Isabella Rose Taylor – Bella – is a fashion designer about to launch her first collection to a top retailer. That statement, in and of itself, is remarkable and so very impressive. But there’s more remarkable, because Bella is only 13 years old. Yes, thirteen. What’s extraordinary, however, is that when you meet Bella, you aren’t aware of any age; just that you are speaking to a beautiful, creative spirit who is making her dreams happen …
MKG: What was it like growing up in Austin, Texas? What were the influences on fashion?
BELLA: Austin has always been known for its food and music, and now fashion is making strides, as well. Austin Fashion Week is an established annual event, and the city is up-and-coming when it comes to fashion. There are some great designers in Austin, too; Ross Bennett has been very supportive of me.
MKG: What happened when you went to sewing camp at 8 years old? Was a dream born?
BELLA: I began painting when I was three years old. I always loved painting on canvas, and I signed up for a sewing camp so that I could learn to add fabrics and textures to my art and specifically, learn to sew to the canvas. At the time, I was into mixed-media. But I soon discovered how much I loved sewing and making clothes felt natural to me.
MKG: After camp, what were the first steps you took to becoming a fashion designer?
BELLA: I first learned the basics of pattern-making. From there, I began to make all of my clothes and soon, began to make my friends’ clothes, too. A demand for my clothes grew, and I was soon setting up trunk shows in boutiques.
MKG: Do you design clothes that you like to wear yourself?
BELLA: Yes, I design for my own demographic. I began by designing to the tween market because I think that there is a hole there and a real need for someone to speak directly to tweens and teens. Now, I am designing for Juniors, which is the high school and college demographic. My designs are very hippie-meets-grunge, in terms of the colors and graphics that I select.
MKG: Tell me about your upcoming launch in August, for retailer Nordstrom?
BELLA: Nordstrom had heard about me from my national press and were interested in working with me, when we reached out to them. They decided to launch my collection for the Junior market, Nordstrom Brass Plum (BP), at select Nordstrom stores and online. It comes out this August 2014.
MKG: How cool will that feel?
BELLA: I am so honored; this is very exciting for me! One of my goals was to be represented in a large retailer, like Nordstrom.
MKG: Your parents must be so proud of you, Bella. How much has their support meant to you?
BELLA: I would not be where I am without their complete support and understanding. They have always been there for me, especially encouraging me to pursue my dreams while I am still young. They have told me that there is no reason for me to wait until I am older to follow my passion and my dreams.
MKG: Where do you want your dreams to take you?
BELLA: One of my big goals is to expand into shoes and accessories. I am also very interested in inspiring people and mentoring girls interested in fashion. I want them to know that you are never to young to follow your dreams, too.
MKG: What would you tell anyone, including me, about following your dreams?
BELLA: My motto is: Blood, Sweat and Glitter! Blood means the sacrifice and time it takes to make your dreams come true; sweat means the hard work and never giving up, even when things get hard; glitter means to always remember to have fun and stay creative. You will need all three to be successful.
MKG: What would you like people to know about you?
BELLA: I would like people to know that I am still a normal 13 year old. I am not giving up my childhood to pursue my dreams and a career at this age. Also, you can find a lot of people who will share your interests and feel as you do.
Photos courtesy of Isabella Rose Taylor