When you read about established clothing designers, it’s usually revealed that they started their careers at a young age. But not many can say that by the age of 17, they had their original designs carried by an, ahem, international fashion retailer.
Well, 17-year-old Rayah Shapiro of California can proudly say it: Starting in November, her original dress design will be produced and carried in the Nordstrom BP. department, chosen as the winner of the Nordstrom BP. Fashion Board (now the Nordstrom Fashion Ambassador program) design contest held earlier this year.
Rayah designed her first piece, a gown, in eighth grade. You can often find her at the beach (Newport and Laguna are two favorites), so it’s no surprise that she loves bathing suits by L Space, Maaji and Mara Hoffman, and dreams of one day designing her own. And that beachy lifestyle comes through in her dress, a flowy babydoll with breezy open stitching and a yoke scoop back.
With a trip to our Seattle headquarters and meetings with the BP. design teams under her belt, Rayah, now deep into college applications, is well on her way to building her fashion résumé. We took a few minutes to chat with this budding designer. (Now we can say we knew her when!)