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Rite of Fashion


The fashion world is a tough place. There is no hand holding, no spoon feeding - it’s dog-eat- dog for new fashion designers, and although many try to reach success, very few manage to make it to the top. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Updated: 18 January 2014
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Title: Rite of Fashion

Rite ofFashion
Local designers find
success at a young age
By Mary Beth Torgerson
he fashion world is a tough
place. There is no hand holding,no spoon feeding
- its dog-eat-dog for new fashion
designers,and although many try toreach
success, very fewmanage to make it tothe top.
For a few of Chattanoogasown fashion designers,
thisprospect doesnt seem asdaunting. After
all, they are allunder the age of 25 and
havemore experience under theirbelts than many
designerhopefuls dream of having.Be prepared to
see theircollections in stores, on therunway
and on your friends asthese three trailblazers
begintaking the world by storm,starting in
their hometown.
chatter magazine APRIL 2013
chatter magazine APRIL 2013
Designs By Malyse AGE 15
others through my design and en-hancing the
beauty of people andmaking them feel confident
in mydesigns, thats my biggest goal.
alking to Madison Waldropis like talking to
every othereloquent, worldly 40-year-oldthat
you know only shesjust 15.
When you make a purchasefrom Designs by Malyse,
15 per-
The budding evening,
cocktail and bridal designer beganher artistic
journey at 13 years oldand has since graced the
cent of the purchase price goesto KEYS, a
charity component ofthe business that supports
causesmeeting one or more of four core
of the New York Times, watchedher fashions come
to life on therunway and is even slated to
openher own studio on Broad Street
values Kids, Education, Youth andService. One
effort that the fundingsupports is the SHOCKS
this month. In spite of her startlingsuccess at
such a young age, Wal-drop shows a grace and
humble-ness that is far beyond her
years,putting most of the emphasis onproviding
opportunities for othersand being a good role
a program begun by Waldrop andher sister,
McCall, which providesshoes and socks for the
homelessat the Community Kitchen. Itslike a
chain reaction but it helpsso many other people
and thoseKEYS open so many doors. Thatsreally
what means the most to
The business is somethingthat has moved very
quickly and
me through all of this, she says.Thats the
nitty gritty of that sideof the company and the
core ofwho I am as a person.
has evolved on its own. Im very fo-cused on
what I want and what Imseeking to become, says
Waldrop.And I think as long as Im helping
Waldrop has made many
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Describe your design style
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sacrifices as a teenager to bring her dreams to
reality, such asworking long hours and choosing
to take online classes ratherthan traditional
school to focus on her business. Although
Can you give us a preview ofyour upcoming
Classic designs with a boldmodern twist
One dress is a very dark shade ofaquamarine blue
but when youmove, it changes. Its
sleevelessand the bottom is a gold tulle
25 off
sometimes the process has been overwhelming, she
creditsher upbringing and support system for
helping her along -and ultimately loves every
minute of what she is doing.
If you could dress anyone,who would it be?
Adele, I ab-solutely adore her. Shes
hilariousand so beautiful. Also,
JenniferAniston and Carrie Underwood.Those are
my top three. Theyreall very different and they
are alljust real. They dont fit into
thecelebrity stereotype.
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skirt. The inspiration for it wasPride and
Prejudice - its gotimpact just like I imagine
Lizziemade when she walked in the
Being that design is such a passion for me, it
doesnt feellike work. I think that kind of
brings that fun aspect into it.Even though its
a lot to take on, its been good, Waldrop
says.I think from an early age, I knew that
what you were givendidnt pop into existence. We
should never take things for
room and Mr. Darcy first saw her.Ive seen the
movie more than adozen times and read the
booktwice. Its one of my favorites.
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granted. We should always work to give something
to some-one else. That was a core value that was
taught to me at anearly age that I really
believe in and will always live by.
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What designer inspiresyou? Blake Mycoskie,
founderand designer of TOMS. He
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inspires me the most because theway he founded
that companyto help others. Service is key,
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and thats why I believe hes sosuccessful. Hes
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he Girls Preparatory Schoolalum and recent
Auburn Uni-versity grad is not your
typicalartistic type - her businesssavvy
combined with sheerdetermination gives her a
clothing company in New YorkCity, which inspired
her to notonly find her place in the
fashionindustry, but to take the leap
intocreating her own clothing line.
Ive always been really creative
nificant edge over other designerhopefuls
looking to get their col-lections picked up by
boutiquesand department stores.
I would make dresses for my dollswhen I was
little. Then I got myfirst sewing machine at 13
and Istarted making my own clothes,she says.
During my internship,I got a good sense of the
businessside of things. I kind of realized
Iliked all aspects of a clothing com-pany, not
just the design side butthe business side as
well. It helpedme realize that I wanted to go
onmy own. It was just having the
Its scary just because theamount of work I put
into thepieces and, of course, the cost,
Anna Victoria Apparel and Design AGE 22
but this is something Ive wantedto do for as
long as I can remem-ber, says Mittelstadt.
Ill do
anything to make it work and Ireally do believe
in it.
courage to start it It would havebeen easier
to apply for a job at analready established
Mittelstadt cut her designteeth in 2011 during
an intern-
ship at Rebecca Taylor, a womens
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chatter magazine APRIL 2013
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Where style is created
Although it was far from easy, Mittelstadt
successfullylaunched her Spring 2013 collection
last year from her studioin the Business
Development Center in North Chattanoogaand is
now working painstakingly on her Summer and
Fall2013 collections. Although her last
collection was not pickedup by any stores, she
says it isnt unusual for clothing buyersto wait
for a new designer to successfully launch two to
threecollections before they take a chance on a
new line.
Describe your design style
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Definitely feminine, but I like to keepit modern
as well and add unex-
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If you could dress anyone, whowould it be?
Jennifer Lawrence.Her dress for the Oscars was
American Board Certified Haircolorist on staff
specializing in Bayalage, European French
unexpected - it was a pale pink witha big full
skirt. I think she can pull ofedginess really
well, which isnt me,but I think she can pull
off femininepieces as well.
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The key is really to create a name for yourself
and forthem to feel comfortable, Mittelstadt
says. They want youto know that youve sorted
out stuff like getting a manufac-turer. Weve
definitely made good contacts for spring
andsummer and were hoping fall will actually
sell. Weve had alot of people who saw the
spring collection and it was alwaysgood to hear
people say, I like that. I want to buy that.
haircutting anddimensional coloring.
What designer inspires you?
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And as for being young? Mittelstadt doesnt see
that as adisadvantage. Obviously I dont have
as much experienceas someone who has worked in
the business for 10 years, butI have the energy
to do this and am really passionate aboutit now,
so moving forward with something isnt a bad
thing,she says. I can also relate to the age
group were designingfor and I know what girls
my age are looking for in stores andin the
South. Im also really open to learning from
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I really love color so my springand summer
collections are really
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lemon yellow.
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carruth couture AGE 15
randon Carruth has al-ways loved the limelight.
He vividly remembersmaking his sister help
him perform varietyshows (in front of the
curtains he had specially
installed in his room) and
putting on impromptu pianorecitals for friends
and family.As he grew older, he decidedthat he
would become an ac-tor, which led him to
Ambi-ance Models and Talent,
which eventually led him to
the fashion industry. I knew there was
some-thing more than modelingthat I wanted to
do, says Car-ruth. Then when my parentswere
going through a divorce,it was sort of an
overnightdecision. That sounds kind ofcheesy,
but thats how it hap-pened. Instead of turning
tothe bad in the world, I turnedto designing
and Im reallyblessed that thats the decisionI
made at such a young age.
Fashion Week, Carruths workhas been shown in
fashion shows locally, onein Dallas, Texas, and
even atPlitzs New York City FashionWeek in New
York. Its been
overwhelming to say the least.I have school and
everythingelse a normal teenager has,along with
my business, hesays. But thats what I like
about it - its challenging.Thats another
reason I enjoywhat I do.
At 13 years old - exactlytwo years ago this
month - hedesigned his first collection,Simply
Flawless. I didnthave any experience. I
didnteven know how to sew, hesays. This
collection Im
Carruths goals for the fu-ture are lofty, but
none insur-mountable, he says, thanks inpart to
his focus and also to hissupportive family.
Businesswise, I really just want to workup to
the point where maybeI have a store. Were plan-
working on now I am doingmyself. Before I
designed ev-erything, but I needed help tosew
the pieces. This will be thefirst one Im
actually making.I think with this being
solelyme, Im going to be even moreproud of
ning that, but its going to be awhile, says
Carruth. Id justlike to expand the
businessand perfect what I do as far asdesign.
To have my own stu-dio, my own company, my
en-tire company under one roof,people working
for me and
Since his official launch atNashvilles Middle
seeing my designs on celebrity
chatter magazine APRIL 2013
chatter magazine APRIL 2013
Describe your design style
clients - thats pretty muchmy goal, but then
its going tobe a lot of hard work to get
tothat point. Thats why I havethat goal. I
have something tolook forward to.
Elegant. A Carruth Couture womanis someone who
expresses herselfwith what she wears. Shes
brave,outgoing, the center of the party
anddefinitely the most fashionable onethere.
Some people have doubtedthat he would succeed,
If you could dress anyone, whowould it be?
Probably Lady GaGaor Jennifer Lawrence - shes
Carruth says that only makeshim more certain of
his vi-sion. At school theres beena couple of
people that dontlike what I do and I know a lot
new favorite celebrity so I think itwould be
cool to collaborate with her.Sometimes I look at
the red carpetand I wish all of those gowns
couldbe a Carruth Couture. Thats not howit
works, though.
of people secretly hope I dontsucceed - the
people, the closed-mindedpeople. But those are
What designer inspires you?
Ive researched people in general andthats one
reason I think I got thisfar. Artists like Lady
Gaga I loveher braveness and her style and
herfashion and how she runs her entirecompany.
I enjoy reading about
people that I dont listen to,he says. Chanel,
she was anorphan and then she becamea world
famous designer. Youdont have to have a lot of
Alexander McQueen, as well. Itsinspiring to
learn about other people.
For the Art of You
money or support, you justhave to be determined
andmotivated, and you can doanything.
Can you give us a preview ofyour upcoming
Im using gold sequin fabric andblack satin. Im
also mixing two
2545 Lifestyle Way 8 Chattanooga
For more information onCarruth Couture, visit
different kinds of silhouettes. It onlytook a
week to sketch the 12 piecesout, and Ill edit
as I go.
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