Have you met Isabella Rose Taylor yet? This mega-talented young fashion designer launched her first collection at age 12(!) in 2012 and has been turning heads all over town ever since. Her style reflects her Austin, TX, roots, with comfortable, slightly boho pieces that make the most of crochet, fringe and patterns pulled from Isabella’s paintings (yeah, she’s a painter, too). We especially love her take on Western-style shirts. They look great with slouchy track pants, and even better with a flirty skater skirt. She even gave her own TED talk at TEDx Hollywood this year. Oh, and she’s a member of the high-IQ society MENSA—no surprises there.
So you can understand why we’re beyond excited that she’s doing an exclusive back-to-school collection for Nordstrom! You can shop the collection in two weeks (don’t worry, we’ll remind you), but while you wait, we thought you might like to get to know her.
She took a break from getting ready for her first show at New York Fashion Week to answer five quick questions about her inspirations, her plans for the future and what other young designers can do to make it in the fashion industry.
Q: Your fall collection has definite grunge influences. What were your inspirations and how did they show up in your designs?
A: My Fall 2014 collection does have a definite grunge vibe with hippie elements. My inspiration for this collection was “Urban Camper.” I wanted it to be cozy and cool. My inspiration came from a mixed media piece that I did a few years ago. I actually combined this piece into the clothing and used it as a jumping-off point for my color story.
Q: You recently got to meet one of your style icons, Charlotte Ronson, on the Katie Couric show and you were invited to Charlotte’s studio. What was it like to hang out with one of your heroes in person?
A: It was beyond wonderful to meet Charlotte Ronson. It was a great experience to see how she works in her studio and what her inspirations are for her collections. I am always grateful for opportunities to learn more about fashion.
Q: Where do you see your line in five years? Any plans to move into the luxury space and give Alexander Wang a run for his money?
A: In five years I would love to become an international brand, expand into accessories and continue to inspire and mentor other young people. I would love to move into the luxury space and maybe do a collab with Alexander Wang. 😉
Q: Tavi Gevinson recently said about graduating from high school that she’s looking forward to people talking to her about her work, not about what it’s like to be a young person doing interesting work. What do you think about that?
A: I actually have talked about this on several occasions. I know it is a novelty that I am designing fashion at a young age but I would love for people to look at my work and like the work without referencing my age.
Q: Many of our readers are working on a project to develop their own fashion line this year. What advice do you have for new designers, both from a creative perspective and from a business perspective?
A: There are so many areas to explore in the fashion world. Concentrate on those areas that you love. It may be sewing or pattern making or drawing designs or fashion business, whatever it may be try to learn as much as possible. Find a mentor in your community that can help guide you. Creatively, it is important when you find your inspiration to tell your story. It will take hard work, determination and in my case learning by my mistakes so you must continue to persevere. Lastly, be sure to dream big.