A young fashion designer presents her collection at the Omaha Fashion Guild meeting | Culture

A woman wearing a pink beaded head ornament peeked out from behind a curtain at the front of a small, intimate room on the third floor of the Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Omaha. The woman, wearing a long black dress and long pink gloves, was one of the models in the group of six that evening who wore Le’Mario Somerville’s latest fashion collection.

Somerville is an 18-year-old designer based in Omaha. He has shown designs in the Omaha Fashion Week fall shows this year and last year. He presented his latest collection, seen at this year’s Omaha Fashion Week event, at the Omaha Fashion Guild on September 15. The event, hosted by the Fashion Arts Collective, raised funds and awareness for regional fashion designers in Nebraska.

At the meeting, Somerville explained his creative concept and that he gets most of his inspiration for his designs from nature.

“When I was growing up, one of my interests was watching Animal Planet, especially the butterfly episodes,” Somerville said. “Butterflies undergo a metamorphosis, and I think that’s just a really good metaphor for my collection. You can invent yourself and become the person you want to be through my creations.

Somerville’s passion for fashion began when he watched “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” with his sisters and saw all of the celebrities’ outfits and their interactions with famous designers.

“We were watching ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ together, and there was this designer, Olivier Rousteing, who is the creative director of Balmain,” Somerville said. “I loved his designs and wanted to create something like them one day. Then I started sewing in the first year of high school, and haven’t stopped since.

Somerville especially remembers the first garment he designed for his niece’s first birthday.

“It’s probably my favorite piece of clothing I’ve ever made,” Somerville said. “However, one thing I will say is that I will never make children’s clothes again. Every time I took her measurements, she moved all around. It was worth it in the end, though; she was so excited to wear it and she looked like a princess.

While Somerville is well known for designing, he does all of the marketing and photography for his collections and models his own clothes.

Tasloach Wol, also known as Taz, was a model at the last Omaha Fashion Week and a guest at the Fashion Guild meeting. Although he doesn’t wear any of the Somerville designs, he still admires them from afar.

“Le’Mario is only eighteen years old, and he has already achieved so much,” Wol said. “He doesn’t just design clothes, but he also models them and he’s just a really cool guy.”

Currently, Somerville is taking a year off from school, but he is far from done with his fashion career. He wants to attend University of the Arts London – Central Saint Martins or Polimoda, a fashion school in Florence, Italy.

“I really want to get out of the States and explore fashion in different countries,” Somerville said. “Then, after finishing my studies, I want to find a job as a creative director for a large fashion house, then for my own brand.”

According to Somerville, fashion is reaching new heights and he wants to be part of the revolution for better fashion.

“Right now, I think we’re in a renaissance in fashion. People are focusing on sustainability and inclusion, and there are plus-size models on the catwalks, which no one thought was happening a few years ago. years,” Somerville said. “Fashion is getting better and I want to be part of a better industry.

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