Sisters steal the spotlight

Two siblings received the unique opportunity of modeling for Omaha Fashion Week


Showing off Teri Buckner’s “Bohemian Prairie” collection, a group of models including sophomore Julia Gilbreath sashayed down the runway. This fall, Julia had the opportunity to be a model in one the largest fashion week events in the nation. “I was ecstatic about being a model for Omaha Fashion Week,” Julia said. “I have always wanted to be a model and this was a great experience to help me with it.”

Sadie Smith, Staff Reporter

Many young girls dream of being a model- getting dressed up, putting on makeup, strutting the runway and striking a pose. For sophomore Julia Gilbreath, this childhood dream came true when she had the opportunity to be a model in Omaha Fashion Week. 

Established in 2008, Omaha Fashion Week has grown to be the fourth largest fashion week event in the nation. This year, the affair attracted over 2,000 spectators, 36 designers and 250 models from across the country, including Julia and her older sister, Eva Gilbreath. 

One Saturday morning, the girls were informed by their dad that there were auditions for Omaha Fashion Week being held at the mall. This piqued Julia Gilbreath’s interest. She did some more research to find out more information and decided that it was something she was interested in auditioning for. 

The girls went to the mall together to audition, where they were spotted by designer Teri Buckner. Buckner is a self-taught Bohemian designer and founder of Nuevintage clothing boutique in Los Angeles where she repurposes vintage clothing into new pieces. Her brand is targeted towards “the woman who doesn’t want fast fashion, she wants a special piece of clothing, something one-of-a-kind, something that is unique as she is.” 

The Gilbreath sisters found out that they were chosen as models for Omaha Fashion Week in early June, and started preparing right away. 

“The show was set to be at the end of August, so we began preparing when we found out all the way until the show, ” Julia said. “I practiced my walk as well as doing my hair and make-up. We also went to model boot camp and dress rehearsals to finalize everything before the big day.”

As the day of the event drew closer, both Julia and Eva experienced some anxiety about strutting the runway. However, having a familiar face go through the process with them helped ease their nerves. 

“Before walking out on the runway, I was initially worried I would be full of anxiety,” Eva said. “However, as I stepped out on the stage, I felt a sense of power and pride rather than fear. Getting to do this with my sister 100% added to the absence of worry going into it. Having a permanent friend throughout the process allowed both of us to find more joy in the overall experience.”

While walking the runway, the girls sported garments from Buckner’s “Bohemian Prairie” collection. Julia’s piece was a white prairie dress with a few blue stripes across the torso and a waist apron with bluebirds. Eva’s garment had a more modern look- a white off-the-shoulder top with a patterned corset and white puffy pants. The other models wore similar, mostly white pieces that encompassed the “Bohemian Prairie” idea. Each of Buckner’s looks was uniquely paired with Dr. Martens to manifest the Bohemian style.

Watching two of his daughters model in front of hundreds of people was an unforgettable moment for the girls’ dad, Brian Gilbreath. Although he was a little unsure what to expect, he was impressed by both the OFW establishment and his daughters. 

“This was my first time attending an Omaha Fashion Week event,” Brain said. “I was struck by how professional it was. It was so much fun to see Julia and Eva walking down the runway. It was definitely a proud dad moment.”

For Julia, the experience was one she is sure to hold on to. Besides just having the opportunity to model in a fashion show, Julia met many friends along the way. 

“My favorite part was meeting all the wonderful people in the show,” Julia said. “There’s a stigma around models being mean and very judgy, but everyone I worked with was very kind and so much fun to be around.”

At the end of the week, it was announced that Buckner’s collection “Bohemian Prairie” won the Featured Designer Golden Shears package- one of two designers to win this grand prize package that included $1,000, $500 Joann Fabric gift card, an OFW pop-up shop market space, and more. 

When all was said and done, Julia and Eva walked away with an exclusive experience, life-long friends, and a stronger bond with each other.