As Omaha Fashion Week matures we hope to serve our fashion community better each year. This year we are making exciting changes to benefit our designers. Two tracks, Emerging and Featured Designers, call for two separate panels.  

Emerging Designers are either brand new to the OFW runway, student designers, or veteran designers trying out a completely new method of creation. Designers in this track are working to build their portfolio, develop new concepts and hone their runway presentation.  

Featured Designers are working to get their name out there and build their brand. They come in all forms and the Selection Panel expects a clear design concept and incredibly high quality of work and thought in their application process.  

Each Panel is filled with individuals specifically selected to help that group of designers reach their next steps.  

Emerging Designer Selection Panel  

Dr. Barb Trout is a former professor of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design Program at UNL with a Ph.D in administration, curriculum and instruction. Her years of experience in the fashion industry and education allow her to mentor designers in many aspects.   

Dan Richters is an Omaha Fashion Week veteran and two time winner of the Omaha Fashion Cup. Dan has been designing with a unique eye for most of his life and displays his work in an LA Showroom. His runway experience, design expertise and incredible creativity will push our Emerging Designers to the next level. 

Denise Ervin has been a fashion and costume designer for over 30 years. She was recently featured in Vogue for her Rodeo Queen attire. Denise brings an expert opinion on design and construction to the panel.  

Nanci Stephenson is the program coordinator and Lead Instructor of Fashion Design and Interior Design at Metropolitan Community College. Her “passion for fashion” and educational experience make her a great fit. 

Sam Hohman is a founding board member of Fashion Institute Midwest and local entrepreneur. Sam has balanced multiple businesses such as LIV Lounge, Credit Advisors Foundation and Arbor Education. Her knowledge of business coupled with fashion and art history backgrounds bring an excellent balance to this panel.  

Featured Designer Selection Panel

JLynn Hausmann is president and owner of JHaus, an American made premium denim collection, manufactured in downtown Los Angeles. Responsible for creative direction of the brand; managing budgets, sales goals, production and quality control; and overseeing the PR/marketing plan, her progressive style is gaining momentum and drawing critical acclaim. She brings a plethora of market knowledge and design capabilities to the Featured Designer Panel.  

Kelly Valentine is the Owner/Operator and Founder of Scout: Dry Goods & Trade opened over 9 years ago. A few of her most notable achievements include: winning the Nebraska Small Business of the Year Award, 2012, Midlands Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award Winner and being voted 1st Place in the notable Best of Omaha Contest, Omaha’s Best Clothing Consignment Shop since 2011. Kelly looks forward to pushing designers to create collections that are true to their unique voice and helping ensure collections are not only timely but also profitable. 

Nick Huff is co-owner of Hutch, an Omaha business that curates local, modern, and vintage art and furnishings, which was recently recognized nationally in Southwest: The Magazine. Nick’s entrepreneurial spirit, retail experience and eye for design brings a unique perspective to the panel.

Pamela Finn is a successful entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in retail, design, and manufacturing. She has become an international businesswoman with extensive experience setting marketing strategy, managing multi-million dollar budgets, and working with highly notable athletic apparel and accessory brands. She conducts business on three continents but remains committed to serving the local community. 

Vanessa Barrett began her career as a window dresser before becoming Visual Director for Brandeis and Younkers. Later she went on to buy for Barrett-Reed. Vanessa is extremely passionate about fashion and design from all ends-construction to the final presentation. Her critical eye pushes our Featured Designers to be the best they can be and stand by their brand.

February 2017 Selection Panel: Pamela Finn, Denise Ervin, Dr. Barb Trout, Nanci Stephenson, Vanessa Barrett, Nick Huff

February 2017 Selection Panel: Pamela Finn, Denise Ervin, Dr. Barb Trout, Nanci Stephenson, Vanessa Barrett, Nick Huff