YLHS Senior Wins Nordstroms Fashion Design Contest

Photo courtesy of: Maddie Katz

Photo courtesy of: Maddie Katz

Yorba Linda High School Senior and BYMS graduate, Rayah Shapiro,  won a Nordstrom design dress competition and her dress is now being carried worldwide in the retailer.

“So actually I’m in this program through Nordstrom’s called the BP Fashion Board and that’s kinda how I  found out about the contest. So there’s three brands that Grass Plum, which BP at Nordstroms has, so Sun and Shadow, which is their newest one and they’re like Free People for us younger girls like us to afford it because Free People is kinda expensive but I love Free People and then there’s Frenchie which is more of like a ‘preppy cute girl’ and BP is just regular staples and stuff so we got to pick which one we felt best represented us. So when I designed my dress I thought it could go either Frenchie or Sun and Shadow so I thought lace is both kind of beachy and preppy, kinda girly so Nordstrom actually decided to make it Frenchie but that’s kinda how I got my inspiration and I tried to make the dress so It would look good on multiple people, not just a certain body type so I think that I achieved it,” Rayah told the Matador Messenger when she was asked about her inspiration for the dress.

Rayah started wanting to design when she was in 8th grade at BYMS. Her art teacher at YLHS, Mrs.Fritz is very encouraging of her fashion career. “ As far as fashion designing goes, I am more or less self taught. My art teacher in high school, Mrs.Fritz has been super great though. I have had her all four years of my high school career but she was actually in fashion before she became a teacher so she’s kinda helped me out with that and gave me a lot of her old books and she’s just kinda helped me out. As far as my designs go, they’re all me.” Rayah stated.

“ I have made a dress out of Capri Suns and with packing tape to stick it together and then I have also made a paper mache dress. So I did a body form and then I put newspaper on it and then painted that…I more or less draw them. I haven’t made too many things as far as clothing goes except I don’t really know how to sew that well so I’m learning to design and draw but I have made the Capri Sun dress and then a paper mache dress once or twice.” Rayah said.

When Rayah was asked about the duct tape prom dress trend she said “I think those are really cool. I know duct tape is really hard to use actually because if you rip it off and it folds together by accident you can’t get it apart but they have some pretty cool designs so I think that’s cool.”

For Rayah’s prom dress she has a mermaid style gown in mind. She doesn’t want too many sequins and she really likes lace.

“As far as sustainability goes I actually want to make sure all my clothes are environmentally sustainable and I took environmental science last year so all the design schools I am applying to are supposed to be the top sustainability schools, so hopefully they’ll teach me how to be sustainable.” Rayah told the Matador Messenger.

Rayah hopes that this is only the beginning of her fashion career. “I have always wanted to have a career in art but I’m pretty sure fashion design is my main career and i’d love to stick to that throughout the rest of my life.” Rayah stated.