New York’s Fashion Week is a symbol of runway-ready success for clothing designers set to make it in the style industry. This year’s fashion week, which runs Feb. 7 to 14 and serves as a preview of fall fashion lines, will feature top designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Diane von Furstenburg, Donna Karan and Vienna teen Amanda Daucher.
Daucher, a Madison High School senior, is scheduled to show a shirt she created with designer Stacy Igel during Igel’s fall collection unveiling on Feb. 13.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Fashion Week,” Daucher said. “It’s really amazing because not everyone gets to do that and it kind of shows you’ve made it [in the fashion industry].”
On Jan. 9, Igel, whose label is “Boy Meets Girl,” posted a video announcing Daucher as the winner of the “Boy Meets Bloglovin’ Girl” contest.
“I could tell how much thought and effort [Daucher] put into her contest entry. Especially with her video, you could see the passion in her eyes,” Igel said, adding that Daucher beat some 50-plus applicants for the opportunity to work with Igel and go to Fashion Week. “The way she talked about her design inspirations and long-term goals for herself, I saw a lot of myself in her when I was younger. She’s driven, talented and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work with her at this early stage in her career.”
For the contest, Daucher said she submitted a video of herself discussing her inspirations as well as what she likes about Igel’s design style.
“She does a lot with charity and her style is casual edgy and chic,” Daucher said. “My style is kind of everything.”
Daucher and Igel have been video chatting since the contest announcement, collaborating on the design of the shirt they will show Feb. 13. As part of her contest win, Daucher receives a trip to New York and a $250 gift card to Lockerz, a partner in the contest. She will also get a back-stage glimpse of life as a designer.
“It’s real world,” she said. “I really want to be a stylist... I really want to be on [photo] shoots for a magazine. I want to pick the clothes for the shoot.”
Daucher was tight-lipped about the design of the shirt she helped create for Fashion Week, but did say, “It’s kind of on the casual side. You could wear it to school or wherever.”
Daucher flies to New York on Monday.
“[Igel] is done with the garment so when I get there, we’re going to style it... try to make the garment look its best [adding accessories and pairing it with pants or a skirt],” Daucher said.
While Daucher attends high school at Madison, she travels on school days to Fairfax Academy for Communications and the Arts, which is located in Fairfax High School. The academy offers students attending Fairfax County public schools professional learning opportunities in fine and performing arts like fashion design.
Fashion design instructor Jin-A Chang said she teaches 45 students this year. Each student must apply and demonstrate their interest to gain entrance into the program.
“It’s always been a competitive atmosphere, but it’s a friendly kind of competitive,” she said. “They all grow together, so when they see others achieve something, they think they can too.”
Chang said the Internet has provided students more opportunities to compete with their peers as well as promote themselves than when she was a teen. Chang previously worked for design lines like Vera Wang and Puma, before moving to Virginia and becoming a teacher.
“I’m hoping when [Daucher] goes to New York, she will network, she’ll meet lots of people and get an idea of what she wants for a career,” Chang said.
Daucher is already making a name for herself through her blog “Fearless Beauty 17,” on which she posts entries about three times a week and has about 3,000 followers.
“I like to talk about different fashion trends and make up tutorials.”
The teen was also accepted, her junior year, to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.
Igel said the contest offers her an opportunity to work with up-and-coming talents.
“The driving force behind this contest is our Boy Meets Girl University Program, which supports students who wish to explore fashion and design and might not otherwise have the resources to break into the industry on their own,” she said. “I also like to think of myself as a mentor for these aspiring students; so the door is always open for them to contact me in the future.”