These talented competitors will compete for both the title of Top Designer and Yelp People's Choice Awardee.
Designers will show on Wednesday, March 22nd at the Civic Theater.
A published runway and print model, Brittany Henderson earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences with a concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising from Mississippi State University. Throughout her matriculation, Brittany has interned for Gypster Veil Boutique in Starkville, MS and designer, Blaine Bowen, in Dallas, TX and has earned numerous awards including being named a Top 20 Finalist in Cotton Incorporated’s 2014 24 Hour Runway Design Contest. Inspired by her love of Burlesque and Chicago, Brittany strives to create garments that are risqué, yet, gives her clients the confidence they seek.
New Orleans native Itchel Spears moved to Miami to pursue a degree in fashion design. He graduated in 2014 with an Associate Degree in Fashion Design from Miami International University of Art and Design. Itchel’s aesthetic can be described as contemporary, minimal and innovative and he draws inspiration from art, architecture and contemporary culture.
Jamie Rogers earned a degree in Apparel Design from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has received accolades for her design including, but not limited to: Outstanding Graduate for College of the Arts, Best Hand-Tailored Jacket and NOFW Decades Design Competition Finale Winner. She is a loving wife to her college sweetheart and mother to her daughter, Saige Tailor. She describes her esthetic as crafty and unexpected with inspiration from her Cajun heritage. Look for smocking, quilting and appliqué, as they are Jamie’s stand out talents.
Jane Elizabeth Gressaffa
Jane Elizabeth Gresseffa began designing at 16, advancing from making purses to eventually designing her prom dress. She then attended LSU and studied apparel design, placing first and second in multiple categories. Gressaffa strives to create a local brand with garments that merge creativity and functionality to perfectly match the uniqueness of the women wearing them.
Kiyada Upshaw graduated from LSU with a BS in Apparel Design. She began designing at the age of nine and cites watching America’s Next Top Model as the catalyst for her career inspiration. She describes her work as transitional pieces that can go from work to evening for the woman on the go. She merges her two fashion loves: boho and work wear to create versatility. She strives to make her wearers feel feminine, confident and most importantly to feel like her authentic self.
Mary Virginia Ayres
Mary Virginia Ayres currently studies Apparel Design at LSU, while minoring in French and Business. She finds inspiration in all the natural and created beauties around her, but also in the power that clothing has in what it can represent and how it can transform the people around them. Ayres loves to incorporate fun details into garments such as cutouts hand painting and studs to appeal to the liveliness of the young adult generation. She cites her relationship with God as her driving force and the inspiration for her NOFW collection.
New Orleans native, Mimi Holaday is a spirited designer with experience spanning the industry, ranging from fashion styling, modeling and design of lingerie, textiles and knitwear. She has traveled to far reaching places such as Guatemala, China and France. She has learned the fashion practices of other countries including the fair trade principles of Antigua, international manufacturing in Hong Kong, premium denim production in Italy, and Haute Couture in Paris. Her 13 years of experience led her to create Halo MIMI in 2016 based out of her hometown: New Orleans.
A current junior at LSU, Sakeenah Ashiru has known her whole life she wanted to design clothes. Armed with a particular fascination for textiles, she began to teach herself how to create beautiful clothing. Self-taught, she came to LSU to refine her skills and study entrepreneurship. She then went abroad to China where she learned of different cultures and ideologies that enhanced her ability to design and understand the industry. Ashiru derives her design esthetic from the environment and culture she is immersed in. She aims to design elegant clothes at are refining to the body.
Native of Livingston, Louisiana, Victoria Cleveland is a menswear designer and tailor. She designs for a confident, trendsetting young leader with a life and love of luxury. She mixes prints, patterns and vibrant colors with non traditional fabrics and transitional silhouettes. Since 2014, Victoria has interned with Christien Kollection, assisting with design, tailoring, and fashion presentations. This summer, she completed a fashion internship with Perry Ellis International in New York City. In August 2017 she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Textile Science, Apparel Design and Merchandising with a concentration in Apparel Design.
Viviana de la Rosa
Viviana de la Rosa made her fashion debut at NOFW Revolution Series in Summer 2016. Viviana’s interest in fashion piqued while studying abroad at L'universite Catholique in France, where she researched women's clothing of the 17th century. She went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree in French from Dillard University. Viviana finds inspiration from the history of women’s fashion in New Orleans and the way the women of New Orleans have paved the way for trends, arts and culture around the world. Look for Native American, Creole and Southern feminine influences.
Victoria Henley appeared as a top five contestant on cycle 19 of America’s Next Top Model and has worked with designers/ publications including Mara Hoffman, Nicole Miller, Nylon Magazine, Vogue Italia etc. She has applied the knowledge and her own creativity to create The Victoria Henley Collection, in partnership with Ramona Eads, owner of the couture brand Kassidy's Kloset in Chicago, IL. The line, which first debuted at New York Fashion Week has been featured in Obscurae, Sheeba Magazine, and Model Lifestyle Magazine in Miami. Henley's design aesthetic is inspired by her travels across the US and the large variety of sights, fashion and art she encounters along the way.