By: Leah Parodi
The Kids Rule Fashion Show will return to Omaha Fashion Week in the spring of 2018. This confidence-building, fun fashion camp experience is designed to grow self-esteem, love of the arts and lifetime friends for youngsters and has grown in popularity over the years, becoming a much-anticipated event at this prestigious fashion week.
Omaha Fashion Week (OFW) producers partnered with Junior League of Omaha to create The Kids Rule Fashion Show. All kids who register participate in a free confidence-building and modeling workshop, select the outfit they wear in the show and keep it afterward. Kids Rule participants will highlight the runway this February during Omaha Fashion Week at the Omaha Design Center. OFW, now in its 11th year, is the nation’s fifth largest fashion event, supporting more independent fashion designers than any other organization in the region. OFW nurtures fashion designers by providing mentoring, educational opportunities and a professional platform to showcase their work.
Breanne Ewing is the Vice-President of Business Development at Omaha Design Center and brings a wealth of experience to OFW and Kids Rule. Ewing’s extensive resume and personal connection to OFW ensures that kids registered in Kids Rule are learning from the best.
Kids Rule is a family affair as Ewing and OFW Producer, Brook Hudson, are cousins. “Brook’s first job ever was working for my mom, who was a Director for National American Miss (NAM),” said Ewing. “Brook will tell you that she learned everything about event production from my mom, and so did I!”
Ewing is a graduate of Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles and worked in the Fashion & PR industry. She started out as an assistant to a celebrity stylist and then moved onto the other side of the business, doing PR for fashion designers and celebrities. “It was amazing and I have some crazy stories,” said Ewing. “I found my way to LA Fashion Week and as I was working with them, Brook was growing OFW back home. Today OFW is the 5th largest in the nation, I’m so proud of Brook!”
Ewing and her husband are both Omaha natives and after a decade of being away, decided to come back home. Ewing and her husband, Ryan, own BlackFox Productions, Inc. and produce, staff, market and consult for over 200 authentic events each year, nationwide. Ewing has also taken over NAM responsibilities from her mother. “It’s what keeps us the busiest as over 20,000 girls participate across the country annually. We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Omaha Design Center, The Downtown Club, and of course, Omaha Fashion Week.”
Kids Rule Fashion Show is a joint venture between OFW and the Junior League of Omaha (JLO). “I’m actually involved in both organizations so I get to wear two hats with Kids Rule Fashion Show. I’m the VP of Business Development for OFW and I’m the Vice Chair of the Kids Rule Fashion Show Committee for JLO. So, I’m really overseeing all elements from the production side with OFW to the fundraising side with JLO.”
Ewing said that it is really special for her that Kids Rule bridges three aspects of her life together (NAM, OFW and JLO). “The outcome is incredible; providing a platform for kids to gain confidence, introducing them to arts and fashion and the level of community impact is tremendous.” Ewing said that Kids Rule is growing in popularity and has participants from as far Minnesota and Missouri.
The popularity and success of Kids Rule comes from a program that encourages so much more than striking a pose. “Anytime a parent can get their kid on stage and in front of an audience is incredibly impactful. Kids Rule provides an authentic introductory to that.” Ewing told the story about a girl who signed up to do Kids Rule last year and refused to go on stage. “It was so overwhelming to her and she had never had an opportunity like this before. JLO and OFW did a tremendous job of guiding and helping her to achieve confidence by taking the time to focus on just her. She eventually got the confidence to get up on stage and she worked that runway! She was the first one to sign up to do the show again for this year.”
Kids Rule is for both boys and girls ages 5-12 and will take place on February 24 and 25, 2018 at the Omaha Design Center. “Each participant gets to literally RULE the runway! Participants pick out their own garment from a digital look-book. The garments are locally sourced, so we’re able to involve local designers through this event as well.” Participants attend a rehearsal where they work with OFW and Develop Model Management to learn basic modeling skills such as getting up on stage, working the runway and reinforcing their confidence. “After the rehearsal, it’s showtime! Participants hit the runway while their family and friends cheer them on. In the meantime, backstage, kids are engaging with one another, doing different art projects and making new friends.”
“At the end of the show, each participant walks away with new friendships, a new-found sense of confidence, experience in modeling and performing on stage in front of an audience, possibly a new interest. And they get to keep the garment they modeled. It’s pretty cool if you ask me.”
According to Ewing, the local community had been asking OFW to do something with kids at the Fashion Week level for years. Meanwhile, the Junior League of Omaha hosted the American Girl Fashion Show fundraiser. “The two came together to create something modern and forward thinking. It was really an easy decision because both have a mission to impact and improve the community. OFW strives to cultivate creativity and nurture young talent and The JLO mission is to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women and improve community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”
Ewing said as Kids Rule is one of the largest fundraisers the League produces, it enables JLO to make a significant community impact through its multiple projects, such as Project Hope Pack, A Book of My Own, Done-In-A-Day, and R.I.S.E. (Resilience, Independence, Strength, Empowerment). “The JLO membership has provided over 2 million dollars to local causes such as these and over 1.4 million volunteer hours. Kids Rule Fashion Show makes a significant impact in allowing the Junior League to continue to give back.”
For more information on how to get your business or child involved, please visit; National American Miss at www.namiss.com, Omaha Fashion Week at www.omahafashionweek.com, Kids Rule Fashion Show at www.kidsruleomaha.com and the Junior League of Omaha at www.jlomaha.org.