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Inside the Atelier: Isabella Rose Taylor

Apr 24, 2014 01:44 PM EDT
Isabella Rose Taylor
(Photo : Courtesy)

While most middle-school-aged girls are busy gossiping about boys over lunch in the cafeteria or studying for an upcoming algebra test, 13-year-old Isabella Rose Taylor is preparing for the launch of her clothing line at Nordstrom.

The college freshman from Austin, Texas has designed a collection for tweens that will hit select Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com in late August – just in time for back-to-school shopping.

Impressed by what Taylor has accomplished at such a young age, we spoke with the young designer about how she got her start in the fashion industry, the clothes she creates and her plans for the future. Keep reading to see our interview with this young prodigy.

1. How does it feel knowing you’ll soon have your designs on sale at Nordstrom?  

“It feels surreal. I am still pinching myself. It was one of the most exciting things that has happened to me, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.”

2. Tell us about the collection and the pieces Nordstrom selected. What was the inspiration? What type of girl were you designing for?

“Nordstrom is still finalizing their selection of the pieces at the moment. The inspiration for my fall 2014 collection was ‘urban camper,’ a city vibe with a campy twist. It has elements of grunge, hippie and a little quirkiness in the collection. I am designing for the ever-evolving teenager who isn’t afraid to mix and match different styles of clothing.”

3. How did you get your start as a designer? When did you know this was the career path you wanted to take? Who was most helpful to you along the way?

“I have always loved creating things. Although I have always enjoyed fashion, I came to fashion design by way of my art. I have been painting since I was three years old and around the age of eight, I was very involved in working with mixed media. It was at this time I felt it would be a good idea for me to know how to sew. I signed up for a sewing camp and never looked back. I love the entire process of going from an idea to the sketch, the pattern to the actual garment. My parents have been the most helpful along the way because without their support, I just would not be able to follow my passion. I am forever grateful.”

4. What tips do you have for other young designers who are just starting out?

“I always use my motto ‘Blood, Sweat and Glitter.’ It takes a lot of passion and determination (blood) and hard work (sweat) and finally creativity and imagination – the glitter – to make your dreams a reality. I would tell anyone starting out to keep on pursuing their dreams. It takes a lot of perseverance!”

5. What are your future career plans? Where do you see yourself in five years? 10?

“My future plans are to expand my brand – add accessories, shoes, etc. to complete the look of my collections. I see myself continuing to follow my dreams in both fashion and art. Hopefully within the next five years, I will have completed my fine arts degree, as well as branched out into more creative endeavors.”

6. What do you do when you aren’t working? What are some of your other hobbies?

“I love paddle boarding, hanging out with my friends and baking.”

7. What fashion designers do you look up to most? Why?

“I really look up to designers like Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of Rag & Bone for their comfortable and stylish clothes, Isabel Marant for her great taste and cool vibe, Karl Lagerfeld for his creative genius and Marc Jacobs for putting fun in fashion in such a chic way.”

8. If you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

“Yikes. The problem with me is that I can shop anywhere. I can shop at the gas station and find a cool T-shirt. One store for the rest of my life is really tough, but if I had to [choose], it would have to be a department store like Nordstrom where I can find everything I need.”

9. How would you describe your personal style?

“My personal style is a heaping amount of grunge, a little hippie and a splash of quirkiness.”

10. What’s one item of clothing or accessory you can’t live without?

“I cannot live without my button plaid shirts and my iPhone with my headphones.”

FOLLOW: Inside the Atelier, Isabella Rose Taylor, Emerging Designers