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. She was especially interested in incorporating textiles into her artwork. She quickly discovered a love for fashion design as well so she took 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 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 years ago that includes reds, grays, blues, mustard yellow and neutral earthy tones, Taylor created a fall line. It has 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 her team had been trying to track Taylor down after seeing her on a television appearance.

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.

Taylor said that after taking the sewing classes, she gradually got more serious about fashion. She made 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. She graduated from high school at 11 and attends 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.

Jennifer LaTorre-Daly, a 20-year veteran of the fashion industry, joined Taylor's team last fall. LaTorre Daly is the strategic planning director. She focuses 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 (65)
  • 20Spaquette
    9/02/2014 - 12:52 p.m.

    I believe that this is a good thing for girls to do who have the passion to sew. This is a good way for her to get to meet popular people. I think that doing art really gave her some great inspiration. I think a lot of people are going to want to buy that kind of style because that is what is in right now. I also think that it is a good thing that it is coming out in the fall so that the earthy colors can be in style. I think it is a great idea for kids her age and younger to get the inspiration to sew

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/03/2014 - 01:17 a.m.

    I think this is cool because Isabella has gotten her works to be sold in fashion shows and to be displayed in catwalks. Her hobby turned into the start of a "business". A 13 year old child owning a business is pretty amazing because I have never seen or heard of someone who owned a business at the age of thirteen. If her business is a success, then she can earn money to pay for college herself instead of her parents paying for it.
    Critical thinking challenge: What does Jennifer Jackson Brown mean by the relatability factor?
    Answer: I think Jennifer Jackson Brown means that Isabella's works was out of the world. It was so good that her works are to be sold in places like Nordstrom.

  • softballfreak0143
    9/03/2014 - 01:50 p.m.

    Isabella Rose Taylor was actually inspiring to me. She made me feel like I can design anything I want to. She sounds like she has alot of great designer clothes. I really like the fact that she tried in her classes and stuck with it. I really love this story it makes me wanna try harder at Art and Designing clothes.

  • angelm-Cre
    9/04/2014 - 11:14 a.m.

    Thats a good girl i would love to see her paintings in a muesum she said she loved it since she was 3 i love to rsp sing read so i love a lot of things she does

  • angelm-Cre
    9/04/2014 - 11:15 a.m.

    Me too cause like me and other teens qim 13 turning 14 but im sooo in love with music to the point cause i would trty my hardest every day

  • leroys-Koc
    9/04/2014 - 12:34 p.m.

    Being a well known fashion designer at age 13 is incredible. She has a bright future. It shows that even teenagers can do what adults do when we put our minds to it.

  • leroys-Koc
    9/04/2014 - 04:00 p.m.

    Being a well known fashion designer at 13 is incredible. She has a bright future. IT shows that even teenagers can do what adults do when we put our mind to it.

    • emma.mm2014
      9/05/2014 - 11:29 a.m.

      i think she has an insprering faze the beutifle paintings she makes it inspires me :) and she has a fa fasion like oh mmy gosh she could be on the cover on a magazine called : guess who has fashion ?! :) keep it cool bye!

  • leroys-Koc
    9/05/2014 - 02:35 p.m.

    Being a well known fashion designer at 13 is incredible. She has a bright future. It shows that even teenagers can do what adults do when we put our minds to it.

  • leroys-Koc
    9/05/2014 - 03:56 p.m.

    Being a well known fashion designer at 13 is incredible. She has a bright future. It shows that even teenagers can do what adults do when we put our minds to it.

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