Isabella Rose Taylor

For putting the “teen” in teen fashion.

Isabella Rose Taylor
Fine line: 14-year-old fashion designer Isabella Rose Taylor’s designs are edgy enough to appeal to teens, yet modest enough to appease their teachers. [Photos: David Heisler]

At age 8, Isabella Rose Taylor learned to sew. Today, she runs an eponymous juniors’ clothing company, which showed for the first time at New York Fashion Week last September, and she has a deal with Nordstrom, which has been selling her merchandise since last fall. Did we mention that she’s only 14? Taylor’s designs are edgy enough to appeal to teens, yet modest enough to appease their teachers. Her company still has just three employees–herself, her mom, and her dad, and she balances her professional duties while pursuing a college degree in fine arts. “It’s obviously a challenge, but I really don’t see that as different from the same challenge all my friends face,” she says, noting that after school, they have extracurricular activities, too.

Selections from Isabella Rose Taylor’s Spring 2015 collection

Bonus Round

Where or how do you seek out creative inspiration?

I get inspiration from a lot of different things. I’m fortunate enough that I get to travel quite a bit–I just got back from India. I’m inspired a lot by traveling different places. Also, street style is one of the places I get a lot of inspiration. Going to different museums and seeing a lot of art–I find art very inspiring to my fashion. I’m really inspired by music and what I’ve been listening to. Music wise, two of my favorite artists I really love are G-Eazy and the Arctic Monkeys, but it changes quite a bit.

I can remember one time where I was working on a painting and simultaneously working on a couture dress I was attempting to sew by hand. They really started to transform into each other. I didn’t notice until I was about halfway done working on the painting. It had a lot of roses, it had a lot of marks, and focused on the center and the abstract, and I noticed in my dress basically the exact thing was happening. It was really interesting to see how similar they turned out. It was kind of crazy.

What is one thing about your job that you think would surprise people?

I would say how much technical work goes into it. A lot of people think that I do things very quickly or it’s not much work or effort that I’m putting into it. But it’s so much more than just the creative side. I think people don’t realize that there’s so much work that goes into a collection, creating a technical rendering of the piece, and doing measurements and things like that. So basically making a template of a piece, and also there’s CAD design. I’m not an expert in using it but it’s on the trickier side.

What’s your favorite Twitter or Instagram account and why?

One of my favorite Instagram accounts, fashion-wise, is the blogger Weworewhat (@weworewhat). I’m a pretty visual person so I really like to just see images. And her feed is really nice, and she just has amazing style.

Who outside of your field inspires you the most and why?

I’m really inspired by artists. Some of my favorites are Willem de Kooning and Cy Twombly. I really like more abstract and impressionistic art, and going through the history of art those are the two who appeal to me the most. I love how Cy Twombly plays a lots with space; he’s packing the canvas or leaving it very minimal.

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut