Meet Tirzah Beam, one of Omaha Fashion Week’s emerging designers! Read about her inspiration and her continued drive to learn that keeps her growing creatively.
How did you get into fashion? Tell me a little about your background.
I grew up in a 4-H family and, to achieve my goal of getting a project to the Iowa State Fair, I learned how to sew. As I picked up the skill, I realized I really loved the independence it gave me, as well as the challenge of piecing together a “puzzle.” I have also always loved making and working with things and ideas, and my creative desires and technical skills were a good fit for fashion.
Describe your brand and the point of view you wish to convey. What category does your brand fall under?
My brand is centered around women’s ready-to-wear. Although I’m still developing the brand’s identity, it’s important to me that I create things that are wearable, meaningful, and imaginative.
What are your personal goals or goals for your brand?
My goal is to put to work my passion and skills, either by working for a company and gaining further experience, or focusing more on creating and developing my own personal brand.
Describe your favorite project or projects that you have worked on.
My favorite project was my first Omaha Fashion Week collection. It challenged me in ways I’d never been challenged and really taught me a lot about myself. It was an amazing experience to be able to debut my work to an audience of that size.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I feel like inspiration finds me, partly by continually exposing myself to lots of ideas. Movies really inspire me, with their combination of strong visuals, emotion-filled music, and complex ideas, all in one. Still, I feel like just living life with open eyes gives you the opportunity for inspiration to grab you.
Describe some of the specific inspiration for your new collection.
This collection is inspired by family, a desire to learn more about my design identity, and to challenge myself to create with meaning, I’ve been taking inspiration from old family photos, garments worn by members of my family, and even passed-down materials: old denim and fabric from my mom and great aunt’s fabric collection. Almost all of the pieces have a story to tell.
What kind of materials do you use and why?
I like to utilize natural fabrics because I think they make the collection feel more organic. I love knit fabrics for their comfort and sheer materials for their femininity and edge.
What kind of special processes do you use and what effect does it have on your work?
I challenge myself to learn a new technique with each project. In my last Omaha Fashion Week collection, I designed and printed a fabric and also designed a hand-knit piece, two things I had never done before. This time I am working with denim and hand-embroidery. I am continually changing, evolving, and developing my design skills, which keeps my collections fresh.
Is this a new approach of you or is it consistent throughout your work?
I think of myself as an “eternal student,” and I value that both personally and as a designer. I hope that will keep me exploring and better understanding who I am as a creative person.