Teenage fashion designer Isabella Rose Taylor debuts fashion line at Nordstrom's and shows at New York Fashion Week

Teenage fashion designer Isabella Rose Taylor debuts fashion line at Nordstrom's and shows at New York Fashion Week

A teenage fashion designer has taken inspiration from painting and colours to create a new clothing collection that's hitting stores

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At only 13, Isabella Rose Taylor is racking up impressing achievements in the fashion world.
At only 13, Isabella Rose Taylor is racking up impressing achievements in the fashion world.
Photo: AP

Isabella Rose Taylor has been painting since she was three. At the age of 9, she took a week-long sewing class. She wanted to include textiles in her artwork.

She quickly discovered a love for fashion design, taking the class twice more that summer. Now aged 13, her debut fashion line will go on sale at top US shop Nordstrom's this autumn. She's also set to hold her first show at New York Fashion Week.

"It just started out as a really fun hobby and it grew into a business over the years," says Isabella.

"I just really fell in love with it the way I fell in love with art, and I realised that I just had so much fun connecting the two."

Start with the colours

At her home in the US state of Texas, Isabella has converted one room into an office and another into a studio.

In her studio, Isabella takes inspiration from an abstract painting she did when she was younger - it included reds, greys, blues, mustard yellow and neutral earthy tones.

She's created an autumn line with a "street grunge vibe" and a "modern hippie" feel.

"It all started with the colours of the painting for me," she says.

Jennifer Jackson Brown, a corporate merchandise manager for Nordstrom, says Isabella's line was a good fit for their juniors section. She says Nordstom wanted to work with Isabella after seeing her on TV.

"What we really liked about her is that she is actually the age of the customer, so [they can relate to her]," Jackson Brown says.

Jackson Brown adds that she was impressed by the way Isabella could explain how each piece works with the other, to build a complete collection.

"I think sometimes what a designer misses is that people want to understand how to dress head-to-toe and she was able to do that," Jackson Brown says.

Serious about fashion

Isabella's autumn collection includes "shorties", high-waisted shorts that can be paired with leggings and boots. There's also a flannel jacket featuring one of the details she likes to include: a tiny American flag button on the pocket. And a jersey baby-doll dress even features the painting that inspired the collection.

Isabella says that after taking the sewing classes, she gradually got more serious about fashion, making clothes for friends and designing a collection. She eventually got a handful of items produced and started selling them online and at markets. Now her fashion line is produced in Los Angeles.

Designing for her peers

Isabella went through school quicker than others, graduating from high school at 11. She's now attending community college. Her mother, Sherri Taylor, says it was clear from an early age that her daughter was very good at art.

"When she was really young we really noticed how she played with colours and it was just very unusual," she says. "We knew that something was happening so we just kept buying her more colours."

"She's tried a lot of different things and some things stuck and some things didn't, but art and fashion have been consistent."

Jennifer LaTorre-Daly, who has worked in the fashion industry for 20 years, joined Isabella's team last autumn. Her task is to get Isabella's clothes into major shops.

"It's a great concept ... she's designing for her peers," LaTorre-Daly says.

Isabella says that even though her schedule can be hectic, she enjoys it and feels like she has a good balance of school, art, fashion and just hanging out with friends. And she points out that she has friends who are just as busy with interests like acting or dance.

"The way I see it is I get to follow my dream and be a teenager at the same time," she says. "I think I'm pretty lucky in that respect."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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