Omaha Fashion Week is kicking off another season August 20-25, and we are thrilled to share more about our amazing lineup of designers!

From work, to the gym, to drinks with friends, this collection by Courtney Barbour of CJB Designs fits the girl constantly on the go. Bright colors, feminine silhouettes, and innovative textures work together to perfectly fit the girl who never stops!

How did you get into fashion? Share a little about your background.

I started sketching designs as a little girl. I would find myself doodling in school and had a whole book full of designs. My mom taught me how to sew at a young age. From creating Halloween costumes, to making dance outfits with my friends, it became a passionate part of my life. I went to Iowa State University and graduated with my degree in the spring of 2016. I worked at Dornink Couture in the East Village of Des Moines over the next two and a half years and was fortunate to participate last season in Omaha Fashion Week as an Emerging Designer. I am thrilled to be coming back this season, and I can’t wait to show my new collection!

Describe your brand and the point of view you wish to convey.

CJB Designs is a lifestyle brand, completely inspired by athleisure wear. It’s comfortable, cute, and functional for the busy woman. From a busy day at work, to the gym, to drinks with friends, these garments are built with versatility and comfort in mind.

 Looks from Omaha Fashion Week Spring 2018.

Looks from Omaha Fashion Week Spring 2018.

What are your personal goals, or goals for your brand?

I do have high goals for CJB Designs. I would love to continue showing at different fashion shows around the Midwest and U.S. I would love for people to start recognizing my brand, and I hope to start getting orders in for pieces from my collections.

Describe your favorite project(s) that you have worked on.

My favorite project would be creating my collection shown in February 2018 at Omaha Fashion Week. I loved creating an entire collection of 12 looks full of 27 garments. It was a fun, colorful and vibrant collection that was truly a joy to create and see come to life on the runway. It was a dream come true.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I look for inspiration all around me. I look to see what is popular and current in athleisure trends, as well as what people are wearing all around me. I look at fashion forecasting sights to see what silhouettes, styles, colors, etc. will be popular for the upcoming season. I then start doing as many quick sketches as I can think of and sketch out my ideas as quickly as possible. Afterwards, I narrow down the options to the best 12 cohesive and unique looks to get my final collection. I then start doing my fabric search and ordering. Finally, I am able to designate fabric selections for each look and start bringing the collection to life.

 Detail shot from Omaha Fashion Week Spring 2018.

Detail shot from Omaha Fashion Week Spring 2018.

Describe some of the specific inspiration for your new collection.

For this particular collection, I really looked at popular styles on forecasting sights for athleisure styles. Mesh cutouts and sheer spaces are going to be very popular and they bring a fun edge to the collection, so you can be certain to see that in this collection.

What kind of materials do you plan to use and why?

I will be using sheer mesh fabrics, scubas, neoprene, jersey knits, and plastics to put together a very fun and vibrant collection.

What kind of special processes will you use and what effect will it have on your work?

You will definitely be seeing some plastic rain jackets with colored piping and fun bright blues and oranges with a floral print. I will bring in my expert sewing techniques along with these interesting fabrics, which will produce an interesting and unique collection.

 Omaha Fashion Week Spring 2018 Borsheims Red Carpet Shot.

Omaha Fashion Week Spring 2018 Borsheims Red Carpet Shot.

Is this a new approach for you or is it consistent throughout your work?

It is fairly consistent, however I will be using plastics, which I have never used before. I will have to fuse the seams together, as sewing will cause it to rip apart from the needle holes. That finish will be semi new to me. I have worked with bubble wrap before, which gives me some idea of process.

To learn more about Courtney and her work, visit her website and follow along on Facebook and Instagram as she continues to prepare for the runway! And be sure to grab tickets to Omaha Fashion Week August 20th-25th!

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