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Change is good.

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Change is good.

Omaha Fashion Week is an ever-evolving beast. It is constantly experiencing growth and change. This season is no exception. We are making some big changes to our system to help designers be their most successful selves!

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Be the money dress designer!

Money-Dress-Small If you have been to OFW before, you have likely seen or heard about the SAC Federal Credit Union Money Dress Contest. Well this season you have the opportunity to design it!

Any designer can apply and submit their design ideas for a chance to create a look that will walk the runway every night during OFW.

Here are the rules:

  • Designers are invited to submit designs from June 2nd – June 15th, 2015.
  • Designers may submit up to two designs.
  • Bills or coins must cover at least 20 % of the dress.
  • Bills or coins cannot be defaced.
  • Dress must fit a model size 0 – 4.
  • The winning design will be announced by June 22nd and the winning designer will be notified at that time.
  • The SAC Money Dress must be completed and be available to SAC FCU by July 13th, 2015.
  • Designer is responsible for guarding the dress and protecting it during Omaha Fashion Week, August 17 – 23rd, 2016.
  • Accessories are encouraged but not required.
  • The amount of money included in the dress is to remain a secret.  Designer is not allowed to disclose the dollar amount that is on the dress with anyone or anywhere.

Other details:

  • Members of the OFW selection panel will review all submissions and select the top three designs.  SAC Federal Credit Union will make the final selection of the design and designer for the SAC Money Dress.
  • SAC FCU will provide up to $700.00 to be used as design elements on or within the dress.
  • Prize money given to winning designer is $500.00.
  • Designer will have a $100 materials budget.
  • SAC Money Dress will remain the sole property of SAC Federal Credit Union.
  • Following OFW the SAC Money Dress will go on a tour of a minimum of 4 branches.  The Money Dress tour and the designer will be featured on SAC’s website and on social media.
  • SAC FCU will feature the SAC Money Dress and its designer in a news release, on their website and on social media.
  • A model will be provided by Develop Model management and Omaha Fashion Week to model the SAC Money Dress at OFW.

If you've got your eye on the prize, enter here

I can't wait to see the ideas! Good luck!

 

August 2015 Designer Lineup Announced

Omaha, Neb. April 27, 2015 – The organizers of Omaha Fashion Week presented by SAC Federal Credit Union announced the designers who have been selected to show collections during the next season of OFW, August 17-22. The lineup of 30 designers pitched their collections in front of the OFW Selection Panel last week and were selected from 47 applicants. The lineup includes three newcomers, six student designers, 21 OFW veteran designers and seven designers living outside of Nebraska. They come from South Africa, New York and Iowa. All will compete for nightly cash prizes during designer showcases on August 17-21. The top twelve designers from the week will compete for the SAC Fashion Cup during the Runway Finale on August 22. The top twelve will be announced on August 3. “We absolutely love being able to offer cash prizes to our top designers – this is part of SAC Federal Credit Union’s dedication to supporting small business owners. It makes a big difference for a designer to be recognized in this way,” said OFW Producer Brook Hudson. All selections and awardees will be determined by the OFW Selection Panel.

“The talent coming in now has improved so much – the quality and style we are seeing now is truly amazing.  The whole selection process has become increasingly competitive,” said OFW Designer Coordinator Buf Reynolds. Highlights from interviews:

  • Florals are the big trend coming out of this season’s designer pitches.  Many are using floral prints, a few going so far as to design their own custom floral prints.
  • Drag queens will be featured in Jenny Pool’s avant garde collection
  • Surface design is a big deal, with designers treating denim and using broken glass on garments
  • Landscapes – both urban and desert – are a major inspiration for several designers

The OFW Selection Panel includes five industry experts who score designer presentations and act as mentors and advisors to designers as they prepare for shows.  The panel includes: Vanessa Barrett, jewelry designer and fashion/interior stylist; Judy Davis, Fashion Institute Midwest Board Member; Autumn Foland, sales director for Design Parliament; Robyn Kortan, former senior buyer for Dayton Hudson/Marshall Field Department Stores; Meghann Schense, editor of Omaha FASHION Magazine and owner of Esoteric Velvet, a creative firm.

OFW will announce the venue location and the show schedule in May.  Tickets go on sale to the public June 1 at www.omahafashionweek.com and range in price from $40-$85 for weeknight tickets and $1000-$1250 for 10-seat Finale VIP Tables.

Student Designers

  • Molly O’Brien for Molly Elizabeth (junior, ready to wear)
  • Alison Cloet (graduating senior, evening wear)
  • Christopher DiGiorgio (graduating senior, menswear) †
  • Sydney Moore (seventh grade, ready to wear)
  • Alesha Johnson for alesha.beth  (graduating senior, evening wear)
  • Alyssa Koory (graduating senior, ready to wear)

Runway Newcomers

  • Triple Thread (ready to wear)
  • Isabel Muziva for Kingdom Unlimited (children’s wear)
  • Leah Kettelson for Leah Kareen (evening wear, Colorado)

Veterans

  • Buf Reynolds (evening wear)
  • Dan Richters (avant garde) ‡
  • Sabrina Jones for Sabrina Jones Designs (swimwear)
  • Jennifer Pool (avant garde)
  • Ellene McClay for Brave Nouvelle (avant garde)
  • Juantiesha Christian for SuShe by J. Tracey (ready to wear, New York)
  • Terri Buckner for Nuevintage (ready to wear)
  • Fella Vaughn for Fella (evening wear)
  • Denise Ervin for Denise Ervin Designs (evening wear)
  • Samone Davis for Legalized Rebellion (ready to wear)
  • Tamara Newson for Iconic by Tamu (ready to wear)
  • Erica Cardenas and Bryan Frost for Wallflower (ready to wear)
  • Alejandra Buenrostro (ready to wear)
  • Michelle Dunn for MDFashions Aspen (ready to wear, Colorado)
  • Andrea Hurtt for Amaryllis Designs (evening wear) †
  • Judy Bales (avant garde, Iowa)
  • Jessica Collins for Jessica Lynn (children’s wear)
  • Kaitlyn Fitzgerald for KAIT (children’s wear, New York)
  • Michaela Cawley for KKINI (swim, South Africa)
  • Adrienne Anderson for Quite-A-Riot (bridal)
  • Caleb Hanner for LeRoy Designs (bridal, Iowa)

† Indicates SAC Federal Credit Union Prize winner ‡ Indicates Fashion Cup winner

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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 www.omahafashionweek.com.

OFW Designers Take on College

This year many of our OFW designers are embarking on new milestones in their lives. Some are about to graduate high school and make their way to college; while others are graduating college, and starting to build a career.  Stay up to date with what is going on with a few of our studious designers right here:  

Katie Thompson

Katie, winner of the Designer Showcase II, is a graduate student at Iowa State University. Thompson will be graduating with her Masters in May of 2016. The Iowa State student is currently focused on textile design with a specialization in digital textile printing. The OFW alum found that from narrowing her focus to textile design rather than the broad topic of fashion design it allowed her to figure out what direction to take in her future career goals. Katie hopes to get a job in textile printing or textile design with a company stationed on the coast. "I prefer to move around quite a bit so in 10 years I see myself in a different city at a new job, I have no idea what it may be.", says Thompson.

Walker Greene

Walker Greene is currently a foundation student at Paris College of Art. Next year Walker plans to go into fine arts. Don't worry, this does not mean an end to fashion for him. "I want to be more open to experiment and use different mediums rather than just focusing on one thing," says Greene.  Walker plans to mesh his fashion emphasis with his love for art- much like he learned through the Kent Bellows Studio and various art teachers he had. Walker attributes much of his success to the teachers he has had throughout his life."Some of the main art teachers that helped me throughout the years are: Debie Plog, who runs an art studio out of her basement,  Jeremy Caniglia, my art teacher at Creighton Prep, and Dan Richters who taught me almost everything I know about fashion and design," says Walker.

11065897_10152827652881553_504045060279513310_nKate Walz

Kate is a senior this year and definitely knows her way around the runway. The OFW alum will be making her way to New York in the fall  to attend Parsons the New School for Design.  Parsons has been a dream school for Kate since a young age and she is extremely grateful to not only be accepted, but to be receiving a scholarship as well. The senior is excited to be surrounded by the diversity in New York City. "I want to feel scared and uncomfortable as I think this will help me grow as a person and artist," says Walz. In 10 years Kate sees herself owning her own boutique in New York or Paris and to design exclusive collections for high end department stores. She understand this is a big goal but is excited to achieve it. "I often find that those who fear to voice their aspirations don't truly believe in their ability to achieve them," says Kate.

We Love our Selection Panel!

panel Have you met our wonderful selection panel? This season always presents us with some tough decisions but our panel is top notch. Here is a bit more about them:

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Judy Davis is a two year board member of the Fashion Institute Midwest Board and the Fashion Institute Guild.  She currently serves as treasurer of both organizations.

Outside of the “fashion world”, Judy serves the community as Philanthropy/Event Chair on the American Red Cross Board, Board Development Chair on the YMCA Board, Chair of the Iowa West Educational Advisory Committee, a member of the  Iowa Western Community College Black Tie Committee,  and a board member of the Council Bluffs Guild of the Omaha Symphony.

Judy served as Campaign Consultant for the new Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs and is currently serving as Campaign Consultant for the Council Bluffs Athletic Complex. Judy is married to husband Ron, has three children and six grandchildren.

Meghann

Meghann Schense is creative consultant & grit of EsotericVelvet.com She is a founding, executive board member for the Fashion Institute Guild, a style ambassador for Harper’s Bazaar, and “Au Courant” trend columnist for Inspired Living Magazine.

Meghann’s expertise includes media production, writing, art direction, styling, graphic design, photography, event planning, market research & analytics, e-commerce, branding, public relations, email marketing, and social media.

vanessa

Vanessa Barrett has a long history with design and fashion. She began as a window dresser, with many experiences along the way including boutique owner, buyer, interior design, editor of The Scout Guide Omaha, and photographer. Vanessa is currently working in jewelry design and as a fashion/interior stylist.

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Autumn Foland leads the sales and customer service efforts at Design Parliament. With over 15 years of retail and wholesale experience, Autumn has solidified a reputation for being a key player in the nation’s designer specialty and department stores. She has purchased at wholesale showrooms across the country, as well as such venues as New York Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, Dallas Market and Style Max Chicago.

Autumn has developed relationships with hundreds of fashion designers and top retail executives through her various buying and selling activities. Autumn is also very involved in her local community, serving as Board Member of the Midwest Fashion Institute Guild, Member of the Board and Chairperson of the Heart Ministry Center Fashion Show and a Team Captain Volunteer for The ICAN Womens Leadership Annual Conference.

Robyn

Robyn Kortan was a Senior Buyer for Dayton Hudson Department Stores headquartered in Minneapolis, MN.  She was responsible for managing multi million dollar businesses for several departments. In this position, Robyn also had the opportunity to travel for the Associated Merchant Corporation and was involved with design and development of merchandise for private label to be used by Dayton Hudson/Marshall Field and several other major department stores throughout the U.S. Before retiring from retail, Robyn moved to Human Resources and was responsible for the Merchant Trainee Program and conducted professional and personal training for the Executive Merchant Team.

With these folks on the panel, we have no doubt that the August 2015 lineup will be wonderful!

 

New Program to Assist Local Fashion Designers

FROM  A PRESS RELEASE SENT ON 4/10 Omaha Fashion Week (OFW) is excited to announce a special partnership with SAC Federal Credit Union to assist the local designer community. This new program addresses an existing problem: In eight years, the fashion community of 200+ designers ages 13 to 65 has come a long way, but still has a lot of work to do on commercializing their work and creating sustainable businesses.

Omaha Fashion Week has helped designers get started by providing critical exposure during biannual fashion shows. The majority of designers have gained sales over the years, with some bringing in up to $50,000 in revenue. OFW founder and producer, Nick Hudson, is excited about the future. “We have proven that there is a talented community here. The next big stage is to support growth of these small businesses and that takes some different resources, “he said. “That is why we were excited when SAC Federal Credit Union decided to increase their involvement.” SAC has been an OFW sponsor for three years and is expanding its involvement to nurture individual designers into sustainable businesses.

“Our goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs by partnering with them to meet their business’ financial needs,” SAC Federal Credit Union CEO, Gail DeBoer said. “SAC’s partnership with Omaha Fashion Week, and the designers and business owners, who support the event, is a way for us to extend our services to the design community. There is high potential to create jobs and expand businesses through Omaha Fashion Week and SAC is proud to be a part of the movement.”

The SAC partnership with OFW has a number of facets:

  • An expanded package of prizes has been announced, giving more opportunities to the designers, hairstylists and models involved in OFW productions.
  • A program of business and financial advice is being provided through the partnership that will support designers by helping them develop business plans, and enhance how they manage their business growth.
  • Credit products are being tailored specifically for designers that will dovetail with the business and financial advising program. These products will help designers grow their businesses responsibly, by allowing them to buy supplies and equipment needed to expand their businesses.

Currently, SAC representatives are working with a pilot group of designers to further develop the advice and credit portion of the program.  “The idea is to tailor the program to meet the unique needs of designers. It’s a concierge banking program for small, creative businesses,” added DeBoer.   The hope is that the program will expand beyond designers to include all players on the local creative scene, including salons, photographers, independent hair stylists, and makeup artist and clothing boutiques.

“It’s still in the early days, but it is exciting that our local fashion community could develop into a local fashion industry. We have so many talented young people in our community and SAC’s support is going to help them explore their full potential. We can’t think of a better partner to help us continue pushing this community forward,” added Hudson.

OFW is currently preparing to interview designer candidates for the August 2015 season. The designer lineup will be announced at the end of April and tickets for next season go on sale June 1.

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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 the Midwest’s premier fashion event; spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence. Learn more at www.omahafashionweek.com.

About SAC Federal Credit Union SAC Federal Credit Union is locally owned by its members and recognized for its community involvement. Motivated by member service rather than profit, the credit union’s focus is on providing safety, soundness and convenience to its membership. SAC FCU is a financial partner for life, helping members with banking, financial planning, home buying, investing, education and retirement planning, commercial banking services and more. Begin the journey to better banking today: www.sacfcu.com

Get to know our designers: Saturday Edition

Next Saturday night will round out our designer showcase and you don't want to miss these designers, check out a little about them before the show.

Declared Jillian Fellers Erin Tepper Judy Bales Kate Walz Whitney Rorah

1977460_10152762415356553_8834674789059886006_nDeclared is designed by Amy Lynn and Jake Thacker. The brand has been a fixture in our retail booths and our finally makeing their way to the runway this season. Declared be gan with Amy and $20 upcycling denim in her basement. Amy had no background in Fashion Design but had a love for photography. Jake joined the brand and together they create 90's inspired clothes. In the two years since the brand started they have been seen in the page of Nylon Magazine and worn by stars like Hayley Willams.  With their electric group of friends the pair designs for the rule breakers with a street wear vibe.

1972289_1050057501686709_1558332552250775485_nJillian Fellers designs wedding gowns for romantic brides who want a hint of the past. She began the brand in 2012. Jillian graduated from University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Textile Design degree. Each of Jillian's gown embody a vintage elegance with an attention to detail. The femininity is perfect for any brides wedding day as well as our runway in the Saturday night show.

Erin Tepper is a senior at Iowa State University. She is studying Textile Design. Erin is Excited about the exposure she will receive by showing her collection at Omaha Fashion Week. Erin hopes to get the word about her brand, Ezradella, out there in the fashion world with the help of Omaha Fashion Week.

10991105_10152763404306553_9056779130913681072_nWith the help of some everyday items, Judy Bales is known for creating "art wear". Judy uses things like wood, metal and other materials to create beauty. Traditionally a painter, Judy branches her art into fashion. She is known for her fiber art most all. This is includes whimsical costumes and plastic couture. Judy's line will take the runway on Saturday and will not lack a WOW factor!

10361450_10152763379716553_2053756495033500551_nKate Walz is no newcomer to the Omaha Fashion Week runway that is for sure. The 18 year old has been designing since age 8 and has no plans of stopping soon. Kate's designs have a vintage edge about them. She is constantly wowing us with new and amazing designs. Kate acts as a role model to all the Young, developing designers. She proves to everyone the power you have when you put your mind to something you love.

10968545_10152763404026553_567337593538145998_nWhitney Rorah floored us in August with her bridal collection and is back show us some more here in March. Whitney's designs come deep from within to help create beautiful garments. Many of  her designs are influenced by nature, history and most of life itself. Whitney won the 2014 Fashion Cup last year and there is no doubt that she will bring great things to the runway this season!

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Click HERE to get your tickets for 3/14!

Get to know our designers: Thursday Edition

Our first Showcase night is a week from today, get to know the designers that will be showing on before their designs hit the runway!

Andrea Hurtt 

Alyssa Koory

Jessica Collins

Hannah Olsen

Molly O'Brien

Alison Cloet

11001731_10152763383671553_8639259421545079217_nFor Andrea Hurtt, designing started out of necessity but quickly turned to a passion. When Andrea's Daughter was born in June of 1999 she was too tiny for her baby clothes. Andrea then took to the sewing machine to make clothes out of pillow cases for her. For the past three years now Andrea been designing clothes influenced by the late 40's-60's. Andrea also owns her own boutique in the Mid-Town Crossing area called Atomic Bombshells.

Westside High School student, Alyssa Koory, can't wait for her designs to walk the runway on Thursday night. Alyssa is inspired by everything old fashion and vintage. As she took her high school Fashion class her fascination with clothes and Coco Chanel found the perfect outlet. Alyssa's retro inspired line will bring a glimpse of the past to the runway.10982454_10152763404351553_6768134558443277722_n

1484672_10152763403046553_5265625301948360629_nJessica Collins began making clothes for a similar reason as Andrea Hurtt. Jessica needed headpieces that could fit her little girl's head. Jessica began sewing clothes later and had many orders from others moms.  When her and her family moved to Nebraska she got back into designing. She began to create her own patterns and was introduced to runway children's wear. Jessica has now shown multiple times with Omaha Fashion Week and always has something new and exciting.

549944_10151412377461553_423182619_nHannah Olsen is another young designer who is no amateur to the runway. Hannah designs are created with the real women in mind. Her first collection shown in March of 2013 was the first plus sized collection ever shown at any show in the Midwest. Hannah's brand began as an accessory line and soon evolved to brand it is today. Her line for this show will be full of edginess and dark elegance and was inspired by the singer Lorde.

10986875_10152763403056553_6764283760881949511_nMolly O'Brien began sewing at a young age much like most of our student designers. At the age of 8 she began sewing and began creating her own patterns at 15. Molly attributes her growth as a designer to her Independent Sewing teacher at her high school. Her teacher is constantly driving her to try new techniques and learn new skills. Molly's first line for Omaha Fashion Week is full of pieces that represent a new vintage. Molly works to create sophisticated pieces that are full of a timeless elegance. Molly's hopes to have her own boutique someday and to be able show in New York.

1530540_10152763404541553_9021560146346895860_nAlison Cloet began sewing in 4-H when she was 8 and believe it or not, she hated it. As Alison got older she began to get more into it and learned how to make her own patterns. Alison began to realize she could make clothes what she wanted them to be. She was influenced by bloggers and various designers like Dolce and Gabbana and Oscar De La Renta. She loved the detail put into each garment. Alison is most excited to show the community her hard work through her designs.

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Click HERE to get tickets for the 3/12 show!

OFW Announces the March 2015 Lineup

Omaha Fashion Week Announces the March 2015 Line-up:

Congratulations to all of the designers involved in this season's shows!

 

Tuesday: Student Night

- Click HERE for Tickets

4H Sydney Moore OPS Caleb Hanner Kent Bellows Grace Neary for Grace62

Wednesday: Methodist Survivor Show

- Click HERE for Tickets

Atomic Bombshells All About Me Bliss Boutique Chicos Christian Nobel Christopher and Banks The Garment District Gramer City Katinas McLovin Mesh Old Navy Paperdoll Vintage Posh Princess Post and Nickel Skyz Younkers

Thursday: Showcase I

-Click HERE for Tickets

Andrea Hurtt for Amaryllis Alyssa Koory Jessica Collins for Jessica Lynn Hannah Olson for Hannah Caroline Couture Molly O’Brien Alison Cloet

Friday:Showcase III

- Click HERE for Tickets

Jessica Lynn for Jacklynn Sister Cities Cystal Hobson Alejandra Buenrostro Elda Doamekpo for AFIELDA Katie Thompson

Saturday: Showcase III

-Click HERE for Tickets

Declared Jillian Fellers Erin Tepper Judy Bales Kate Walz Whitney Rorah

Sunday: Develop Model Management Beauty Show

-Click HERE for Tickets

Welcome to the Dojo Dressed to Kill Team T'eez Reveal Victor Victoria Skincerely Yours Garbo's 3 Eclectic Chicks

 

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Be There. March 10th-15th.

Omaha Fashion Week Ready To Wear I Showcase Recap

Pops of color and sparkle were all the rage on the runway for Tuesday night’s Ready To Wear showcase, and we’re not just talking about the lovely Brandi Peterson as emcee! We started off our showcase with designs by Vessela Zarankova for her line ZARANKOVA. Her collection was titled, “Games of the Human Brain” and each look represented an emotion. We saw lots of reds and yellows to represent different emotions. Each dress also had printed silk details to represent brain waves.

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Samone Davis and Britney Rose for Legalized Rebellion named their collection “Royal Blood” and it was inspired by the African Military. Most of the designs were accessorized with a small piece of fringe covering the eyes, which added to the military feel of the collection. Legalized Rebellion featured golds, blacks, reds and olive greens with pops of metallic. The duo designed for both men and women and most designs had a structured, sleek silhouette.

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Hannah Olsen for Hannah Caroline Couture had Chicago on her brain when she designed her line, “Midnight City.” We saw flattering silhouettes, sparkle and pops of bright color on black. Olsen also added fun, body positive bags to her collection.

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KT Thomspon, designed by FIM Grant Recipient Katie Thompson, called her line “Sea, Sand and Sun.” She was inspired by the waves of the sea crashing into the shore. Each print on the dresses were hand printed by Katie based on photographs she took in Myrtle Beach. We saw lots of scallops and ocean themed colors like corals and blues.

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Tamara Newson for Iconic by Tamu is another FIM Grant Recipient. Her line was inspired by the Swahili language and featured pops of bright colors and a subtle sexiness. We saw lots of unique cut outs and asymmetrical lines.

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Denise Ervin Designs pleased the crowed with tons of sparkle on her western themed clothes. She featured neutral colors, whites and denim. She designed skirts, pants and shorts but her fringe chaps really wowed the crowd. From Denise we saw structured button ups, suede and laser cut out details.

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Both Denise Ervin Designs and ZARANKOVA were chosen to show their collections on Saturday night during the finale and vie for the Fashion Cup and $10,000.

OFW Announces Fresh Designer Line Up and New Venue for March 2014 Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OFW Announces Fresh Designer Line Up and New Venue for March 2014 Season

Omaha, Neb. October 28, 2013 – Omaha Fashion Week organizers announced the designers who have been selected to show Fall/Winter 2014 collections during the next season of OFW March 4-9 in 2014. The lineup of 15 designers includes six newcomers, two high school students and all are from Nebraska or Iowa. Organizers have also selected a new venue for the fashion shows.

“This was a very entrepreneurial group of applicants.  Several are looking at manufacturing and one has a storefront,” said OFW Producer Brook Hudson. “It’s so exciting to see how far we’ve come as a fashion community in the seven years since OFW began.”  Highlights from interviews:

  1. Hollie Hanash, the designer behind the children’s wear label, Ruffled Runway, is rolling out a line of avant garde pieces for adults.
  2. Wallflower, a label by OFW newcomers Bryan Frost and Erica Cardenas, has a storefront that will be opening on Nov. 2 at 1402 South 13th Street.
  3. Children’s wear designer Aubrey Sookram of MarkoosModernDesign is getting ready to sell 500 dresses on Zullily.com.  She made all 500 dresses herself in her basement studio.

The applicant pool included 30 designers who were narrowed down to the 15 who were selected. Designers applied and pitched their ideas to a panel of industry experts brought together by the Fashion Institute Midwest last week. The experts scored each designer and provided feedback that OFW organizers used to make final selections.

OFW also has a new venue.  The Omar Bakery Building, located at 4383 Nicholas Street, will be the new home of OFW next spring.  “The space is beautiful with exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors and great facilities.  There is plenty of room for expansion,” Hudson said. The 16,000 square-foot event space at the Omar is under construction and will be open for events starting in December.  “We feel very fortunate to be one of the first to book the space.”

A complete schedule of events for Mar. 4-9 will be announced in late November, with tickets going on sale Jan. 15, 2014. Below is a list of designer bios:

High Schoolers

Elda Doamekpo is a high school student with a brand called Élle Inspired.  Her evening wear collection is inspired 1940’s Dior.  Elda is also a runway newcomer.

Kate Walz designs vintage inspired gowns with feminine details and timeless silhouettes. Her Fall 2014 collection is inspired by the Beatles album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (1967)

Veterans

Angela Balderston creates avant garde pieces made from plaster and non-traditional materials under the label Get Plastered!

Terri Buckner is the designer of Nuevintage Apparel + Accessories. Her passion is recycling vintage clothing into new one-of-a-kind designs by reconstruction of the original garments and accessories.

Hollie Hanash is the designer of Ruffled Runway, an upscale children’s brand made for the unique kid that wants to stand out. This season Hanash will create a second line of adult avant garde pieces.

Hannah Olson is an 18-year-old designer who loves to make custom garments for all sizes under her label, Hannah Caroline. She is dedicated to improving the selection of plus-sized apparel and helping women feel beautiful in their own skin.

Buf Reynolds has been creating garments for seventeen years. She is self-taught and loves the creative outlet fashion gives her.

Stacey Sipp is a multi-media artist and who specializes in out-of-the-ordinary pieces and specialty dresses for the tweens. She hopes her collection can be a vehicle for young girls to express themselves instead of blending into the crowd.

Aubrey Sookram studied Fashion design and Marketing at the UNL. She designs children's clothing and accessories under the name MarkoosModernDesign.

Fella Vaughn received his degree in Fashion Textiles Clothing and Design at UNL. This will be his fifth year participating in Omaha Fashion Week.

Runway Newcomers

Jessica Collins is a children’s wear designer of modern party dresses who will feature layers of chiffon and lace in purples and pinks with accents of gold and ivory.

Bryan Frost and Erica Cardenas, designers behind Wallflower, will present a collection of ready-to-wear looks inspired by theater, titled “Evening at the Orpheum”.

Crystal Hobson is a UNL graduate with a goal to become a costume designer, either for theater or film. She will show an avant garde collection detailed with quilted elements paired with clear vinyl and sheer chiffon.

Katie Thomspon is a senior at Iowa State University whose designs range from evening wear and menswear, to outerwear and toddler and baby clothing. Her ready-to-wear collection is inspired by Jackie O.

Margie Trembley, Omaha designer of fascinator hats and bridal memory scarves, has exhibited her fiber art at the Chicago Botanic Garden and at her gallery, Springfield Artworks.

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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 www.omahafashionweek.com.

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 www.fashioninstitutemidwest.org.

August 2013 Designers Announced

This just came out in a press release this morning!! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OFW Announces Fresh Designer Line Up For August Shows

Omaha, Neb. April 22, 2013 – Omaha Fashion Week organizers announced the designers who have been selected to show during the spring/summer 2014 collections this Aug. 19-24. The lineup of 30 designers includes five newcomers, seven from outside of Nebraska and three high school students.

“We were blown away by how well prepared all the designers were this year and the quality of the applications,” said OFW Producer, Brook Hudson. “The talent and creativity continues to get better each season.” The show schedule and location will be announced at the end of the month. Tickets go on sale to the public on June 1.

The applicant pool included 45 designers who were narrowed down to 30 for the upcoming season. Designers applied online with a limited number selected to pitch their ideas for their upcoming collection to a panel of industry experts brought together by the Fashion Institute Midwest. The experts scored each designer and provided feedback that OFW organizers used to make final selections.

The Fashion Institute Midwest provides designers with four months of mentoring and support leading up to their shows each season. The designers will also participate in a series of workshops and programs to help them prepare. Special feature designers will be announced throughout the summer. Below is a list of designer bios:

High Schoolers

Elda Doamekpo is a high school student with a brand called Élle Inspired.  Her evening wear collection is inspired by the movement of water.

Hannah Olson is a 17-year-old designer that loves to make custom garments for all sizes under her label Hannah Caroline. She is dedicated to improving the selection of plus-sized apparel and helping women feel beautiful in their own skin.

Kate Walz designs vintage inspired gowns with feminine details and timeless silhouettes. Her spring 2014 collection is inspired by some of the great ballerinas in the 1960s and will feature structured bodices paired with flowering details.

Outside Nebraska

Michaela Cawley is a swimwear designer under the label KKINI. She aims to provide women with luxury swimwear including bikinis, deck suits, and cover-ups. Her line has been seen in several fashion shows and in Sports Illustrated.

Juantiesha Christian, designer of SuShe by Jtracey is a women's wear label, featuring both eclectic and vintage-inspired day and evening wear. Juantiesha Christian is a Bellevue native residing in NYC. SuShe has designed for clients throughout the United States, Canada and England.

Brittany Davidson designer of BMDesigns finds inspiration from her European heritage and the time she spent time studying abroad. In 2009 she started designing women and men’s wear.

Hope Reiners designer of Culture Swimwear launched its first collection in the 2012 summer season. For a style which evokes the strong free spirit and beauty of all women, each piece makes a bold statement with colorful designs, solid cover-ups as well as tribal prints.

Christian Shuster is the designer of christianMICHEAL based out of Kansas City. Tailored for the modern, style-conscious American man, the christianMICHEAL label provides cutting edge design with top-notch quality.

Maximillian Suiter focuses on inspiring women to feel and look beautiful inside and out. Suiter is presently at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri studying at The Sam Fox School of Art and Design and the Olin School of Business.

Caine Westergard is the designer behind Caine. She studies at Iowa State and has also studied at the Paris American Academy in Paris. She creates evening wear, women’s wear, children’s wear and even infant onesies under her Cuddles by Caine line!

Veterans

Angela Balderston creates avant garde pieces made from plaster and non-traditional materials under the label Get Plastered!

Terri Buckner is the designer of Nuevintage Apparel + Accessories. Her passion is recycling vintage clothing into new one-of-a-kind designs by reconstruction of the original garments and/or accessories.

Leah Casper is the designer of Casper Couture. She has been designing from a young age, creating edgy, decadent, opulent pieces. Wearing any of her pieces will bring out your inner diva while looking polished and timeless.

Yolanda Diaz has a degree in Fashion design from Juarez University School of Art in Durango, as well as Industrial Paterns at CECATI in Monterey Mexico. She has been designing children clothing for over 20 years under the label Little Miss Fashion.

Jillian Fellers is an independent designer specializing in wedding gowns and party dresses. Her design aesthetic has a modern appeal with vintage-inspired detailing in high-end luxury fabrics. Jillian is a UNL graduate with a degree in Textile and Apparel Design.

Hollie Hanash is the designer of Ruffled Runway, an upscale children’s brand made for the unique kid that wants to stand out. Her clothes are best characterized by the use of bright colors, ease of wear, and attention to detail.

Tiffany Headley studied fashion at UNL for a short time before branching off to do things her own way. She now owns the label Haus of Donna Faye and designs women’s wear with an avant garde twist.

Sabrina Jones received her BS and MA at UNL, where she studied Textile and Clothing Design with a minor in costume design.

Joi Katskee received her BFA in Fashion Design at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago. She uses mostly recycled materials and up-cycled items and applies rock-n-roll inspired elements to create her designs.

Susan Ludlow has been designing children’s clothing for over three decades. She specializes in crochet designs for children ages six months to thirteen. Her brand is called designsbysuey.

Jennifer Pool is a costume and fashion designer. Her work has been seen on various theatrical stages around Omaha. She holds a BA in Theater from UNO, and a MFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Georgia.

Buf Reynolds has been creating garments for seventeen years. She is self-taught and loves the creative outlet fashion gives her.

Dan Richters was born and raised in Mission Viejo, CA. He moved to Omaha during high school, and has lived here over 20 years. Art has been a central part of his life. Fashion has been a recent form of artistic expression.

Aubrey Sookram studied Fashion design and Marketing at the UNL. She designs children's clothing and accessories under the name MarkoosModernDesign.

Fella Vaughn received his degree in Fashion Textiles Clothing and Design at UNL. This will be his fourth year participating in Omaha Fashion Week.

Newcomers

Jessica Collins is a children’s wear designer who will feature ruffles and twirl skirts for girls and simple, fun and sophisticated looks for boys.

Sara Gadeken is an evening wear designer who specializes in custom made garments. Her collection is called Sara Marie.

Stacey Sipp is a multi-media artist and who specializes in out-of-the-ordinary pieces and specialty dresses for the tweens. She hopes her collection can be a vehicle for young girls to express themselves instead of blending into the crowd.

 

Margie Trembley, Omaha designer of fascinator hats and bridal memory scarves, has exhibited her fiber art at the Chicago Botanic Garden and at her gallery, Springfield Artworks.

Kristen Vanhessche received her BA in Textile Design and Apparel from UNL. She creates wearable art with a focus on surface design.

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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 www.omahafashionweek.com.

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 www.fashioninstitutemidwest.org.

Lights, camera... fashion!

That’s right, it’s that time of year again for all of our creative minds in the heart of Omaha to get together and create something awe-inspiring.  The Style, Shoot, Send contest comes around once a year and is an amazing opportunity for the Omaha community to team up and showcase their true talents. The stylists, photographers, designers, artists, directors, and models that make up our community are nothing short of inspiring. With the collaboration of their hard work, they bring the designs to life. Here are some of the winning teams from last year's contest:

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Each and every photo tells us a story behind the designer's collection and gives us a little insight on the inspiration. That is not all I'm going to leave you with today. For more inspiration to feed your hungry eyes, here are just a couple entries that were not published in last year's magazine. Go ahead. Feast your eyes!

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It is very evident that there is much talent to behold within Omaha. If you are interested in participating in this year's photo contest, simply click here to find out more details and apply! The winning team will recieve a $5,000 prize and the winning look will be featured on the cover of the March 2013 edition of Omaha Fashion Magazine! Not only is this a great way for you as an artist to build your portfolio, but it is also a great opportunity for you to meet and work with many innovative people. So no more second guessing! Get out there and style, shoot, and send!

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OFW Designer Selection Panelists – August 2012

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.

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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 www.omahafashionweek.com.

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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.

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Designers for Fall Shows Selected!

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Designer Selection for Fall 2011

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