Designer selection interviews will take place on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14. We are pleased to announce the expert panelists who will be interviewing applicants who have made it to the interview round. The designer line up for August 2012 will be announced on April 23. Here are the panelists: Tafe Bergo: Tafe is the owner of the Post & Nickel, a well-known high-end boutique with locations in Omaha and Lincoln. A Lincoln native, she grew up in the industry by working as a model and learning the ropes in retail from her parents, who started the business in in 1966. She and her husband, Davide, a native of Milan, took over the business in 1996. Tafe is a great supporter of Omaha Fashion Week and has participated in Fashion’s Night Out Omaha – a city-wide celebration of local fashion and retail - for several years.
Wendy Chapman: Wendy is a retail consultant who has made deals with national chains through her work at One Pacific Place and RED Development. She brought Anthropologie, Trader Joe’s, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Coach and many others to Omaha. She now works independently as principal of Chapman Retail Consulting, which allows her to work directly with retailers, placing them around the U.S. Prior to working in real estate, she managed merchandizing and fashion shows at One Pacific Place. She is a founding member of the Omaha Fashion Institute Board of Directors.
Alyssa K. Dilts: Alyssa has over a decade of experience in instructing and placing models. She began her career handling the runway division for Elite Model Management Chicago. While there, she was promoted to the Director of New Faces & Development. Alyssa had the opportunity to see the international market at its best when a model she developed was chosen to open the Alexander Wang Show during New York Fashion Week in September 2011. Alyssa then accompanied that model to Milan and Paris where she walked for the Versace and Balenciaga. Alyssa now runs Development, an Omaha-based modeling school and placement agency. She is also a founding member of the Omaha Fashion Guild.
Andrea Hoig: Andy is the publisher of metroMAGAZINE, which has been in business for over 20 years, covering Omaha at its best. This magazine along with other publications produced by ALH Publications, has pioneered the process of connecting followers with the charitable causes they care about. Andy has been a long-time supporter of Omaha Fashion Week and is a founding board member of the Omaha Fashion Institute.
Marcy Kerkhoff: Marcy is a singer/songwriter/pianist from Iowa with over 20 years of experience in the modeling and advertising industry. Past work includes on-camera film (TV commercials, industrials, etc.), print, runway, PR, and voice work. She is a founding member of the Omaha Fashion Guild.
David Levin: David is a long-time purveyor of style in both fashion and interior design in Omaha. He and his father owned 18 retail stores in a four-state region, clothing some of Omaha’s wealthiest women. The most well-known store was a high-end women’s boutique called The Avenue. Advertisements from The Avenue featured the illustrations of Mary Anne Vaccaro, another of our panelists, who was the fashion advertising director, illustrator and copywriter for Levin's 18 stores.
Josie Loza: Josie is the editor of MOMAHA – an Omaha World Herald blog for moms. Previously, she covered Omaha nightlife and during this time she shined a light on the city’s burgeoning fashion scene. Her coverage of Omaha Fashion Week and its many designers brought fashion design as a career out of the shadows and into the mainstream by telling great stories that have given aspiring designers and show-goers the confidence to pursue their dreams in the industry.
Meghann Schense: Meghann is owner of Esoteric Velvet and has experience in personal and commercial styling, writing/copywriting, marketing/media direction, event planning, brand enrichment and business/operational organization. She has developed expertise producing & designing online/print content & layouts, conceptualizing themes/campaigns, creating visual/art installments, directing/styling photo shoots and planning/hosting events. OFW is proud to have her on board as our head stylist and editorial contributor to Omaha FASHION Magazine.
Barb Trout: A UNL faculty member since 1981, Trout teaches many aspects of apparel design and visual merchandising, as well as history of costume. She is curator of the historic costume collection in the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design.
Mary Anne Vaccaro: Mary Ann is a nationally acclaimed fashion designer whose couture dresses, suits and separates have been worn by highly successful women and featured in national publications including Town & Country Magazine. Along with running a design studio and workroom, she ran a Fashion Advertising business in five states, had a New York showroom for her Ready-to-Wear collection and designed freelance bridal and evening wear for New York manufacturers.