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As the parent, I am well aware of the role that fashion plays in the life of my daughter. She is a creative spirit and putting together an outfit that expresses her individuality comes naturally to her. Usually, she’s working with a variety of pre-manufactured labels to produce an amalgamated outfit which pairs pieces perfectly with each other; every item complementing the next.

However, her creativity doesn’t end with what she can buy off the rack. Her sketchbook reveals a number of original outfits that she has designed herself and would one-day love to produce for the real world.

West Seattle is blessed to have a place where young entrepreneurs like my daughter can see their dreams become reality, and the designs created for their personal clothing line come into being.

From imagination to reality

Former Conan O’Brian costume designer and Capitol Hill business owner, Maresa Cogger founded Miss Reese Fashion Club in 2014, after returning from her time living in Los Angeles where she graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Her business, the Miss Reese Fashion Club is a highly acclaimed arts class that offers specialized training for kids ages 6-13 via after-school enrichment programs, weekend workshops, and summer day camps for youth K-8 grade at Gatewood, Lafayette, Arbor Heights, Pathfinder K-8, and Fairmount Park. Additionally, Miss Reese teaches the occasional all-ages event such as the “Masters of the Sewing Machine” recently offered at the West Seattle Art Nest, and the upcoming tween workshop scheduled for August (check the Miss Reese Fashion Club Facebook page for location dates/times).

Currently at 5 different West Seattle schools her program is open to students in the 1st grade and beyond. Classes generally take two forms ~ the first titled “Sew your Way to the Runway” in which students are given a theme to inspire a design, (such as candy land). Students start out by “shopping” for fabrics/trims and then generating a variety of concept sketches. Miss Reese then meets with each student one-on-one to help them select one of their concepts to turn into reality. The rest of the course focuses on garment construction and culminates in a runway show.

The second class curriculum is the “Fashion Workshop” with classes designed to tackle a variety of projects and style courses such as hat design, custom print messenger bags, and accessory designs.

Miss Reese says her biggest joy is watching her students learn and grow as designers and individuals. “I wasn’t sure if a fashion design education program was something that people would respond to and I feel incredibly lucky to have been embraced by the west Seattle community!” She says.

When asked what her biggest hurdle to program success might be, she says that without a doubt it’s “finding enough time!” She would love to spend more one-on-one time with each student.

“When I have large classes I need to be laser focused on helping them bust out their design as quickly and accurately as possible, which can get a little stressful. I could always have them simplify their designs to make my job easier…but I’m usually pushing in the opposite direction! What else could we do??? Do you need a clutch or a belt?? I hate watering-down ideas!”

Miss Reese would also like to see more boys in the class. “Generally, my classes tend to fill primarily with girls, but I’m a firm believe me that Fashion Design should be open to all regardless of gender.” She says.

What’s really amazing is that this industry-level fashion & design program is designed, taught, and managed by Miss Reese alone. She is thankful for the partnership with West Seattle Art Nest and would like to form more community partnerships, but for now she is performing as a one-woman super show.  “The West Seattle Art Nest owners have shown endless love and support for my program. The creative space that they provide is such an incredible benefit to our community.” Miss Reese stated.

The best way to keep up to date is on current and an upcoming class is to check the Miss Reese Fashion Club Facebook page.

Additionally, follow Miss Reese on instagram: @missreesefashionclub
If you want to be the first to know about upcoming class offerings you can subscribe to mailing list by sending a brief email to: maresacogger@gmail

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