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Designer Showdown

Fashion Week New Orleans Top Design Competition


What has quickly become Fashion Week New Orleans signature event is gearing up for its fourth Top Design Competition. After careful review of over 50 applicants from cross the Southern region; the top ten finalists have been selected to showcase opening night (March 19) on FWNOLA runway. Fashion Week New Orleans’ Top Design Competition takes place in conjunction with its annual spring designer and retailer runway shows March 18-23, 2014.

Fashion Week New Orleans names it's 2014 Top Design Finalist - Emerging Designer Dominique White.
Submitted Photo
Ashley Gunkel, FWNOLA 2013 Top Design Winner
Photographer Gustavo Escanelle

The competition exposes designers to the fashion industry professionals, retailers and aficionados with the winning designer receiving an amazing prize package. The prize package included retail placement in Hemline, Metairie Rd, a Brother’s sewing machine courtesy of, a consultation package with NOLA Sewn, a feature in Amelie G Magazine, a photo shoot with Gustavo Escanelle, and a featured designer placement at FWNOLA 2015.

For many of these emerging designer’s this will be there debut showcase on a runway that is equivalent of NYFW and front of an audience of tastemakers This year lineup promises to be more exciting than ever as the designer have been working diligently to bring an impressive collection to FWNOLA 2014!

Meet the Emerging Designers:

Dominique White – A native of Hattiesburg, MS, is a senior at Loyola University studying Visual Arts. Her aesthetic focus is directed towards creating timeless, yet standout fashions for women.

Jose Luis Rodriguez – Born in Barquisimeto Edo. Lara, Venezuela; Jose moved to New Orleans over ten years ago. He studied Art, Graphic Design, and Interior Design at the Universidad de los Andes. His design inspirations are derived from people, places, and the performing arts.

Katharine Faust – Found a home in New Orleans after studying in Savannah, GA, Los Angeles, CA and Aix-en-Provence, France. Katharine has a B.A. in Painting from East Stroudsburg University and an M.A. in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. She combines her knowledge of visual design, graphic elements, and painterly style to her fashions to create wearable looks and reserved statement pieces that evoke a sense of beauty and confidence.

Lauren Ospina – Born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Her first major move away from home was when she got accepted to study Fashion Design at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta, GA. Her design aesthetic can be described as clean, sharp, linear shapes and styles.

Nichole Steuart – A native of Houston, TX and a 2010 graduate in Fashion/Apparel Design from Louisiana State University. Because of her love for the environment, she has always been interested in sustainability within the fashion industry, as well as working with discarded apparel and textiles.

Nikki Manuel – A quintessential southern belle who hails from Birmingham, AL and now resides in Baton Rouge, LA. Nikki’s goal is to produce fashions that are representative of the Southern region – classic, timeless, with a modern silhouette and luxurious fabrics.

Romey Roe – A native of New Iberia, LA. He studied fashion at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His design aesthetic focuses on custom-made garments to enhance the feminine mystic. His main inspiration is from people of all walks of life as he truly sees the beauty in all things.

Sandhya Garg – Before settling down in Birmingham, AL, Sandhya polished her skills at International design studios training at Alexander McQueen. Bold color combined with contrasting textures, elements and hand craftsmanship define Sandhya fashion aesthetic.

Shannon Warren – A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama where she studied Apparel and Textile Design at The University of Alabama. Shannon grew up adoring the costumes of her favorite music artist and dreamed of one day designing for them.

Tiffany Langlinais – A transplant to New Orleans by way of the Mississippi coast; she has always been inspired by her home roots & Southern upbringing. Her aesthetic reflect the culture and character that surrounds her.

Fashion Week New Orleans 2014 Schedule of Events*
March 18 VIP Patron Party Hosted at Harold Clarke & Rubenstein
March 18 FWNOLA Kickoff Party & Introduction of TDC Semifinalist
March 19 TDC Semifinal & Runway Shows
March 20 Runway Shows
March 21 Fashion Career Day
March 21 Runway Shows
March 22 Retail Therapy Day
March 23 Fashion Awards Gala & Fashion Show
(*Subject to Change)

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