designing OMAHA •
STORY BY MOLLY GARRIOTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY metroMAGAZINE
most 13-year-olds spend their time talking to their girlfriends, reading the latest twilight novel, and trolling the mall and movie theaters on the weekend. but kate walz is not your typical 13-year-old.
has seen her fashion designs strut the catwalk during Omaha Fashion Week this spring, including the Omaha Fashion VIP Event in March at Nomad Lounge. This fall she will reprise her role as the youngest designer to participate in Omaha Fashion Week, September 13-18. Omaha Fashion Week celebrates and highlights Omaha’s burgeoning fashion industry by showcasing the works of numerous local fashion designers and models. Despite her young age, Walz is an old fashion pro. She is a self-professed lifer: “I have been drawing and thinking of designs since I could hold a pencil.” Her innate talent formalized when she was eight years old and a member of the Washington County 4-H. She entered the “Decorate Your Duds” competition. That first year she scored the Grand Champion for jeans she decked out. “That’s what started me embellishing clothing.” Using her mother’s cookie cutters as templates, she traced flower shapes up the leg of her jeans, adding glitter paints followed by an extra layer of glitter for saturated sparkle. She then trimmed the hem of each leg with two types of ribbon. Walz went on to win Grand Champion two more times and the Reserve Grand Champion for two years. Her designs garnered statewide attention as well. Every year that Walz entered the 4-H, her clothing went on to the State Fair competition.
D E S I G N E R
P R O F I L E
Walz is drawn to the unusual, the slightly quirky. She flips through the pages of fashion magazines for inspiration which usually comes in the form of the extraordinary. “My passion comes from designs that are different from normal, everyday clothing,” Walz admits. She describes her own style as “girly” and fun. She loves the blingy look of Juicy Couture clothing line because it is functional but feminine and sports unique embellishments. She whole-heartedly embraces femininity: “I like to design things that are a little ‘foofy.’” So it is not surprising that her fabric of choice is tulle. She is drawn to its versatility. Says Walz: “You can do just about anything with it.” Walz is no stranger to tulle’s movement and ethereal quality. She has been a dancer for 10 years and as such has worn her fair share of the fabric. “I like the texture and fullness that tulle gives to clothing. I love the use of many colors tulles has to offer,” she continues. Walz, who says she is always drawing her next design, says her fall line to be showcased at Omaha Fashion Week will feature tulle and wire. She considers participating in Omaha Fashion Week a huge honor. “There are so many talented designers in Omaha that need to be recognized,” she believes. Her mentors include local designers Claire Landolt, Jane Round and Buff Reynolds, all of whom Walz values for their unique creations. Participation in Omaha Fashion Week and other fashion events will prepare her for her future in design. “My plan… is to one day be a designer in New York, New York,” she confidently asserts. Though single-minded in her pursuit of excellence with her designs, Walz is nonetheless a well-rounded teenager. The Bennington Jr. High student is active both in and out of the school setting. She plays club volleyball and basketball for the school and is a member of the Student Senate and honor roll. Walz also remains passionate about dance, taking four classes. But in between all these other activities, she is busy sketching, cutting, pinning and sewing her way to Omaha Fashion Week this fall. metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha
SEPT 13 - 18
Published on May 13, 2010
metroMAGAZINE's May 2010 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council Bluf...