It's time to get sewing.
Fashion Institute Midwest, the nonprofit organization that puts on Omaha Fashion Week, has selected 30 designers to take part in its August shows.
The designers, from a pool of 45 applicants, include three high school students, seven designers from out-of-state, five newbies and a lot of familiar faces to those who attend the twice-yearly shows.
It's an experienced group, said Omaha Fashion Week Producer Brook Hudson, and she expects their collections will reflect their experience.
When Omaha Fashion Week's first shows were held in 2008, designers were still learning how to build cohesive collections around a single theme or piece of inspiration, Hudson said. Now that's second nature for many of the Omaha Fashion Week designers.
Kate Walz, a high school student who has shown her collections in Omaha, Kansas City and New York Fashion Week, will show a ballet-inspired collection. Another young Omaha Fashion Week veteran, Caine Westergard, is designing a collection inspired by the style of Amelia Earhart. Westergard is a student at Iowa State University.
In addition to creating collections, many of the veteran designers in Omaha shows have moved on to thinking about the business side of fashion — how they'll promote their designs, how much they should cost and who might buy them, Hudson said.
“It's just so cool to see that kind of progress happen,” Hudson said. “We'd like to see all of them have sustainable businesses, and in order to do that, they need to be thinking about these kinds of things.”
Hudson also encourages designers to start young. Walz, a Millard North sophomore, is one of three high school students selected for this year's show. Hannah Olson, a Millard West senior who debuted a collection of plus-sized party dresses during the February shows, will return to Omaha Fashion Week in August. Omaha Fashion Week newcomer Elda Doamekpo, who also attends Millard North, will debut a collection of evening gowns inspired by the movement of water, Hudson said.
Those showing collections during the fall shows, which will be held in downtown Omaha Aug. 19 through Aug. 24, include: Elda Doamekpo; Hannah Olson; Kate Walz; Michaela Cawley; Juantiesha Christian; Brittany Davidson; Hope Reiner; Christian Shuster; Maximillian Suiter; Caine Westergard; Angela Balderston; Terri Buckner; Leah Casper; Yolanda Diaz; Jillian Fellers; Hollie Hanash; Tiffany Headley; Sabrina Jones; Joi Katskee; Susan Ludlow; Jennifer Pool; Buf Reynolds; Dan Richters; Aubrey Sookram; Fella Vaughn; Jessica Collins; Sara Gadeken; Stacey Sipp; Margie Trembley; Kristen Vanhessche.
Contact the writer: