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Kids share limelight in Rock the Runway

Kids share limelight in Rock the Runway

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Goodwill’s Rock the Runway Fashion Show competition is back this year with seven new designers and more designs than ever before.

Each of the designers was given a $200 Goodwill gift card and a $50 Visa gift card to spend to create 10 looks from materials found in Triad Goodwill stores, Goodwill marketing specialist Laura Schaefer said.

Among the 10 looks, each designer created at least two designs for children ages 5 to 15 — one regular outfit and one made with paper provided by the News & Record in the Unconventional Materials Challenge. “We kind of let them use their own creativity,” Schaefer said.

The designers will debut their work at the fashion show at Elm Street Center Friday in the hopes of winning a $1,000 prize.

Schaefer said two new prizes were added to the mix this year: a $250 judge’s choice prize and a $250 best child’s design prize.

The winners are chosen through a combination of online votes, live-audience votes and a panel of five judges — including last year’s winner, Nhi Tran.

All proceeds from the event will go to Goodwill to support its mission to help those in need find employment opportunities.

Meet the designers:

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Designer Alycia Hill

Alycia Hill

Originally from: Greensboro

Age: 20

Occupation: Junior at UNCG, majoring in apparel product design

Why RTR? Hill went to the show last year and was inspired to be a designer in this year’s competition. “I’m always looking for an opportunity to showcase my work,” she said.

Inspiration for child’s design: Her collection has a red carpet theme, and she was inspired by a floral shower curtain she found at Goodwill for her child’s design. “I really didn’t have a specific look I was going for,” she said. “It was just whatever I could find in the store.”

Challenges: Hill said it was a challenge to craft a design out of a material already made and also keep the look age-appropriate. “Some of my designs I would like to show a little more skin in some places,” she said. “I wanted someone who was still considered a child but could wear a more mature look.”

Passion for fashion: Her earliest memories of designing were when she used to take her mom’s old jeans and make them into purses.

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Justin Clark

Originally from: Greensboro

Age: 23

Occupation: Part-time student at UNCG, majoring in apparel product design

Why RTR? He went to the show last year and was excited about all of the different designs he saw. “I like the idea of being able to show what I’ve got to offer,” he said.

Inspiration for child’s design: His collection theme is cosmic icon tour. His child’s design was inspired by singer Ariana Grande’s fun and young personality. “Something spunky but still kind of spacey in a way,” Clark said.

Challenges: Clark tried to keep his designs age-appropriate, and he said it was a good opportunity for him to learn how to adjust hem lines and add sleeves onto the designs. “You always want to make sure the designs are appropriate,” he said. “(Celebrities are) not always as modest as children should be.”

Passion for fashion: Clark said he remembers using his younger sister as his first model when he started designing clothes in sixth grade. His dream is to become a celebrity costume designer.

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Pang Kou Chang

Originally from: Wisconsin

Age: 22

Occupation: Senior at UNCG; majoring in consumer, apparel and retail studies

Why RTR? “Several of my classmates were part of the competition,” she said. “The idea of having to recraft, it’s challenging…I never pushed myself to where I would completely remake something.”

Inspiration for child’s designs: Chang was inspired by her childhood memories of playing dress-up with her mom and sister’s clothing. Her collection is themed “Let’s Play Dress-Up” and features six child’s designs. “Every little girl will have a certain character,” she said.

Challenges: Finding enough young models for all six designs.

Passion for fashion: “It’s like a language that I can only understand.”

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Cleo Faucette

Originally from: Pittsburgh, Pa.

Age: 43

Occupation: General manager at Omega Sports

Why RTR? “I just thought it was such a wonderful way to show your creative side.”

Inspiration for child’s designs: She wanted to create an age-appropriate kids’ version of a princess dress. “I want them to show a girly but covered side of themselves,” she said.

Challenges: Faucette said she had only done women’s fashion before, so it was challenging to strike the right balance for a younger age group. “You don’t want it to be too immature, but you don’t want it to be overly mature,” she said.

Passion for fashion: Faucette lived close to the fashion industry in Los Angeles for 10 years and has been designing for 20 years. “I love the hustle and bustle of the fashion industry,” she said.

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Uvana Doran

Originally from: New York

Age: 35

Occupation: Service provider for Communities in Schools in Guilford County, fashion design teacher

Why RTR? Her friends told her about the fashion show, and she decided to check it out.

Inspiration for child’s design: She created a retro jacket inspired by the Harlem Renaissance for her 10-year-old son Johnathan to model at the show.

Challenges: Doran said she is used to designing for adults, so her main goal was to create a look that her son would be comfortable wearing — as kids tend to value comfort over style. “We’ll (adults) be a little more uncomfortable for the sake of style,” she said.

Passion for fashion: When Doran was little, she would take some of the white ruffled socks she wore to church to make dresses for her Barbie dolls. She said her mother would go to take out the socks and would find some of them missing.

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Taylor Rutledge

Originally from: Danville, Va.

Age: 22

Occupation: Junior at UNCG, majoring in consumer, apparel and retail studies

Why RTR? Although she had no portfolio, Rutledge said she at least wanted to try to enter the competition. Goodwill contacted her after another student dropped out of the competition, leaving an open spot.

Inspiration for child’s design: Inspired by her love for Disney movies, Rutledge based her collection on “Alice in Wonderland” and the Queen of Hearts, a theme she thinks is kid- and crowd-friendly. “I made a lot of dresses, but more fun, more costume-y,” she said.

Challenges: Rutledge said she strove to find a stylish but modest design for kids. “I didn’t want the clothes to necessarily look like kids wear,” she said. “I wanted them to be appropriate but not juvenile.”

Passion for fashion: She said she remembers having her mom subscribe to her favorite magazines and looking at designs on the Internet. “All the cultural influences around me really inspired me,” Rutledge said.

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Chloe Bacot

Originally from: Raleigh

Age: 22

Occupation: Senior at UNCG, majoring in apparel product design

Why RTR? Bacot has volunteered as a model and a stylist for the show in previous years. “I figured I was familiar with the show,” she said. “I’ve done every other role.”

Inspiration for child’s design: Her collection has a 1960s beach vibe to it. Bacot said she liked the polka dot print and tried to create a look that could be worn as a dress or as a beach cover-up.

Challenges: “I’ve only done children wear one other time … I’m used to sitting in the studio and trying on the clothes as I go,” she said. “It was me kind of reverting my mind to what a younger girl would want to wear and feel comfortable in.”

Passion for fashion: Bacot said she remembers keeping a notebook full of designs in elementary school. “My whole family knew I’d be in fashion,” she said. “I always loved to shop and play dress up.”

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