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
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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)
  • anne-laure-bey
    3/12/2015 - 04:29 a.m.

    I'm really impressed by Taylor's story.
    Having this interest at a very young age proves that she was made for it, and that she could have a great career in Art's . I think that's really good to spend your time in what you love, and to live your passion. That's what she made, and she was lucky to to discover, go deeper and confirm this hobby. I saw her collection and I really liked it, it is amazing to create these clothes at the age of thirteen and to present it for the NY fashion week ! She owns the key to her success!

  • paloma-bey
    3/19/2015 - 04:11 a.m.

    By the "relatability factor" Jennifer Jackson Brown means that the young people Isabella Rose Taylor designed her clothes for can relate to her style because she knows what youngsters her age want. Moreover, teens her age can relate with her passion and even be motivated by her success. Personnaly, I don't relate to her because I don't have a passion for anything and I'm not very productive, especially with arts and crafts. However, I would like to have her skill to be able to share my creations with others.

  • laura-bey
    3/19/2015 - 04:16 a.m.

    Jennifer Jackson means Taylor is an unsual fashion designer because she's only 13 years old, and she creates clothes for teenage girls. So she means that it developpes a "relatability factor", so a kind of link between her and customers. She exactly knows what young girls expect because she is one of them. It establishes a natural link of trust. That 's what Jennifer Jackson means when she says that Taylor has a "relatability factor"

  • kristel-bey
    3/19/2015 - 04:17 a.m.

    What Jennifer Jackson Brown means by " relatability factor" is that Taylor is a fashion designer of 13 years old, who creates clothes for teenagers. So she is more able to know what they expect, what they like, what can be worn at school or not, what is fashion for their age.... I think people of a certain age can't create clothes for teenagers . Teens are trying to grow up and become an adult, someone more responsible, and it is a long and difficult period of doubts. Because Taylor graduated at the age of 11, she now has a more responsible life, she knows what it is to grow up faster. That's why she hasthis "relatability factor" that Jennifer Jackson Brown likes. Moreover her collection is "fresh" and full of colours,which is fun and great for teenagers for the summer.

  • raphaelle-bey
    3/19/2015 - 04:24 a.m.

    When Jennifer Jackson Brown mentions the "relatibility factor" while talking about Isabella Rose Taylor, she is referring to the fact that this young girl is designing clothes for people who are the same age as her. Miss Taylor is younger than the average age of most designers and therefore has a fresher take on fashion. She knows what her customers want and what they are looking for, as well as the reasonable price they are willing to pay.

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