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Fashion Rocks in Seattle

by Amelia Gray
FashionCareerCenter Columnist

It's no surprise that fashion holds a prominent place in the hearts of Seattleites. The art-loving Northwestern city is home to creative designers and an eager audience.

Some of Seattle's youngest fashion elite aren't saying much about the labels they wear; in fact, they're still in diapers. West Coast-based design house Wolfgang's Vault outfits Seattle's trendiest babies in onesies that take cues from vintage inspired designs. The hottest sellers in Seattle feature bands like the Rolling Stones and Cream. Courtney Chatalas, the director of apparel production and design, is a Seattle native, and understands the connection. "I think a lot of Northwesterners grow up with music in their blood," she tells The Seattle Times.

Diverse City, Diverse Career
One important lesson all fashion design school students must learn is the value of versatility. Fashion icons don't start at the top but often spend many of their younger design years working in areas of the field they might not have initially considered. Designing clothes for infants may seem like a limiting field, but ignoring what could be a hot market is a fashion design faux pas.

In addition to specialized client groups, fashion design school students in Seattle could find themselves interning at boutiques, doing everything from retail work to shop window displays. That may seem like busy work to many interns, but for one young designer, dreaming up shop windows is a dream come true.

Attention to Detail takes Center Stage
Seattle native Ryan Conover found his obsession with shop window displays on a trip to New York. Now, the fifteen-year-old combines fashion and art for hip Seattle boutiques like Zovo Lingerie. His current display takes Robert Tonner fashion dolls and miniature clothing designs that include pieces of stockings and picture frame mirrors, and transforms them into a winter scene, complete with Ice Queen. Store traffic rose 16 percent with the new display, according to The Seattle Times, and Zovo owner Victoria Roberts couldn't be happier.

For young designers in hip Seattle, versatility is key. It may mean specialized work and long hours, but getting a new design into the public eye is worth the work.

Sources:
"Spit up on a rock star" by Pamela Sitt for The Seattle Times
"Shop window reflects teen's design dream" by Monica Soto Ouchi for The Seattle Times

About the Author
Amelia Gray is a teacher and freelance writer in San Marcos, TX. Amelia earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Arizona State University.