Meet Makaylee Gayed, one of Omaha Fashion Week’s emerging designers! Read on to learn about the deeply personal inspiration behind her latest collection and the way she is interpreting it through her color and textile selection.


Sneak peek of a look from the SS18 collection

Sneak peek of a look from the SS18 collection

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

My grandma taught me how to sew at age eight so that I could get involved with our local 4-H chapter. I started making pants, tops, and skirts to enter into the Seward County Fair. Once I got to college and started working retail I realized how much I loved styling customers and putting together outfits for them. I would always look at the clothing and think about how I would change the pieces and think that I could make them myself so I started to get into sewing again and changed my major from International Business to Fashion Design.

Describe your brand and the point of view you wish to convey. What category does your brand fall under?

I am a women's and children’s wear designer, but this season I am focusing on women’s wear. I design high-end, elegant, and sophisticated clothing that can easily transition from day to night. I design for women who dress to reflect how they are feeling, but always with class. I try to use colors, patterns, texture, and silhouettes that convey feelings.

Chain being used throughout the SS18 collection

Chain being used throughout the SS18 collection

What are your personal goals or goals for your brand?

I hope to be able to make custom designs and sell my designs to women throughout the Nebraska area and someday branch out further.

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

I took an experimental design class in school and we were challenged to use lights in a wearable art piece. I created a shoulder piece made of aluminum dryer ducts with fringe that was made of fishing line. I put fairy lights under the metal so that it shined through the holes and underneath the shoulder pieces.

Sketches of the SS18 collection

Sketches of the SS18 collection

Where did you find inspiration for your new collection?

I always use my life experiences and the way they made me feel for inspiration. I think, if this were a movie of my life, and this is how I was feeling, what might I be wearing? I try to convey that in a very high fashion and luxurious way. So this season my collection is inspired by my daughter’s stay in the hospital until she passed away this April. It was an emotional rollercoaster for us and it has worked as an emotional outlet for me.

Describe the collection you are creating.

I am making a collection of pieces that are easily taken from day to night for women that live in larger cities and are very fashion forward. I will be using white, sky blue, red, and black cotton sateen throughout the collection, mixed with see-through gingham-like fabric that will be hand dyed. Also with a touch of clear vinyl. I wanted to use fabrics that could be seen through to convey the way living in a hospital for almost four months makes you feel. You have your own room, so you have some privacy, but you still bear it all in front of the nurses and doctors. They are in and out of your room constantly; we only had a maximum of two hours to ourselves at a time and, even then, we were lucky if we got that much time. It just makes you feel naked without actually being that way.

Red and Kentucky Sky Blue hand dyed fabric

Red and Kentucky Sky Blue hand dyed fabric

What sort of design elements can we expect from you this season? What materials, colors, shapes, or patterns will you be using?

I'm using solid colored cotton sateen, clear vinyl, and a transparent, gingham-like fabric. There is a mixture of fitted and flowy silhouettes. Almost all of the looks are separates so there will be a wide variety of mixing-and-matching possibilities. There will also be chain detailing on several of the garments.

In what ways is this collection similar or different than your past work?

I work a lot with black and white or really dark colors. Even though I do have white and black throughout this collection, I finally incorporated some brighter red and blue colors. I also don't typically use patterned fabrics, but I am excited to be adding a little bit extra to this collection compared to some of my previous work.


Makaylee is available for custom designs or made to measure garments from her past collections. Email her at to inquire or check out her website to learn more. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook to see what she’s up to as she prepares for the runway this August!