Is teenage designer fashioning a career?

Published 5:04 am Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

A Washington teenager with a flair for style and color will soon make her debut as a fashion designer.
Tiarra Blount, a 16-year-old student at Beaufort County Early College High School, will officially unveil her first fashion line Friday evening during a show in the Washington Civic Center.
The event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., and doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is by donation.
Blount’s fashion line, which she’s dubbed Personality, is a combination of dressy and casual pieces. The designer’s love of vivid colors and unusual fabrics is evident.
“I wanted to do modeling, but they told me I’m too short,” the teenager said with a smile. “So, since I love fashion I decided to try designing.”
This isn’t exactly a new venture for Blount.
“I just started getting clothes made this year, but I’ve been drawing clothes since I was little,” she said.
Designing has been a longtime hobby for the teenager, agreed her mother, Chandra Blount.
“She was never into making clothes for her dolls, because she wasn’t really a doll person,” the elder Blount said of her daughter. “But she’s always liked designing clothes and putting together outfits for herself.”
The designer said she’s inspired by music while she’s putting pen to paper and creating outfits. She shops for fabrics in Greenville and Virginia. Local seamstress Shayla Cobb brings Blount’s sketches to life.
The collection includes a jungle-print, strapless top featuring a vibrant, emerald green bodice. Another piece pairs a white top with a bubble-skirt in shades of lime green, yellow and hot pink.
Eight friends, including Alisha Spruill, Britney Watts and Jefftina Johnson, will model the outfits during Friday’s show. Watts has agreed to create hairstyles for each model. Arnetrice Wright, a friend of Blount’s mother, will serve as commentator.
Blount said each outfit will be for sale and, for the time being, all are one-of-a-kind pieces. She’s hoping to catch the eye of a local boutique owner interested in adding the line to the shop’s inventory.
She’s also looking ahead, planning for her next fashion show in six months. Then, she wants to add men’s and boys’ wear to her line.
Like most teenage girls, Blount said, her hobbies include shopping. And she can’t resist comparing the clothing she sees on the racks with what she creates.
“I’ll look at something and know I could do it better,” she said with a laugh.