Meet Crystal Brakhage, one of Omaha Fashion Week’s emerging designers! Read on to learn about her balance between high and low dressing and the inspiration behind her latest collection.


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

I started when I was eight years old, for 4-H. My mom Deanna Brakhage and my grandma Doris Leander taught me.

“I love to make pieces that have movement when someone walks!”

“I love to make pieces that have movement when someone walks!”

What category does your brand fall under?

I like to create street wear mixed with formal attire. I call it “classy trashy,” with its mix of edgy pieces and more high-end elements.

What are your personal goals or goals for your brand?

My goal is to make women feel confident and comfortable. I want them to feel like they can take on the world. I want Crystal Brakhage Designs to become a high-end brand to be shown at New York Fashion Week!

A look from the SS18 collection

A look from the SS18 collection

Describe your favorite project or projects that you have worked on.

This collection!

Where do you look for inspiration?

I get inspiration from everything. A lot of the time it’s from what's happening in my personal life.

Metallic material for the SS18 collection

Metallic material for the SS18 collection

Describe some of the specific inspiration for your new collection.

My new collection is inspired by a woman who is mysterious. When people see her they want to be her.

What kind of materials do you use and why?

In the past I have used chainmail, leather, feathers, etc… I’ll use anything I can get my hands on that gives my garment life and to helps get the point across. I even used garbage for a design inspired by pollution.

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

Designers often sketch first and then find fabric. I like to go to the fabric store first. Once I feel a material, an image pops into my head, and then I sketch it. I work backwards, but it works for me.

Draping in progress

Draping in progress

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

I have used this approach for years. In college they make you sketch a lot and I was always the stubborn one who said I already knew what I wanted to do.


To learn more about Crystal visit her website and follow along on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with her as she continues to work on her collection!