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

In this women's wear collection, Maria Behnen celebrates the fusion of color and the unexpected combinations of prints and textures. Color printed waffle weave fabrics along with reclaimed denim are sure to make the wearer feel extraordinary.

How was your brand born? Where did the original idea for your brand concept come from?

After moving to Kansas City from New York in 2011, I missed the ever-changing fashion that was alive in the Big Apple. I decided that I would begin a collection each year that was my own vision. Thus, Maria Behnen Kansas City, was born! I’m proud of putting Kansas City as part of my label to put the Midwest on the map of fashion and be a part of the fashion renaissance of the Midwest.

 Pieces from Behnen's previous Hudson Bay Collection.

Pieces from Behnen's previous Hudson Bay Collection.

Describe the specific customer your design for.

My goal is to create apparel and accessories that makes every woman look and feel extraordinary and confident at any age.

What are the signature styles or silhouettes of your brand?

There are always a few jackets with a surprise lining or interesting detail touch. Sportswear is my focus but a few fun dresses are always present. I like to end the runway with an “Out on the Town” statement dress.

 Surplus Wrap Top and Ruffled Skirt from Behnen's recent Havana Collection.

Surplus Wrap Top and Ruffled Skirt from Behnen's recent Havana Collection.

How do you balance creativity/innovation with consistency in your work?

Constantly looking at others work as well as being inspired by my art students. I usually keep a journal, and travel whenever I can, which is a good time to evaluate and keep an open mind. I stay true to what I like and give the time needed to make sure it’s on point.

What inspired your new collection and how are you translating that inspiration into wearable pieces.

Fabrics I found while in New York last February inspired this Spring/Summer collection called “Hard Candy”. I’m always attracted to colorful interesting prints combined with unusual complimentary textiles and trims. It reminds me of an assortment of gumdrops or lollipops. It celebrates the vibrant use of color and projects happiness. Italian printed waffle weave, ombre sheers and interesting tweeds grounded by solid off white crepe poly. Each piece can also be easily worn and combined with white or indigo denim.

To learn more about Maria 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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