By J1 Reporter Bella Syslo
She’s easy to spot in the hallways; her backpack adorned with colorful pins, her socks a little more creative than the dress code intended, and her trendy black leather shoes, stepping one foot in front of the other. The creative teens you see strutting down the hallway, are shaping the fashion industry, as more and more girls dip their toes into the once-adult dominated business. Empowering statement tees, bold red lips, and creative styles are being grabbed by the throat and revisioned by teen fashionistas and showing the ever-changing world of fashion, just how to make the world your runway.
Girls all around the world are making monumental impacts, especially here in Omaha. Megan Hunt, founder of the Marian-loved store in Dundee, Hello Holiday, tells young girls to just go for it, whether it be in the fashion industry or any venture under the sun. She says, “My advice for people, especially women and young girls, is that when you have a good idea, you just have to START.”
Hunt knows quite a bit about teen girls and the fashion industry, as she sells one of Marian girl’s staple wardrobe pieces. The “Girls Support Girls” shirt is in almost every Marian girl and aspiring teen designer’s closet. The shirts are close to Hunt’s heart as well, with a bold message behind them, she says, “We see our work as girls supporting girls, from the women we employ, to the designers we promote, to our neighbors in the community and around the world, who we are privileged to reach through our efforts.” She especially loves it when she is “out in the wild” and spots a flash of that iconic pink and red tee being sported by a trendy young teen.
Omaha Fashion Week is one of the most eyed events of the year. Marian girls and every other in the metro area scroll through Instagram eyeing innovative designs, lavish dresses, and girls just like them making waves in the pool of fashion.
Ciara Fortun, an acclaimed designer at Omaha Fashion Week, had a spark of creativity at age 15. After a trip to Omaha Fashion Week with her aunt, she began to think fashion and design may be the perfect career for her. Showing her first collection her sophomore year of high school, she went on to win the award of “Top Designer of the Night,” at her very first show. She encourages girls to get involved with “anything and everything.” Being yourself and letting your creativity flow is key, “And it’s okay to not be on-trend. In fact, I’d encourage to stay away from being on-trend. Stand out! Wear what you love! Chances are, you’ll be leading the pack with your crazy shoes and you’ll see them pop up as the next hottest trend in the following months,” she said.
Fortun isn’t letting typical teenage girl stereotypes get her down either, she is tackling real life issues and experiences through design. Her last collection was an in depth look into the world of a creative, and how that can bring about darker emotions. She says to not let these emotions get you down, “take that struggle and use it!” Girls like Fortun and Hunt are inspiring girls close to home to get involved in fashion.
Junior Emma Garriott, walked for the first time at Omaha Fashion Week, this past season. Walking under the blinding lights, she made her runway debut in elegant wedding dresses by Karissa Goosic and Elynne Bridal, living out every design-savvy teen’s dream. “Having most of the models be girls around my same age, it’s a really great environment to be in,” she says, “I loved being involved with something so innovative. The makeup and hair celebrity treatment was a plus, too!” Garriott was able to indulge in some of the best makeup artists and hair stylists volunteering their talents for the event.
Freshman, Sadie Monday, also started walking for Omaha Fashion Week this year.
She says she loves the environment among the models because anyone can try out and it’s a volunteer run organizations, down to the hair and makeup of the event. Her favorite part of the whole production is walking out after showing a collection with the designer and the rest of the girls. She especially loved this part, when walking for her last collection, she spotted an all white ensemble, complete with platform heels. Monday says, “I would definitely recommend getting involved with Fashion Week. It’s a great experience and you always feel comfortable in anything you do during the week”.
It’s no surprise teen girls are taking the industry by storm. With revolutions happening all around them in politics, the world, and their own personal lives, it’s creating emotions and experiences that are being utilized through fashion. Young girls are vital to the changing styles and empowering messages being displayed on outfits across the globe. So, teen girls everywhere, next time you throw on your statement tees, your ripped jeans and designer dresses, know you’re making history.