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Fashion designer hits stride - at 13

By Associated Press in Austin, Texas ( China Daily/Agencies ) Updated: 2014-08-29 07:16:44

Fashion designer hits stride - at 13

Isabella Rose Taylor with her artwork and clothing designs at her home. [Photo/Agencies]

At the age of 9, Isabella Rose Taylor - a painter since she was 3 - took a week-long sewing class with an eye toward incorporating textiles into her artwork. She quickly discovered a love for fashion design as well, taking the class twice more that summer. Now, at 13, her line is debuting at Nordstrom stores this fall and she's set to hold her first show at the New York Fashion Week.

"It just started out as a really fun hobby and it grew into a business over the years," Taylor says at her Austin, Texas, home, where she's converted one room into a studio and another into an office.

With inspiration from an abstract mixed-media painting she did when she was younger that includes reds, grays, blues, mustard yellow and neutral earthy tones, Taylor created a fall line with a "street grunge vibe" and "modern hippie" inspiration. "It all started with the colors of the painting for me," she says.

Jennifer Jackson Brown, a corporate merchandise manager for Nordstrom, says Taylor's line was a good fit for their juniors section.

"What we really liked about her is that she is actually the age of customer, so there's that relatability factor that she has," Jackson Brown says. "She's quite aspirational for them at the same time."

Jackson Brown says they were not only impressed with her "keen sense of creating", but also with her ability to explain how each piece works with the others and how the collection came together. "She's actually quite a visionary at the age of 13," Jackson Brown says.

"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.

Taylor's fall collection includes "shorties", high-waisted shorts made of a soft knit 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. A jersey baby-doll dress and a henley tunic dress feature the painting that inspired the collection.

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