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March 2012


OFW Wishes You A Season of Light and Love!

 Here's to a holiday season filled with light and love! Thank you for supporting Omaha Fashion Week in 2011.  With your help, we were able to provide a professional showcase to 40 local designers during our August shows and 13 local designers during our March show.  Omaha Fashion Week has become the region's largest supporter of independent fashion designers, and we are dedicated to providing more opportunities to those interested in pursuing this career path, especially young people. We are excited to announce the formation of the Omaha Fashion Institute, a non-profit organization that will provide creative inspiration, skills development, resources and business incubation to aspiring Midwest fashion designers to support the fashion ecosystem that is developing here.  We are working alongside community leaders and look forward to launching the first set of Institute programs for designers during the OFW: March 2012 season!

Tickets for OFW: March 2012 will go on sale January 23. Prices range from $30-$50 for a reserved seat and $60 for a front-row VIP seat.  Check out our show schedule and map of our new venue, KANEKO, here.

Information about volunteer opportunities for OFW: March 2012 will be up on our website in January.

Thank you to all who have been involved in Omaha Fashion Week - models, hairstylists, make up artists, volunteers, photographers, ticket holders, sponsors, members of the press.  Only in Omaha can a community rally to this degree - and take a city known for finance and insurance companies - and turn it into a regional fashion hub!

Wishing you all the best in 2012,

Nick and Brook Hudson OFW Producers



Omaha Fashion Week Announces March 2012 Designers

From an OFW news release that went out today:

Omaha, NE, Oct. 24, 2011 - Omaha Fashion Week [OFW] organizers announced this week the designers who have been selected to show collections during the organization's March 2012 shows, to be held at KANEKO. They include four newcomers, three high school students and two designers from Midwest cities outside of Omaha.

"We set up a more rigorous application process for the upcoming season - and the fashion design community really stepped up and presented some great ideas," Nick Hudson, OFW producer said. Designers applied online and a limited number were selected to pitch their ideas for their upcoming collection with a panel of industry experts. The experts scored each designer and provided feedback that organizers used to make final selection decisions.

"The feedback from the panel was so helpful - we will be passing it on to each designer as a way of helping them continue to push the envelope on their creativity," Hudson said. The first OFW designer meeting for the upcoming season was held last night and, "...they [the designers] all seemed excited about the changes to the selection process and the feedback and coaching we will provide as they get ready for March."

Omaha Fashion Week: March 2012 Designers

Angela Balderston: Angela hails from the U.K. and made her debut on Omaha’s fashion scene in August.  She creates avant-garde pieces from non-traditional materials.

Terri Jen Buckner: Terri Jen is an eco-friendly designer who re-purposes vintage clothing into one-of-a-kind street wear pieces under her label NueVintage Apparel & Accessories.

Leah Casper: Leah is an OFW newcomer who studied fashion design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and interned at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where she further developed her love of costume design.

Amanda Clark: Amanda Clark is an eco-friendly designer who now lives in St. Louis, but has roots in Omaha.  She designs under her label, “I Design with Love” and describes her work as both sculptural and wearable.

Bertiher de la Cruz Trinidad: Bertiher is a Mexican native with more than 13 years of experience as a tailor and fashion designer.  A newcomer to OFW, he spent part of his career as an instructor at Chaiaps University in Mexico.

Emma Erickson: Emma graduated from Academy of Art University and interned at Herve Leger by Max Azria (BCBG) and some of her work has been shown at New York Fashion Week.  She creates high quality women’s daywear.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald: Elizabeth is a 16-year-old attending Duchesne Academy. She began her studies as a fashion designer this summer through a program at the School of Art Institute in Chicago.  She is an OFW newcomer and will debut her first-ever collection this March.

Hollie Hanash: Hollie is creating her second collection for OFW. She designs under her “Ruffled Runway” label which she says is perfect for the trendy kid who wants to be the playground princess.

Tiffany Headley: Tiffany designs glamorous cocktail dresses, evening gowns and outerwear under her label, Donna Faye Couture.  She is best-known for designing the winning gown for the reigning Miss America, Teresa Scanlan.

Megan Hunt: Megan Hunt, a.k.a. Princess Lasertron, is a bridal designer, blogger and self-proclaimed best friend. Her combination of handcrafted design and business prowess has earned her cult celebrity status in the wedding industry.

Jane Round: Jane is a senior at Millard North High School and has shown collections at OFW since 2009.  Her high-quality garments are influenced by vintage fashion.

Christian Shuster: Christian is Kansas City designer and OFW newcomer.  He designs a men’s necktie line under the christianMICHEAL label that is sold at several well-known Kansas City retailers. He creates custom men’s wear.

Kate Walz: Kate is a 15-year-old fashion designer who is working on her fifth collection for OFW under her label, Just Because, which she describes as sophisticated and girly.

More designers may be added to the list in coming weeks.  The upcoming show is scheduled for March 19-24 at KANEKO on 1111 Jones Street in Omaha and will feature collections for Fall 2012.  Tickets go on sale in January at


Photo courtesy of OFW Photo Contest Team, Metamorphosis, featuring work by photographer G Thompson Higgins; designer Megan Hunt; stylist Mary Killian, models Madison Riedmiller, Gwyneth Talley and Sarah Fay Smith; all at Hotel Deco with lighting by Libby Dyer and set direction by Royce Forbush.



New Season, New Venue!

Copy from a press release that went out this morning - we couldn't be more excited!!

Omaha, NE, Oct. 18, 2011 - Omaha Fashion Week organizers announced this week a new partnership with KANEKO that will present the next season of fashion shows March 19 – 24, 2012 in the creative space down the street from its original home at Nomad Lounge. “The event has grown to the point where we need a larger space, plus we love the idea of working with Kaneko. What we do in terms of fostering creativity in fashion design fits so well with their mission,” said Omaha Fashion Week producer Nick Hudson.

KANEKO Executive Director Hal France said, “Fashion design abounds in creative ideas and creative outcomes. It’s a highly competitive field that attracts talented people and an audience that really enjoys the creativity. We are excited to join with Omaha Fashion Week and celebrate their success!”

Hudson went on the say that the fashion shows will be more closely aligned with fashion week experiences in larger markets. “The backdrop in KANEKO is a blank canvas – it’s literally all white – and we want to keep it that way so the clothes you see on the runway are the focus.”

Also new next season will be a retail element added to each evening’s post-show party. “We are encouraging attendees to consider purchasing what they see on the runway,” Hudson said. Patrons will be able to mingle with designers, see the clothes on the rack and place custom orders that will be ready in time for the following season. “All of this is part of evolving the fashion industry in Omaha and nurturing the talent that exists here,” said Hudson.

The upcoming season is scheduled for March 19-24 at KANEKO on 1111 Jones Street in Omaha and will feature collections for Fall/Winter 2012/13. Tickets go on sale in January at


Photo Cutline: Omaha Fashion Week joins the ranks of other exciting, high energy events like Silicon Prairie News' successful Big Omaha, coming up in May 2012. Photo courtesy of Silicon Prairie News.

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 Kaneko KANEKO is a new kind of organization – not a museum – not a gallery – not a library nor a research center – but an open space for open minds that nurtures and promotes creativity in the arts, sciences, and philosophy. Through progressive exhibitions, performances, lectures, symposia, and innovative programming we encourage people to explore and experience the creative process that is essential to all human activity.



OFW Designer Selection Panel

Omaha Fashion Week has assembled a panel of experts who will interview designer candidates for the next season of Runway Shows, scheduled for March 19-24, 2012.  Panelist input will help organizers make final selection decisions. Read panelist bios below. Interviews are by invitation only and are scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20 from 5-7 p.m. at Nomad Lounge on 1013 Jones St. Designers will receive an invitation to interview via email on Oct. 17, at which time they can sign up for an interview time-slot on a first-come, first-served basis.  Designers must complete an interview with the panel to be considered for the March shows.

Each interview will take 10 minutes.  Designers must come prepared with at least three sketches of what they are planning for the Fall/Winter 2012/13, along with a sample garment from a past collection.  Portfolios, mood boards or any other items that demonstrate the concept for the upcoming season are also welcomed.  The panel will ask questions based on information provided on the application by the designer.  They will be looking for a clear concept that ties each collection together, along with creativity in design, construction quality (based on garment provided) and seasonal appropriateness.

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.

Hal France Hal became KANEKO's first executive director in May 2008 bringing nearly 30 years of leadership experience as a conductor of opera and symphonic music. He was the first musical director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and was formerly the principal director of the Omaha Opera.  As executive director of KANEKO, an open space for open minds, he is actively engaged the organization's mission of supporting and promoting freedom in creativity.

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 Ann Vacarro 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.

Wendy Wiess Wendy is a UNL faculty member in the Textiles, Clothing & Design Department. She teaches courses in textile design, including woven and non-woven textile construction, surface design and a special topic graduate seminar. She also serves as the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery Director, where develops local and international exhibitions and educational programs for diverse audiences.



March 2012 Designer Application

Photo by Herb Thompson The designer application for March 2012 OFW Runway Shows is closed. Please read on to learn more about the application process and note important dates.

Application Closed: Will Re-open 2/15/12 for August.

  • Designer applications for March 2012 shows will be available online at from Sept. 15- Oct. 15, 2011.
  • All applications must be submitted by midnight on Oct. 15.  No late applications will be accepted.
  • Applications will be reviewed and narrowed down to a set of designers who will be selected to participate in interviews with a panel of independent professionals from the industry. Interview invitations will be sent out via email on Oct. 17.
  • Interviews will take place Oct. 19-20, times and location TBD.  Applicants must be available to interview during this time to participate in the March 2012 shows.
  • Each interview will take 10 minutes.
  • Interviewees must come prepared with at least one garment that represents their ability/craftmanship along with sketches of at least three pieces that will represent their March 2012 collection.  The panel will score each interviewee and scores will be used to make final selections for the March 2012 shows.
  • Final selection notices will go out via email on Oct. 22.
  • Selected designers will be asked to attend an orientation meeting on Oct. 23 at 5 p.m., location TBD.

While subject to change, OFW is considering expanding to three nights of shows in March 2012, in which collections for Fall/Winter 2012/13 will be shown.  Applicants should keep this in mind as they plan their collections.  Additionally, a portion of the activities surrounding the March 2012 Shows will involve an educational component for both current OFW designers and area middle-school/high-school students interested in pursuing a career in fashion.