Teen reveals designs at New York Fashion Week Isabella Rose Taylor, 13, poses with her art work and clothing designs at her home, in Austin, Texas (AP photos)
Teen reveals designs at New York Fashion Week
Lexile

At the age of 9, Isabella Rose Taylor a painter since she was 3 took a weeklong sewing class with an eye toward incorporating textiles into her artwork. She quickly discovered a love for fashion design as well, taking the class twice more that summer. Now, at 13, her line is debuting at Nordstrom stores this fall and she's set to hold her first show at New York Fashion Week.

See her fashions at nordstrom.com

"It just started out as a really fun hobby and it grew into a business over the years," Taylor said at her Austin, Texas, home, where she's converted one room into a studio and another into an office. She added, "I just really fell in love with it the way I fell in love with art, and I realized that I just had so much fun connecting the two."

With inspiration from an abstract mixed media painting she did when she was younger that includes reds, grays, blues, mustard yellow and neutral earthy tones, Taylor created a fall line with a "street grunge vibe" and "modern hippie" inspiration. "It all started with the colors of the painting for me," Taylor said.

Jennifer Jackson Brown, a corporate merchandise manager for Nordstrom, said Taylor's line was a good fit for their juniors section. She said that at the same time she was contacted by Taylor's camp, her team had been trying to track Taylor down after seeing her on a television appearance.

"What we really liked about her is that she is actually the age of customer so there's that relatability factor that she has," Jackson Brown said. "And on top of it, she's quite aspirational for them at the same time."

Jackson Brown said they were not only impressed with her "keen sense of creating," but also with her ability to explain how each piece works with the others and how the collection came together. "She's actually quite a visionary at the age of 13," Jackson Brown said.

"I think sometimes what a designer misses is that people want to understand how to dress head-to-toe and she was able to do that," Jackson Brown said.

Taylor's fall collection includes "shorties," high-waisted shorts made of a soft knit that can be paired with leggings and boots. There's also a flannel jacket featuring one of the details she likes to include: a tiny American flag button on the pocket. A jersey baby doll dress and a henley tunic dress feature the painting that inspired the collection.

Taylor said that after taking the sewing classes, she gradually got more serious about fashion, making clothes for friends, designing a collection and eventually getting a handful of items produced and selling them online and at trunk shows. Her line is now produced in Los Angeles.

Taylor went to school on an accelerated schedule, graduating from high school at 11 and now attending community college.

Sherri Taylor said it was apparent early on that her daughter had an aptitude for art. "When she was really young we really noticed how she played with colors and it was just very unusual," she said. "We knew that something was happening so we just kept buying her more colors."

"She's tried a lot of different things and some things stuck and something things didn't, but art and fashion have been consistent," she said, adding that her daughter's fashion career "just kind of snowballed."

Jennifer LaTorre-Daly, a 20-year veteran of the fashion industry, joined Taylor's team last fall as the New York-based strategic planning director, focusing on getting Taylor's clothes in major retail outlets. "It's a great concept: She's designing for her peers," LaTorre-Daly said.

Taylor said that even though her schedule can be hectic, she enjoys it and feels like she has a good balance of school, art, fashion and just hanging out with friends. And she points out that she has friends who are just as busy with interests like acting or dance.

"The way I see it is I get to follow my dream and be a teenager at the same time. I think I'm pretty lucky in that respect," she said.

Critical thinking challenge: What does Jennifer Jackson Brown mean by the relatability factor?

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COMMENTS (15)
  • mgradich-Cla
    9/04/2014 - 01:27 p.m.

    I don't like this post because I feel that this article doesn't give enough information on this certain topic I mean it is interesting but it really doesn't give a lot of information.

  • sstockett-Cla
    9/04/2014 - 01:38 p.m.

    I think Taylor is right about following her dream, and still being a teenager. in my eyes Taylor is a very successful girl. The reason I say that is, Taylor graduated high school at the age of 11 most people that graduate early are 15, or 16. it amazes me how she did that, and now at the age of 13 she is in community college Another reason Taylor is successful in my eyes is she has a clothing line in some outlets. Taylor is very lucky for her parents, and her team that helped her get to these big stores. I think Taylor was great for the clothing line and just like Jennifer Jackson brown said " relatability factor" what she means by that is she knows what the teens would like shopping at the store because she is a teen herself.

  • raevynj-Koc
    9/25/2014 - 11:20 p.m.

    I find this article and girl to be very inspiring. This just goes to say you can do anything you put your mind to. I would love to be able to start something like that so young and be able to succeed at it. She is a very talented young woman.

  • cp2000nirvana
    10/02/2014 - 08:42 a.m.

    personally its my dream to present my clothing at new York fashion week and it gives me hope now know someone my age is doing it.

  • Beccak-Lam
    10/22/2014 - 10:45 a.m.

    I think this young girl must be exceptionally talented to be on almost the same level as these professional designers at just 13 years old. She must be very proud of her work and I think that she should keep working at it. She could make it in the fashion world.

  • dclaiborne-Cla
    12/03/2014 - 01:24 p.m.

    i think it isvery unique how she got to follow her dreams in painting. She got to show her work and hard process ever since she was little . She is very lucky.

  • johanna.galloway34
    2/02/2015 - 01:12 p.m.

    I think having a clothing line at 11 years old would be so cool. I always wanted a clothing line of my own and would love to try selling online or in stores. I read about a boy named Sean Belnik who was a chair designer and made 24 million dollars at age 15.

  • GoffJocelyn-DiB
    2/09/2015 - 05:02 p.m.

    What Jennifer Brown means about reliability factor is that Isabelle is in an art class with people her age so it can be easier for Isabelle to make good friends and know people that are her age. Also she can get along with the people in her age group and have a good relashionship.

  • Tessak-Lam
    3/02/2015 - 02:30 p.m.

    Isabella Rose Taylor is amazing! I looked at her clothing line on the Nordstrom website and trust me, they are awesome. I think it is really cool that she makes her clothes based off of inspiration from her art. I really want to be a fashion designer and after reading this article she has made me want to be one even more! It is so incredible that she made her own collection at 13 and is having it being sold in stores! She even went to fashion week too! I am so jealous! It must have been such an amazing experience being there and meeting other designers. I am sure it would be super fun to be her!

  • marlenam-DiB
    3/09/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    i can really connect with this young teen. i myself is into the world of art. it is great that people will start to use art to express their feelings.

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