StyleWeek Season 15: Local Girls Create Collections for SEED Student Design Challenge

The girls, ages eight to ten, worked with seasoned designers to bring their creations to life on the runway.

StyleWeek showcases student work every year in the SEED Student Design Challenge, and this year the participants were younger than ever at ages eight through ten. Four local grade school students teamed up with seasoned designers, including Ting Barnard of Tong Collection, Bianca Jones-Pearson of Clothes Horse Clothing and Arianna Buonanno of Arianna Nicola Designs. The designers worked with the girls to bring their visions to life on the catwalk, creating three-piece collections with themes based on lightning bolts, nature and water, Nancy Drew books and candy. The SEED Student Design Challenge often provides students with their first experience of a professional trade runway show. The SEED competition is biannual and held during StyleWeek every February and September. The girls’ designs were judged by an esteemed panel of experts in various industries. Find out who the winner was at the end. All photos by Myke Yeager Photography.

Allegra Catanese

Eight-year-old Allegra is a third-grader from Garvin Elementary and she worked with Bianca Jones-Pearson of Clothes Horse Clothing to create a sponge-painted, lightning bolt-embossed collection that included a blue and yellow lightning bolt-patterned top paired with a black lacy tulle full skirt, a jumpsuit and a belted dress with cardigan. Once the looks headed down the runway, my eyes turned to the chic woman sitting in the front row wearing the same lightning bolt pattern. I assume it was Allegra’s mother rocking the mini-designer’s look!

Designs by Allegra Catanese. Photos by Myke Yeager Photography.


Victory Barnard

Victory Barnard is a nine-year-old fourth-grade student from the Lincoln School, who teamed up with her mother, designer Ting Barnard of Tong Collection. Her inspiration was Friendship, Maine, where she spends summers with her family. The collection was inspired by her Southeast Asian roots, and it had elements of water, wind and fire with sparkling blue and silver sequins, a flowing floral translucent cape and a fiery red sequined number paired with a black, satin cap-sleeved top. When designing the collection, she asked herself the question, “If there was a party to celebrate water, wind and fire, what would each of them wear?” Each model also wore a tiny tulle veil in her hair to complete the look.

Designs by Victory Barnard. Photos by Myke Yeager Photography.




Clare Gloster

Clare Gloster is a ten-year-old designer who paired up with Bianca Jones-Pearson of Clothes Horse Clothing to create her vintage-inspired Nancy Drew-themed collection. Fun peach and mauve fabrics along with a print embossed with shoes were used to unify the three-piece collection. Gloster and Jones-Pearson created wearable, work-ready mod looks that incorporated creative draping and floral embellishments that spice up an outfit without the need for jewelry.

Designs by Clare Gloster. Photos by Myke Yeager Photography.



And the winner is…Ella Ruth Sinel

Ten-year-old Ella Ruth Sinel announced to the crowd that the inspiration for her sweet and spunky collection was “candy.” The Jewish Community Day School student worked with bridal designer Arianna Buonanno of Arianna Nicola Designs to create three garments modeled after her favorite confections. The looks resembled cotton candy, rainbow ribbon candy and what looked like shiny, metallic gum wrappers. The first piece was a purple sparkly cropped top with matching shorts, while the second look was a full skirt with a cotton candy top paired with a matching poufy headpiece. The final number, an asymmetrical gown with rainbow print and pockets, wowed the crowd. Sinel was awarded $1,000 for winning the SEED competition.

Designs by Ella Ruth Sinel. Photos by Myke Yeager Photography.




By the Numbers: StyleWeek Northeast

StyleWeek Season 14: Lincoln School Students Shine in Seedlings Design Challenge

StyleWeek Season 13: Ready-to-Wear Shines on Friday Night Runway