Make It Yours Designer Challenge

Wednesday, Mar 1st 2017 - Friday, Jun 16th 2017

Oak Park Mall, Kansas City Fashion Week and the Kansas City Fashion Council have teamed up to launch a program showcasing local emerging designers.  Five designers have been selected to participate in the contest, which will feature weekly challenges that showcase their designs at Oak Park Mall. 

The selected designers are:

Maret Cissner - Maret Cissner

Maret Cissner is an emerging designer based in Kansas City, MO. She has gained extensive experience weaving, dyeing, and sewing from her grandmother prior to studying ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute. After earning her BFA in 2013, Maret began applying her knowledge of 3D design and fiber techniques to create garments in her home studio. Recurring themes in Maret’s work are sustainability, functionality, and modernist sophistication. Maret would like to begin sharing her garments with a larger audience and gain entry into the local fashion community. Her target customer is someone looking for a classic design paired with high-quality construction of a garment that will last.


Crystal Brakhage - Crystal Brakhage Designs

Designer Crystal Brakhage graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln in December of 2016. She loves to make women feel confident, comfortable, and powerful. She has participated in numerous runway shows throughout Nebraska and Missouri, as well as Omaha Fashion Week and most recently, Kansas City Fashion Week. Her target customer is a woman age 20-30 who is not afraid to show who she is and be a little different.


Cierra McMichael - Cierra Marie McMichael

Born and raised in Kansas City, Cierra Marie McMichael is an emerging fashion designer with a commitment to provide young women with one of a kind, fashionable EVENTwear. It became a hassle for Cierra to find an outfit for events in KC because no store had what she envisioned. This sparked Cierra's interest in making EVENTwear for young women in the area. Cierra has an Associates in Business as well as a Bachelors in Fashion Design. She primarily focuses on creative product development including illustrations, trend analysis and line creation with a reputation for being detailed, meticulous and designing with sincerity and a strong work ethic. Cierra aims to help Kansas City reestablish itself as an epicenter in the garment manufacturing industry. By designing, making, and selling her garments to the community, she hopes to teach the importance of buying high-quality, American-produced garments.

Rachel Pollak - Rachel Pollak Designs

Rachel is a designer from Overland Park, KS who loves classy modern fashion. She designs for the average busy woman who wants an easy way to be a fashion icon. Rachel has studied at JCCC for six semesters and during this time has developed two collections. The first was shown at the annual JCCC Fashion Show where it won first place. The second is one that will show at the JCCC Fashion show this year. She loves experimenting with different textiles to see how they change the way a woman looks and feels. Rachel mixes textures, colors, and patterns and strives to make a wearable statement.


Natasha Mwashighadi - Shangari

Always having a niche for expressing herself artistically at a young age and in high school, Natasha realized fashion design was fit for her. At fifteen she took the first step to going after her dream career by enrolling in the Fashion Design Program at Johnson County Community College. Currently enrolled, she has participated in the annual show of the fashion program held each year and was the recipient of the second place scholarship award at the show. Simultaneously, Natasha has worked on building her brand and plans to graduate this year in May from the program and from there, furthering her education in fashion in Boston.


The weekly challenges begin Friday, May 5.  The designs will be available for viewing in Oak Park Mall, lower level center court, as well as featured on the Oak Park Mall website and social media sites. In addition to the formal judging by the Kansas City Fashion Council, Oak Park Mall customers will be able to vote for their favorite designs via text each week.  Check back on Friday, May 12 to see view and vote for the first challenge designs!

Weekly prizes will be awarded to the designers, and one grand prize package will include a Designer Runway spot in one of the S/S '18 Collection Runway shows at Kansas City Fashion Week, to be held October 9-14, 2017.