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Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Designers/Retailers

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Each year, the RunUp to the Runway committee seeks out up-and-coming designers poised to make an impact on the fashion industry. After much scrutiny, the best of the best receive the honor of showcasing their designs at RunUp to the Runway — a full-scale fashion event held at the incredible MilwaukeeArt Museum.

Delanie Seamon- The Creative Classicist

The veteran of the group and a native of Milwaukee, Delanie attended Mt. Mary College. Assessing her career options, she knew that the corporate world was not for her, so in good fortune, she opened her own successful boutique in Whitefish Bay upon graduating.

 

In fact, Delaine was not even sure if she could make a career in fashion. She learned to sew at a young age from her mother and grandmother and always considered it a hobby. While studying at UW-Milwaukee to become a speech pathologist with one year left to graduate, she transferred to Mt. Mary for the fashion design program.

 

Currently working out of a shop in the fifth ward, Delaine specializes in custom wedding gowns, bridesmaid and cocktail dresses. She proclaims, "fashion is art, when you wear a dress, it is like wearing a piece of art on your body." Her style emulates old Hollywood with classic, clean lines and a 1940's glam.

 

"The hardest thing about designing is making people think creatively and outside of the box," Delanie explains. To aid in the process, she has created a build-your-own-dress concept consisting of mix and match tops and bottoms to help brides visualize a more unique gown.

 

Her biggest challenge yet has been making her business profitable and getting her name out while trying to maintain an exclusive feel. Find her designs under the label Delaine Couture at Miss Ruby on Water Street or online at www.delainecouture.com.

 

Amanda Ergen - The Sexy Sophisticate

Amanda approaches fashion as an architect, constructing designs around her subjects and perfecting her skills along the way. "I am much more interested in figuring out how things work with hands-on construction; that is what I am passionate about" she exudes.

 

A native Milwaukeean, she attended the fashion design program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which allowed her to spend her last year of study at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. Amanda worked at the Children's Apparel Network focusing on technical design for a few years, but found that there are just so many designers and so much competition in New York City.

 

Adamant about creating a full-time career in fashion in Milwaukee, Amanda recognizes it might be a slow process. She hopes to build up her line at home and make an impact on Milwaukee's fashion scene before traveling with her designs.

 

Amanda calls herself a naturally inspired person, fascinated with the human form and constructions that accentuate a woman's body. She finds no need to sketch her designs; she follows the flow of the fabric and utilizes draping techniques.

 

Specializing in knit dresses and leather clutches, Amanda is on a mission to flatter the female curves, because a body is not meant to hang a dress, a dress is meant to accentuate a body. She strives to produce casual but bold designs with fun details that comfortably transition from day to night. She describes her simple silhouettes as "flirty, feminine, sexy and classy without being one of two extremes - racy or frilly."

 

Producing mostly custom-made pieces, many of Amanda's sales come from word of mouth. Her label is called Mink and she sells her goods at Esselle Style Studio on Milwaukee's east side or at www.minkstyle.etsy.com

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