Contact:Ali Babe OFW Communications c. 402.709.7417 e.

Designers Selected for Omaha Fashion Week Runway Finale to Vie for $20,000 Prize

Omaha, NE, August 5, 2013 – Omaha Fashion Week organizers have announced the line-up for the Runway Finale on August 24. Fourteen designers will compete for a $20,000 prize package provided by Omaha Fashion Week, Oxide Design Co., Fashion Institute Midwest, Develop Model Management, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (see below for package details).

“There were some tough decisions that had to be made by the selection panel. They’ve spent quite a bit of time with the designers over the summer, so it’s a proud moment for everyone,” said OFW Producer Brook Hudson. “We are thrilled to be able to offer such an extensive prize package to the top designer at Omaha Fashion Week.” The Selection Panel will vote on the winner of the prize package during the Runway Finale.

Since April of this year, designers have been working with members of the OFW Selection Panel during regular group meetings and one-on-one sessions. They’ve discussed target markets, fabric sourcing, runway styling and even post-event sales strategy, all in an effort to help designers make the most of their opportunity at Omaha Fashion Week. “This more in-depth method of mentoring designers and connecting them to the experts on our Selection Panel has led to some incredible ideas, along with new friendships. It has been a deeply rewarding experience for all of us,” said Hudson.

The mentoring program, coordinated by the Fashion Institute Midwest, culminated in the OFW Rack Check held last Saturday, where collections were reviewed and decisions were made about who has what it takes to be in the Finale. The results have been tallied, with the following designers selected for coveted Saturday night positions:

Hollie Hanash, Ruffled Runway (children’s wear) Susan Ludlow, Designs by Suey (children’s wear) Angela Balderston, Get Plastered! (avant garde) Jenny Pool (avant garde) Christian Shuster, christianMICHEAL (men’s wear) Michaela Cawley, KKINI (swimwear) Maximillian Suiter, Max Millian (ready to wear) Terri Buckner, Nuevintage Apparel & Accessories (ready to wear) Sara Gadeken, Sara Marie (ready to wear) Fella Vaughn, Fella (evening wear) Juantiesha Christian, SuShe by J.Tracy (evening wear) Kate Walz (evening wear) Buf Reynolds + Dan Richters, VESSEL (avant garde)

OFW will also feature collections by two special guests – Canadian designer, Dennis Merotto and Kansas City designer, Jeff Hanson. Merotto has been top of the industry for over 20 years and was senior designer for international brand Lida Baday, sold in Sax Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom. He is now in his third season under his own label. Hanson, an OFW alum, is a visually impaired artist who recently achieved his goal of raising $1 million for charity by the age of 20. He is gaining national attention for his one-of-a-kind hand-painted dresses.

Omaha Fashion Week, presented by SAC Federal Credit Union, is set for August 19-24 in the tents at the Capitol District in Downtown Omaha. Tickets can be purchased at After party cabanas can be purchased for $250 for August 22, 23 and 24 at

About Omaha Fashion Week On the inside, Omaha Fashion Week is a talent incubator that seamlessly connects designers, stylists, photographers, artists and models through nurturing platforms and engaging opportunities. On the outside, Omaha Fashion Week is Midwest’s premier fashion event; spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence. Learn more at

About Fashion Institute Midwest The Fashion Institute Midwest is a non-profit that nurtures aspiring fashion designer talent by supporting and developing the Midwest fashion ecosystem through programming that provides creative inspiration, training opportunities, resources and business incubation to unlock the creative entrepreneurial potential in our young people. Support the Institute at

OFW Selection Panel The OFW Selection Panel chose 30 designers for the S/S 2014 season, out of 45 applicants last April. The Panel continued their involvement with designers over the summer, meeting for monthly group roundtable sessions and one-on-ones to help designers prepare for the show. The Panel reconvened last Saturday for the OFW Rack Check to review collections and select Finale participants. The Panel included: Rick Carey and David Scott, styling and creative experts; Amy Dudzik, buyer for Borsheims; Wendy Chapman, retail placement expert with Chapman Retail; Meghann Schense, stylist and founder of Esoteric Velvet; Natalie Navis, stylist with Silver Sequined Lining; Kylie Bollwitt, stylist; Megan Hunt, founder of Hello Holiday; Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik, founder of Hello Holiday.

$20,000 Finale Prize Package Details

· $10,000 Logo design package from Oxide Design Co.

· $1,000 award from the Fashion Institute Midwest

· $2,500 sponsorship package from Omaha Fashion Week (Finale VIP table for 2014 + ad in OFW publication)

· $5,000 campaign model from Develop Model Management

· $1,500 scholarship from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (The winner must be admitted to UNL in the department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design.)