Teen fashion designer honored for her work

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A deal with Simplicity Patterns, Macy’s department stores, her own sewing book and DVD and an upcoming fabric line, and she’s only 16 years old.

A deal with Simplicity Patterns, Macy’s department stores, her own sewing book and DVD and an upcoming fabric line, and she’s only 16 years old.

Meet Sara K. Trail, a Chicago-born fashion designer who prides herself on standing out.

Before she hit her teenage years fashion was always on her mind, admiring the works of top notch designers such as Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and the late Alexander McQueen, who Trail said holds a special place in her heart because his designs were “out of the box” and he went “above and beyond fashion.”

Her passion led her to get a coveted spot at the San Francisco Academy of Art for a semester.

“They let me in based on my background so that was definitely fun,” Trail told the Defender after being honored recently during the Rainbow/PUSH annual convention’s Business Luncheon.

Trail’s first book Sew With Sara has been in bookstores for the last three years and was born after her and her quilting mentor Eleanor O’Donnell attended a book fair. There was a table with a sign that read: “If you want to write a book, come see me.”

Three weeks later she made the phone call and the rest is history.

“They’re like ‘we’ve been waiting on you!’ I was like, I’ told you!’ So we make an appointment like two days later so we come in they’re blown away.” Sara recalled the conversation she had with her mother.

The teen, who now lives in California, also has a DVD, “Cool Stuff to Sew With Sara.” Teaching sewing to her peers was an idea she credits to her pastor, Henry L. Kelly of Grace Temple Church of God in Christ.

“He bought 10 sewing machines at Walmart. So every Friday night, I would teach all the kids in my church,” she said.

Trail has received many accolades for her work and also serves as a teen entrepreneur speaker. She was a keynote speaker at the Oakley Unified School for District Girls’ Summit where she spoke on “How to Find and Develop Your Hidden Talent and earned 1st place for Junior Delta Quilters Award for her quilt, “At The Feet of Jesus.”

Like McQueen, Trail likes to create designs that set a different bar.

“I made these mini backpacks for me only and I wore [them] to school and then everybody else was all ‘Sara I want one, Sara can you make me one?’ I said this is my swag,” Sara joked, adding, “So my styles are definitely out there.”

With all the success, Trail admits it can get tiring, but said her family and friends keep her grounded, and, she knows that sacrifices must be made. She keeps her eyes on the prize.

After high school, she plans to attend Stanford University in Calif. or University of California – Berkeley and study forensic science and possibly minor in fashion.

Until then, you can watch our for her fabric line with Fabric Quilt and new patterns with Simplicity that are scheduled for release this fall, she said.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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