Lights, Camera, Fashion

Student designers showcase their work during Omaha Fashion Week

Sydney Looney, Online Editor

photo by Heather and Jameson
Senior Austin Do’s collection being showcased on the runway.

When most people hear Fashion Week they think of New York City, Paris, or Milan,but Nebraska has become a hidden gem. There are countless designers and models here in Omaha who are trying to break into the industry. One way they are able to do this: Omaha Fashion Week.

Taking place on Feb. 27 through March 3rd at the Omaha Design Center, this week of fashion turns the spotlight to countless designers in the Omaha area. Throughout the 11 years, Fashion Week has been held, it has grown to be the fifth largest fashion event in the nation.

The first two nights focus on showcasing the work of students. Designers from Omaha Central High School, Omaha South High School, Millard West High School, Nebraska 4-H, the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program at the Joslyn Art Museum, Nebraska FCCLA and UNL were all featured.

Students from Millard West participated in the shows as well. Seniors Austin Do and Caleb Homolka have both been involved in the fashion community for many years now. They were given the opportunity to strut their stuff at Omaha Fashion Week this year.

Homolka was able to model for Do’s collection and two other designers after auditioning for the shows.

“I’ve modeled for Austin before in other shows like some Raw Events at the Joslyn Art Museum,” Homolka said. “He’s really nice to work with and he makes really cool designs.”

Do worked on his collection, Tú, for about two months before it was runway ready. His inspiration for the line came from many different aspects of his life

“This collection was heavily teach wear inspired,” Do said. “It concentrated more on functionality and wearability than looks keeping details simple, but intricate.”

Each night, student designers were scored by the Omaha Fashion Week Selection Panel and whichever designer got the highest score won the night. Do was the winner of the ASPIRE Emerging Designer Showcase on Friday, March 2nd.

“At first I had no idea I won until Cait Perman messaged me about it,” Do said. “I was in disbelief.”

Although many of the creative collections were took the audiences member’s breath away, there was one show that stood out above the rest. The Methodist Survivor Show presented by Nebraska Methodist Hospital. This show celebrated over 100 cancer survivors by having local boutiques provide clothing for all the models to wear.

photo by Heather and Jameson
Cancer survivors strut their stuff on the runway.

“It was pretty amazing feeling to be around that many people who have beat cancer,” participant Kris Mullersman said. “The people walking in the show were ages 2-70’s, that’s pretty awesome.”

Mullersman was recruited to do the show by a friend from work. Although she was nervous, she decided to do the show because she wanted to step outside of her comfort zone.

“I wasn’t really sure what to think of the show other than I was terrified,” Mullersman said. “Once I got there and started talking to the other people that were walking in the show, I started to feel better about it.”

Omaha Fashion Week is an event that lets the hard work of students and amateur designers shine while also celebrating cancer survivors.  It also gives them opportunity to get there foot in the door of the fashion world.