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ofw designers

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!


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.


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

Fresh Line Up of Designers Announced for Feb. 26-Mar. 2 Shows

From OFW News Release on 11/5/12:

OFW Announces Fresh Designer Line Up

Omaha, Neb. Nov. 5, 2013 – Omaha Fashion Week organizers announced the designers who have been selected to show during the fall/winter 2013 collections this Feb. 26- Mar. 2 at KANEKO. They include eight newcomers, two high school students and five designers from other markets who have Nebraska ties.

“The talent and creativity only continues to get better each season. We are so excited to welcome all of our designers – they all have inspiring stories,” said OFW Producer, Brook Hudson. OFW newcomer Hope Reiners, a swimwear designer based in LA, finds her inspiration by working with a Cambodian organization, Keok’jay, that works to create jobs and benefits for women who have HIV/AIDS. All participating designers have ties to the Midwest.  (See biographical information on designers below.)

OFW is going into its sixth year and audience members can expect a week highlighting all aspects of the Midwest fashion scene. “We are planning a photography exhibition; a hair, makeup and accessories show; and several educational events focused on the industry,” said Hudson.

The applicant pool included 30 designers who were narrowed down to 16 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.

OFW Fall/Winter 2013 Show Schedule:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26: Second Annual Cancer Survivor Show benefiting the Inner Beauty Salon at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27: New this season - Hair, Makeup and Accessories Show

  • Thursday, Feb. 28: Children’s Wear and Bridal

  • Friday, Mar. 1: Ready to Wear

  • Saturday, Mar. 2: Avant Garde, Evening Wear, Men’s Wear and Swimwear

Tickets go on sale to the public January 14, 2013 at Ticket prices range from $25-$65. For further information and other upcoming events please visit


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 operating under the Omaha Community Foundation 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.

Designer Biographies:

Amanda Clark: Amanda is a sustainable designer from Nebraska and now lives in St. Louis. All of her clothing is made with eco-friendly and recycled materials and is both wearable and sculptural. Amanda strives to keep her artistic vision in both her clothing design and while working as a graphic designer.

Aubrey Sookram: Aubrey’s collection, “MarkoosModernDesign” is clothing for the true modern child. Her colorful clothing collection is comfortable, affordable, and easy to care for.

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

Caine Westergard: Caine is an undergraduate student at Iowa State University. Her works include evening dresses, casual wear; women’s wear and baby clothing. Caine will be joining OFW for the second time, presenting for the first time under the label Caine by Caine Westergard and designing for the Jeff Hanson’s label.

Chad Carr: Chad revamped his Leggoons collection at the August 2012 OFW shows. Chad will take the Leggoons brand to the national stage in 2013. He will incorporate his past business experience with new fashion knowledge to create a brand that is both fun and fashionable. See Chad's swimwear on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

Christian Shuster: Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, menswear designer Christian Micheal Shuster launched his label in 2007.  The christianMICHEAL design label has quickly become one of the most recognized and respected design labels in Kansas City, and has become synonymous with high quality and cutting edge menswear.

Hannah Olson: Hannah is a senior at Millard West. This will be her first year showing for OFW. She enjoys sketching and looking for ways to help her peers feel confident and bold in one-of-a-kind outfits. 

Hollie Hanash: Hollie will be creating her fourth collection for OFW. Her label Ruffled Runway is perfect for the trendy kid who wants to be the playground princess. This collection “Summer in Paris” will feature classic silhouettes with a twist. This collection is sure to grab your attention either on the playground or the runway.

Hope Reiners: Hope designer of “Culture Swimwear” found her inspiration from the Cambodian born organization KeokÂ’jay, an organization that works to create jobs to benefit women with HIV/AIDS by providing them jobs and benefits.

Jeff Hanson:

The Jeff Hanson Collection made its debut at Omaha Fashion Week, Fall 2012.  This season, the 19-year old, visually impaired artist from Kansas City returns to the runway with his exclusive, hand-painted gowns. Artist Jeff Hanson is Changing the World Through Art. Jeff's original paintings have benefited over 100 charities, raising $890,000.  Jeff’s artwork will generate one million dollars for charity by his 20th birthday.  One Million By 20! Jeff's paintings hang in the homes of Sir Elton John, Warren E. Buffett, Susan Sarandon and countless others who are touched by Jeff's spirit of giving to the world. Lessons From CLOD ... An Inspiring Story of Art, Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship chronicles Jeff’s journey through adversity (soon available at  Jeff's live motivational presentation will launch in the Fall of 2013.Jeff believes "Every act of kindness helps create kinder communities, more compassionate nations and a better world for all ... even one painting at a time."

Jessica Seeley: Jessica is originally from Elkorn, Nebraska. She pursued her dream of fashion design and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2006. In March 2010, her collection, SeeleyDesigns was established.

Jillian Fellers: Jillian is an independent wedding and special occasion designer living in Lincoln, NE. Her designs feature vintage detailing with a modern aesthetic in high-end, luxury fabrics. Jillian is a UNL graduate with a degree in Textile and Apparel Design.

Kate Walz:  At the age of 16, Kate Walz of Omaha, Nebraska will debut her Fall 2013 collection in New York Fashion Week. She is a veteran of Omaha Fashion Week and has shown her brand in several fashion shows. Kate, a High School Sophomore is a self taught designer who has had the passion for design since age 8. She started selling her clothing at age 12 in a boutique with fellow designers from Omaha. Her love for sophisticated, classic, and vintage clothing is what inspires Kate in her design, pattern making and sewing her garments. Kate has many supporters including Omaha Fashion Week and Fashion Camp NYC that are helping to make her dream as a designer come true.

Marie Nelson: Marie is the owner of Only by FAITH Custom Tailoring and Alterations. She does independent work for the whole family with focus on women’s wear that has a combination of elegant, dramatic and classic appeal.

Rachel Butler: Rachel moved from Virginia to study at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She studied Textiles and Apparel Design and was a member of the Husker Track and Field team. After graduating in 2011, she started sewing children’s clothing local boutiques. Her collection is inspired by motorcycles.

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


Outfit Recipe for 100-Degree Heat

By Kelly Newell at Scout: Dry Goods & Trade
Okay. It's hot. Real real hot. I don't want wear anything, but of course I'll get arrested if I don't. This is my favorite outfit to wear in 100-degree-burn-your-butt-yes-you-are-sweating-and-it's-only-9am-outfit. Here are the ingredients for a great hot weather outfit...
The basics, I air dry my hair and then pull it up in a messy bun and add a cute lightweight scarf as a headband. I'm super pale or a nice way to say it, I've got "porcelain" skin. Either way, my legs are far too white for me to be comfortable in shorts without a little fake tan. I got a gift card to Sephora for Christmas so I splurged on some $35 sunless tanner/bronzer by Lorac. It works perfectly and just the way it's supposed to. In the warmer months, I usually get a pedicure every couple months and have been leaning towards these really pretty (and girly-unusal for me) papaya colors lately. When it's super hot out like it's been, I'll usually just wear a moisturizer with built in sunscreen and then a little of this cheek stain by Tarte that I also found at Sephora (also a splurge, but it will last forever, so I can justify it).
Start with an easy top that's got some visual interest and you won't need as much jewelry. Bonus points if it's a top that you don't need to wear a bra with. There are so many awesome colored shorts out right now and they are perfect with a cuff and functional with pockets. These sandals are cute and just as easy to wear as plain old flip flops and they stay on great when driving and running around town. I have a vintage Coach messenger bag I picked up at Scout a couple of years ago that looks a lot like this one that isn't too precious to throw around and drag through the day with me. I'll throw in a pen, mail, my wallet, a Diet Coke, chap stick, my phone and still have some room left over. I don't have a phone case and probably should since I drop mine phone so often, so I'm in the market for a case and this one is really cute. To finish the outfit off, you gotta have sunglasses-I personally really like aviators, but any pair would work. When it's really hot out, keep the jewelry to a minimum and wear one statement item like this cool gold ring and an interesting but simple pair of stud earrings. There you go, garnish with a few slices of watermelon and you're all set!!

TopShop striped top, $50 Aso, $26 PARENTESI flip flop shoes, $79 Cydwoq studded messenger bag, 375 CAD ASOS stud earrings, $10 Dome ring, $43 Ray-Ban metal sunglasses, $129 Tarte Natural Beauty Cheek Stain Natural Beauty, $30 LORAC SelfTANtalizer Body Bronzing Gradual Self-Tanner & Mitt 5 oz, $34 NARS Nail Polish Ecume, $17



Designers for Fall Shows Selected!

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Designer Selection for Fall 2011

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