UNL fashion student Alexis Harris wants to make women of color feel beautiful


Alexis Harris
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Alexis Harris created her first ensemble when she was in sixth grade. It was a long, pink gown with rhinestones that traveled all the way up the side.

“I thought it was the best thing in the world,” Harris said.

Harris, a freshman textiles, merchandising and fashion design major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said she always knew she would be involved with art and fashion because it fits her personality. She sketched designs of clothing at a young age and eventually taught herself how to sew.

Up until recently, Harris said she has mostly created clothing for herself, but now she is ready to share her creations with others.

From elegant skirts to metallic bodysuits, she said she has made a little bit of everything.

Harris said she gains a lot of inspiration for her style and design through her Instagram account, aminasart. She said scrolling through her feed of artistic accounts and famous models helps her pinpoint her own personal style.

“It’s about finding your style and what type of clothes you want to create,” Harris said. She said she is beginning to discover common themes throughout her designs and clothing.

Harris said her clothes feature a lot of vibrant colors and interesting patterns. She also said she enjoys working with older clothing or unfamiliar concepts and putting a new spin on them.

In the future, she said she wants to incorporate traditional African prints in her creations.

“It would be really nice to see some African prints, but with more of a grunge or street vibe,” Harris said. “I like taking older pieces of clothing, or concepts, and bringing them back to life.”

Harris said she wants to create clothing for people who are usually not showcased in the fashion industry.

“I want to show the world that these people are the other faces in fashion,” Harris said.

Harris said she would love to put her creations on people of different sizes and looks to empower them and to highlight their beauty.

She especially wants to target people of color who have low self-esteem.

“Growing up I wasn’t always happy with the way I looked, so through my designs and photography I can show people like me that they are beautiful,” she said.

In addition to fashion design, Harris said she has always been interested in modeling.

“I’ve been wanting to be a famous supermodel for so long,” Harris said.

Harris said she has done modeling for Omaha Fashion Week and individual photographers. She also found a way to combine both of her talents by wearing her original creations during shoots.

Calla Kessler, a junior journalism major at UNL with a focus in photojournalism, photographed two shoots with Harris this year.

Kessler said she met Harris while photographing the Black Lives Matter rally at the Nebraska Union last fall.

Kessler said she immediately thought of Harris when searching for models to be featured in her photo essay titled “LEMONADE,” which is inspired by Beyoncé’s most recent album.

“‘LEMONADE’ is an album Beyoncé made for black women,” Kessler said. “She wanted to make them feel beautiful, powerful, confident and worthy.”

Kessler said she knew Harris would be perfect for this shoot because she encompasses the same feeling of self-love the album promotes.

“She knows exactly what to do as a model,” Kessler said. “I never have to tell her which expression to make. She knows the exact look to make my vision fit.”

Kessler said she believes Harris has the determination and talent to succeed in the industry.

“With her cutting-edge style, I can see her designing clothes and also working them on the runway,” she said.

Harris said she could see herself doing either design or modeling, but she isn’t sure which path to follow yet, or where her talents will lead her.

“I don’t like it when people tell me I can’t do something,” Harris said. “I want to show people that whatever you put your mind to, you can do it.”Read more at:celebrity dresses