be voting on a curriculum change that would eliminate fashion classes in Omaha Public Schools.  I've been involved in our local fashion scene for eight years and want to share with you some information about what's happening in Omaha related to fashion and how your very own students are involved and benefiting:

-Omaha hosts the nation's fifth largest fashion event in the US - Omaha Fashion Week.  OFW is bigger than events taking place in Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Chicago. -Over 1,000 young people participate in biannual fashion events (August and March) as designers, models, stylists, hair dressers, makeup artists, visual artists, stage managers, personal assistants, reporters, photographers and videographers.  They gain leadership training and real-world job experience through these activities. -9,000 attendees support this activity each year as Omaha Fashion Week ticketholders -Omaha has become known nationally as the fashion scene with the highest concentration of high school designers.  We regularly see students who go on to top fashion schools around the world, taking with them extensive portfolios and leadership experience through our programs. -Omaha Fashion Camp takes place each summer and exposes 60 young people, ages 6-17, to the many career paths available in the fashion industry. -The Fashion Institute Midwest, a non-profit organization, is actively involved in supporting young people with an interest in fashion by providing materials grants, educational opportunities and mentoring. -The Kent Bellows Mentoring Program at the Joslyn Museum has been running a fashion program for several years now to foster the creativity of budding fashion designers. -4-H has a long history of teaching craftsmanship and proper construction to students across the state of Nebraska. -SAC Federal Credit Union has recently launched a program to provide business advice and micro-loans to small fashion startups.

I understand that there is an emphasis in schools to prepare students for "high income, high demand" jobs.  This means more focus on subjects like math and science.  Shockingly enough, there is quite a bit of math, science and even engineering involved in fashion. Learning how to create a garment challenges a young person's spatial awareness, understanding of material properties/fiber content and even fundamental skills such as using a ruler.  For many of these students, fashion is an entry point for gaining an understanding of these concepts. Our experience with Fashion Camp opened our eyes to just how powerful the topic of fashion can be in bringing these abstract and technical concepts to life for young people.

Fashion classes also prepare students for so much more than a future in fashion design.  Let's be honest...becoming a big name designer is about as difficult as becoming a professional athlete and the rise to the top often starts with many unpaid internships and low-paying jobs.  However, there are many career paths in the fashion industry that don't involve design and sewing know-how, and are much more lucrative and accessible locally than you might realize.  Fashion is a multi-disciplinary industry that incorporates business, marketing, journalism, photography, videography and graphic design, in addition to vocational fields such as hair dressing and makeup artistry.  There are also research-based fields that overlap with fashion, such as consumer psychology and human geography. The intersection of tech and fashion is also an interesting area yielding high paying jobs for young people. Fashion entrepreneurship and retail is yet another path. With the ubiquity of the internet, it is now possible for a young person to start a business and gain access to a world-wide audience.  There are already several examples of this happening right here in Omaha.  The best part?  These talented young people don't have to leave our city to have a career in the industry that interests them...and through our vibrant fashion ecosystem, they now have the support they need to explore their interests and showcase their work on a world-class runway.

Given all of this, you might be asking why it is necessary to keep fashion in the curriculum.  OPS fashion programs are a pipeline for new talent entering the Omaha fashion ecosystem.  These classes are often the starting point and a place where students of all socio-economic backgrounds can build confidence and skills to the point where extracurricular fashion activities become a goal. Without that first step in the classroom, many students will never know what is available to them in their own backyard.  Thus, they will miss out on the valuable skills and life lessons that can be learned along the way to a career, whether in fashion or another industry.  What they learn through these experiences is applicable in almost any field.

I believe America's great competitive advantage on the world stage is the creativity of its people. Outsourcing of jobs that can be automated will continue to be a threat to this generation.  We owe it to ALL of our kids to provide opportunities to flex their creative muscles in school. Fashion programming is a great way to do that.  On behalf of the entire Omaha fashion community, I ask that you vote to keep fashion classes in the OPS curriculum.

Sincerely, Brook Hudson, MBA Producer, Omaha Fashion Week

Fashion Institute Guild Exclusive: Looks from the Runway

Last night, we sipped champagne with the beautiful people of the Fashion Institute Guild, learning how to transform runway fashion into something you could actually wear on a daily basis.  The presentation was given by Guild President, Alyssa Dilts of Develop Model Management and Guild Board Member, Autumn Foland of Design Parliament.  I loved this presentation because they not only showed pictures and videos, but they also had live models showing looks that I could actually wear! It makes such a difference seeing the look live on a model.

Quick review of Spring 2015:

The big closet-friendly theme from the S/S 2015 runways is Athleisure. This trend became a "thing" when ladies wanted to look good coming from the gym.  They needed the versatility of a workout look that could go from the gym to a business lunch.  Suddenly, we saw leather bombers paired with yoga pants and smart bags...and then the $200 track suit bottom was born.  From Target to McQueen, this trend is here to stay.  You'll see Athleisure looks made out of everything from scuba fabric, to tennis shoe fabric, to cashmere spun with cotton and spandex. Its hallmarks are versatility and performance...meaning sweat-wicking properties, stretch and durability. These high-tech fabrics can be seen in dresses, skirts and tops as well as the traditional track suit.

The key to pulling this look off is to make it look purposeful.  It can easily go "Momma June" if you aren't careful with how you put it together.  Be wary of the see-through yoga pant, which really isn't a pant at all.  Pay attention to the fabric and buy quality to avoid an unintended wardrobe malfunction. Good news is, you can buy Athleisure pieces at just about any clothing retailer...Omaha options include Target, Renu at Shoppes at Legacy and Design Parliament.

Fall/Winter 2015:

Designers really took an introspective approach to this season.  Especially after Anna Wintour announced that "trend" was a dirty word.  Designers are speaking to the woman who wants to purchase an investment piece and define her own style, and they've (designers) gone back to the roots of their respective fashion houses.  Rather than focusing on trend, they are working with the ideas of individual styling and how a woman presents herself authentically to the world. Despite all of that, there were some themes that surfaced...

  • Leather: We saw it in bright colors and feminine silhouettes this spring, but it's coming back in dark colors and longer lengths for fall.  We are seeing it mixed with suede, accented with fringe and cut with square shoulders for a more androgynous effect.
  • Car wash skirts and flared pants are the "it" silhouettes of the season. Glad I didn't get rid of all my flared pants from if I could just fit into them!
  • 70's Boho is not going away any time soon. Ponchos, chunky knits, lace, shearling, velvet.
  • Accessories of the moment: Statement earrings and geeky glasses.

Alyssa and Autumn also covered what we can look forward to in menswear:

  • Athleisure: Track suits and trainers, some with a ballet flair
  • More focus on day wear and a movement away from evening wear to more accurately reflect the lives of real men.

If you are interested in getting the inside track on the fashion scene - from the runways of Omaha to Paris - I strongly recommend joining the Fashion Institute Guild! Benefits include invites to exclusive events like this, plus special deals on OFW tickets and other exciting fashion happenings. Join the  Fashion Institute Guild  here!

Interested in modeling for OFW?

Want to be a model for Omaha Fashion Week? Here are the dates you need to know! May 11, 6pm - Model Prep Workshop taking place at Develop Model Management

June 13, 2pm - Model Search (ages 12+) at Von Maur Court in the Westroads mall

June 26 - Model selection notices/confirmations go out to designers & models

July 23 - Model Bootcamp at Develop Model Management

August 16 - OFW Rehearsal at the venue

August 17-22 - Showtime!

We hope to see you there!

August 2015 Designer Lineup Announced

Omaha, Neb. April 27, 2015 – The organizers of Omaha Fashion Week presented by SAC Federal Credit Union announced the designers who have been selected to show collections during the next season of OFW, August 17-22. The lineup of 30 designers pitched their collections in front of the OFW Selection Panel last week and were selected from 47 applicants. The lineup includes three newcomers, six student designers, 21 OFW veteran designers and seven designers living outside of Nebraska. They come from South Africa, New York and Iowa. All will compete for nightly cash prizes during designer showcases on August 17-21. The top twelve designers from the week will compete for the SAC Fashion Cup during the Runway Finale on August 22. The top twelve will be announced on August 3. “We absolutely love being able to offer cash prizes to our top designers – this is part of SAC Federal Credit Union’s dedication to supporting small business owners. It makes a big difference for a designer to be recognized in this way,” said OFW Producer Brook Hudson. All selections and awardees will be determined by the OFW Selection Panel.

“The talent coming in now has improved so much – the quality and style we are seeing now is truly amazing.  The whole selection process has become increasingly competitive,” said OFW Designer Coordinator Buf Reynolds. Highlights from interviews:

  • Florals are the big trend coming out of this season’s designer pitches.  Many are using floral prints, a few going so far as to design their own custom floral prints.
  • Drag queens will be featured in Jenny Pool’s avant garde collection
  • Surface design is a big deal, with designers treating denim and using broken glass on garments
  • Landscapes – both urban and desert – are a major inspiration for several designers

The OFW Selection Panel includes five industry experts who score designer presentations and act as mentors and advisors to designers as they prepare for shows.  The panel includes: Vanessa Barrett, jewelry designer and fashion/interior stylist; Judy Davis, Fashion Institute Midwest Board Member; Autumn Foland, sales director for Design Parliament; Robyn Kortan, former senior buyer for Dayton Hudson/Marshall Field Department Stores; Meghann Schense, editor of Omaha FASHION Magazine and owner of Esoteric Velvet, a creative firm.

OFW will announce the venue location and the show schedule in May.  Tickets go on sale to the public June 1 at and range in price from $40-$85 for weeknight tickets and $1000-$1250 for 10-seat Finale VIP Tables.

Student Designers

  • Molly O’Brien for Molly Elizabeth (junior, ready to wear)
  • Alison Cloet (graduating senior, evening wear)
  • Christopher DiGiorgio (graduating senior, menswear) †
  • Sydney Moore (seventh grade, ready to wear)
  • Alesha Johnson for alesha.beth  (graduating senior, evening wear)
  • Alyssa Koory (graduating senior, ready to wear)

Runway Newcomers

  • Triple Thread (ready to wear)
  • Isabel Muziva for Kingdom Unlimited (children’s wear)
  • Leah Kettelson for Leah Kareen (evening wear, Colorado)


  • Buf Reynolds (evening wear)
  • Dan Richters (avant garde) ‡
  • Sabrina Jones for Sabrina Jones Designs (swimwear)
  • Jennifer Pool (avant garde)
  • Ellene McClay for Brave Nouvelle (avant garde)
  • Juantiesha Christian for SuShe by J. Tracey (ready to wear, New York)
  • Terri Buckner for Nuevintage (ready to wear)
  • Fella Vaughn for Fella (evening wear)
  • Denise Ervin for Denise Ervin Designs (evening wear)
  • Samone Davis for Legalized Rebellion (ready to wear)
  • Tamara Newson for Iconic by Tamu (ready to wear)
  • Erica Cardenas and Bryan Frost for Wallflower (ready to wear)
  • Alejandra Buenrostro (ready to wear)
  • Michelle Dunn for MDFashions Aspen (ready to wear, Colorado)
  • Andrea Hurtt for Amaryllis Designs (evening wear) †
  • Judy Bales (avant garde, Iowa)
  • Jessica Collins for Jessica Lynn (children’s wear)
  • Kaitlyn Fitzgerald for KAIT (children’s wear, New York)
  • Michaela Cawley for KKINI (swim, South Africa)
  • Adrienne Anderson for Quite-A-Riot (bridal)
  • Caleb Hanner for LeRoy Designs (bridal, Iowa)

† Indicates SAC Federal Credit Union Prize winner ‡ Indicates Fashion Cup winner


About Omaha Fashion Week: On the inside, Omaha Fashion Week is a talent incubator that seamlessly connects designers, stylists, photographers, artists and models through nurturing platforms and engaging opportunities. On the outside, Omaha Fashion Week is Midwest’s premier fashion event; spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence. Learn more at

OFW announces August 2015 Designers


Congratulations to the following designers who will be joining us on the runway in August:

Iconic by Tamu- Tamara Newson, RTW

Sydney Moore, RTW

Kingdom Unlimited- Isabel Muziva, Childrens

alesha.beth- Alesha Johnson, Evening

LeRoy Designs- Caleb Hanner, Bridal

KAIT- Kaitlyn Fitzgerald, Childrens

Molly Elizabeth- Molly O’Brien, RTW

Denise Ervin Designs-Denise Ervin, Evening

Dan Richters, Avant Garde

Amaryllis Designs- Andrea Hurtt, Evening

Christopher DiGiorgio, Menswear

Brave Nouvelle- Ellene McClay, Avant Garde

Wallflower- Erica Cardenas and Bryan Frost , RTW

Jennifer Pool, Avant Garde

Quite-A-Riot- Adrienne Otteman, Bridal

KKINI- Michaela Cawley, Swim

Jessica Lynn- Jessica Lynn Collins, Childrens

Judy Bales, Avant Garde

Alejandra Buenrostro, RTW

Alyssa Koory, RTW

Leah Kareen- Leah Kettelson, Evening

Sabrina Jones, Swim

MDFashions Aspen- Michelle Dunn, RTW

Legalized Rebellion- Samone Davis, RTW

Alison Cloet, Evening

Triple Thread- Kylie Bollwitt, Margi Hanlon, and Ashley Redinbaugh, RTW

SuShe by J. Tracey- Juantiesha Christian, RTW

Nuevintage-Terri Buckner, RTW

Buf Reynolds, Evening wear

Fella- Fella Vaughn, Evening

Thank you again to all who applied!

Watch for the line ups coming soon!

August 2015 Designers Interviews Come To An End


Last night we finished our last set of interviews for the August shows!

Thank you to all who applied and Good Luck!

Buf Reynolds

Kylie Bollwitt, Margi Hanlon, and Ashley Redinbaugh

Jacklynn Bridal

Samone Davis

Sabrina Jones

Alyssa Koory

Judy Bales

Michaela Cawley

Jenny Pool

Ellene McClay

11160567_10152909525581553_2806816864325318441_nAndrea Hurtt11173314_10152909469131553_3702855062472510527_n

Amber Vokt

Denise Ervin

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald

Alesha Johnson

Sydney Moore

Tamara Newson

Isabel Muziva

Katelyn Otto

Caleb Hanner

19325_10152907404461553_2655904243776803606_nMolly O’Brien11182213_10152909604606553_3675213134029004457_n

Dan Richters

Christopher DiGiorgio

Erica Cardenas and Bryan Frost

Adrienne Otteman

Jessica Lynn Collins

Alejandra Buenrostro

Leah Kettelson

Michelle Dunn

Elda Doamekpo

Pat Hayhurst

 Alison Cloet

Terri Buckner

Fella Vaughn

Juantiesha Christian

We announce our August lineups on April 27th - STAY TUNED! #OmahaFashion

OFW Designers Take on College

This year many of our OFW designers are embarking on new milestones in their lives. Some are about to graduate high school and make their way to college; while others are graduating college, and starting to build a career.  Stay up to date with what is going on with a few of our studious designers right here:  

Katie Thompson

Katie, winner of the Designer Showcase II, is a graduate student at Iowa State University. Thompson will be graduating with her Masters in May of 2016. The Iowa State student is currently focused on textile design with a specialization in digital textile printing. The OFW alum found that from narrowing her focus to textile design rather than the broad topic of fashion design it allowed her to figure out what direction to take in her future career goals. Katie hopes to get a job in textile printing or textile design with a company stationed on the coast. "I prefer to move around quite a bit so in 10 years I see myself in a different city at a new job, I have no idea what it may be.", says Thompson.

Walker Greene

Walker Greene is currently a foundation student at Paris College of Art. Next year Walker plans to go into fine arts. Don't worry, this does not mean an end to fashion for him. "I want to be more open to experiment and use different mediums rather than just focusing on one thing," says Greene.  Walker plans to mesh his fashion emphasis with his love for art- much like he learned through the Kent Bellows Studio and various art teachers he had. Walker attributes much of his success to the teachers he has had throughout his life."Some of the main art teachers that helped me throughout the years are: Debie Plog, who runs an art studio out of her basement,  Jeremy Caniglia, my art teacher at Creighton Prep, and Dan Richters who taught me almost everything I know about fashion and design," says Walker.

11065897_10152827652881553_504045060279513310_nKate Walz

Kate is a senior this year and definitely knows her way around the runway. The OFW alum will be making her way to New York in the fall  to attend Parsons the New School for Design.  Parsons has been a dream school for Kate since a young age and she is extremely grateful to not only be accepted, but to be receiving a scholarship as well. The senior is excited to be surrounded by the diversity in New York City. "I want to feel scared and uncomfortable as I think this will help me grow as a person and artist," says Walz. In 10 years Kate sees herself owning her own boutique in New York or Paris and to design exclusive collections for high end department stores. She understand this is a big goal but is excited to achieve it. "I often find that those who fear to voice their aspirations don't truly believe in their ability to achieve them," says Kate.

We Love our Selection Panel!

panel Have you met our wonderful selection panel? This season always presents us with some tough decisions but our panel is top notch. Here is a bit more about them:

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Judy Davis is a two year board member of the Fashion Institute Midwest Board and the Fashion Institute Guild.  She currently serves as treasurer of both organizations.

Outside of the “fashion world”, Judy serves the community as Philanthropy/Event Chair on the American Red Cross Board, Board Development Chair on the YMCA Board, Chair of the Iowa West Educational Advisory Committee, a member of the  Iowa Western Community College Black Tie Committee,  and a board member of the Council Bluffs Guild of the Omaha Symphony.

Judy served as Campaign Consultant for the new Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs and is currently serving as Campaign Consultant for the Council Bluffs Athletic Complex. Judy is married to husband Ron, has three children and six grandchildren.


Meghann Schense is creative consultant & grit of She is a founding, executive board member for the Fashion Institute Guild, a style ambassador for Harper’s Bazaar, and “Au Courant” trend columnist for Inspired Living Magazine.

Meghann’s expertise includes media production, writing, art direction, styling, graphic design, photography, event planning, market research & analytics, e-commerce, branding, public relations, email marketing, and social media.


Vanessa Barrett has a long history with design and fashion. She began as a window dresser, with many experiences along the way including boutique owner, buyer, interior design, editor of The Scout Guide Omaha, and photographer. Vanessa is currently working in jewelry design and as a fashion/interior stylist.


Autumn Foland leads the sales and customer service efforts at Design Parliament. With over 15 years of retail and wholesale experience, Autumn has solidified a reputation for being a key player in the nation’s designer specialty and department stores. She has purchased at wholesale showrooms across the country, as well as such venues as New York Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, Dallas Market and Style Max Chicago.

Autumn has developed relationships with hundreds of fashion designers and top retail executives through her various buying and selling activities. Autumn is also very involved in her local community, serving as Board Member of the Midwest Fashion Institute Guild, Member of the Board and Chairperson of the Heart Ministry Center Fashion Show and a Team Captain Volunteer for The ICAN Womens Leadership Annual Conference.


Robyn Kortan was a Senior Buyer for Dayton Hudson Department Stores headquartered in Minneapolis, MN.  She was responsible for managing multi million dollar businesses for several departments. In this position, Robyn also had the opportunity to travel for the Associated Merchant Corporation and was involved with design and development of merchandise for private label to be used by Dayton Hudson/Marshall Field and several other major department stores throughout the U.S. Before retiring from retail, Robyn moved to Human Resources and was responsible for the Merchant Trainee Program and conducted professional and personal training for the Executive Merchant Team.

With these folks on the panel, we have no doubt that the August 2015 lineup will be wonderful!


Join in on the Summer Fun: OFW Fashion Camp

Join in on the Summer Fun: OFW Fashion Camp Every kid goes to basketball camp, dance camp, or your regular old sleep away camp, but stray from the status quo this Summer and register send your child in the OFW & Develop Model Management fashion camp.

10629517_10152391917571553_1509002789398662300_oJoin the OFW Team and Develop Model Management for our Fashion Camp! Your child will learn about all aspects of the fashion industry, from sketching, photography and modeling, to creating their very own garment or accessory. Camp will culminate in a runway show for parents at the end of the week!

Fashion Camp will be held at Develop Model Management. Price includes all materials for the week- meals and snacks are NOT included.

Check out coverage of lasts year's camp by KMTV Action 3 News!


Session I/Kids Camp: $225 June 8th-12th  8am-noon  (6-10 year olds)

KIDS (6-10 y/o) FASHION CAMP SCHEDULE Day 1: Project introduction:  Design basics Day 2: Project introduction:  How to make a bag Day 3: Project introduction: How to decorate your bag and jewelry accompaniment Day 4: Topic and Group Discussion: How to model Day 5: Pick out matching garment from Goodwill. All group fashion show and photo shoot

Session II/Preteen+Teen Camp: $225 June 8th-12th 1pm-5pm (11-17 year olds)

PRETEEN/TEEN (11-17 y/o) FASHION CAMP SCHEDULE Day 1: Topic and Group Discussion:  Your personal style and creating a brand Day 2: Topic and Group Discussion: Mood boards Day 3: Topic and Group Discussion:  Fashion industry jobs Day 4: Topic and Group Discussion: How to produce a fashion show, what goes into planning Day 5: All group panel discussion with OFW producers Nick and Brook Hudson. All group mood board presentation and fashion show and photo shoot

PLEASE NOTE - There will be an Advanced Program for 11-17 y/o campers if they participated in the 2014 summer fashion camp or if they have advanced skill levels.  The Advanced Program curriculum will include instruction by expert fashion designers and sewing instructors.  At the culmination of the camp, there will be 6 campers chosen to showcase their designs at Omaha Fashion Week in August on platforms before the runway show starts!  If you would like more information regarding the qualifications for entering the Advance Program, please email with the subject line: Advanced Camp and someone will respond with additional information.

Register HERE:


Fashion Camp will be held in the Younkers Court of the Oak View Mall between American Eagle and Victoria's Secret, in the old Disney Store.

Mall picture copy




Money Dress Going on Tour!

1016557_10152823948086553_7823506447574426243_nRemember that fab money dress from our March 2015 Season designed by Sabrina Jones?  Well now you can get one more look at it as it makes its way around SAC Federal Credit Union branches this month. See the schedule below! Congrats to the winner of the Money Dress Contest, Stacy Regennitt, whose $699.00 guess was closest to the actual amount on the dress.  The actual amount was $699.25.  Stacy won a pair of VIP tickets to the Omaha Fashion Week August Season, coming up August 17-22.


SAC Headquarters    April 6th – 10th     7148 Towne Center Parkway, Papillion, NE  68046

Maple Branch     April 13th – 17th     17020 Evans Plaza Omaha, NE  68116

Bellevue Branch     April 20th – 24th 2204 Longo Drive Bellevue, NE  68005

Papillion    April 27th – May 1    1216 North Washington St. Papillion, NE   68046

New Program to Assist Local Fashion Designers

FROM  A PRESS RELEASE SENT ON 4/10 Omaha Fashion Week (OFW) is excited to announce a special partnership with SAC Federal Credit Union to assist the local designer community. This new program addresses an existing problem: In eight years, the fashion community of 200+ designers ages 13 to 65 has come a long way, but still has a lot of work to do on commercializing their work and creating sustainable businesses.

Omaha Fashion Week has helped designers get started by providing critical exposure during biannual fashion shows. The majority of designers have gained sales over the years, with some bringing in up to $50,000 in revenue. OFW founder and producer, Nick Hudson, is excited about the future. “We have proven that there is a talented community here. The next big stage is to support growth of these small businesses and that takes some different resources, “he said. “That is why we were excited when SAC Federal Credit Union decided to increase their involvement.” SAC has been an OFW sponsor for three years and is expanding its involvement to nurture individual designers into sustainable businesses.

“Our goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs by partnering with them to meet their business’ financial needs,” SAC Federal Credit Union CEO, Gail DeBoer said. “SAC’s partnership with Omaha Fashion Week, and the designers and business owners, who support the event, is a way for us to extend our services to the design community. There is high potential to create jobs and expand businesses through Omaha Fashion Week and SAC is proud to be a part of the movement.”

The SAC partnership with OFW has a number of facets:

  • An expanded package of prizes has been announced, giving more opportunities to the designers, hairstylists and models involved in OFW productions.
  • A program of business and financial advice is being provided through the partnership that will support designers by helping them develop business plans, and enhance how they manage their business growth.
  • Credit products are being tailored specifically for designers that will dovetail with the business and financial advising program. These products will help designers grow their businesses responsibly, by allowing them to buy supplies and equipment needed to expand their businesses.

Currently, SAC representatives are working with a pilot group of designers to further develop the advice and credit portion of the program.  “The idea is to tailor the program to meet the unique needs of designers. It’s a concierge banking program for small, creative businesses,” added DeBoer.   The hope is that the program will expand beyond designers to include all players on the local creative scene, including salons, photographers, independent hair stylists, and makeup artist and clothing boutiques.

“It’s still in the early days, but it is exciting that our local fashion community could develop into a local fashion industry. We have so many talented young people in our community and SAC’s support is going to help them explore their full potential. We can’t think of a better partner to help us continue pushing this community forward,” added Hudson.

OFW is currently preparing to interview designer candidates for the August 2015 season. The designer lineup will be announced at the end of April and tickets for next season go on sale June 1.


About Omaha Fashion Week On the inside, Omaha Fashion Week is a talent incubator that seamlessly connects designers, stylists, photographers, artists and models through nurturing platforms and engaging opportunities. ON the outside, Omaha Fashion Week is the Midwest’s premier fashion event; spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence. Learn more at

About SAC Federal Credit Union SAC Federal Credit Union is locally owned by its members and recognized for its community involvement. Motivated by member service rather than profit, the credit union’s focus is on providing safety, soundness and convenience to its membership. SAC FCU is a financial partner for life, helping members with banking, financial planning, home buying, investing, education and retirement planning, commercial banking services and more. Begin the journey to better banking today:

August 2015 VIP Swag Bags!

March was a huge success for Omaha Fashion Week and all those who participated!  F/W 2015 collections have been shown, and we're now preparing for S/S 2015 shows that will take place in August. With that being said, we're looking for great companies with great products and/or services to be a part of our VIP “Swag Bags" again.  All Saturday night (OFW Finale) ticketholders will receive an Omaha Fashion Week “Swag Bag” at the S/S 2015 show this August, and we want you to help make it fabulous.  This is an awesome opportunity for you to reach a large audience—an audience that will absolutely love your product(s).

Requirements 1. Must be able to provide an item or product in the quantity of 750. 2. Must be a tangible product or offer that adds value. 3. Products must be sent to the OFW office (107 S 55th St., Omaha, NE 68132) no later than August 10th.

Some past examples of products are... -Travel or full size hair and makeup products (shampoo & conditioner, mini mascara, lip gloss) -Edible items (cookies, dog treats, coffee beans, cupcakes, gum/mints) -Special offers (spa treatments, clothing store discounts) -Other items (candles, shot glasses, nail polish)

Below is the link you can follow to fill out an application!  It will close August 3rd.

OFW Featured on NET Nebraska Stories

A behind the scenes look at Omaha's exploding fashion underground to see the last minute struggles of putting art on a runway. We meet the designers and other talents beyond the catwalk that have made Omaha Fashion Week the fifth-largest in the country.