COLUMBUS, Ohio — There is a definite buzz surrounding this year’s Fashion Week Columbus.
“I’m super excited because it’s just another year of showcasing the amazing talent that we have in Columbus, Ohio,” said Thomas McClure, executive director and founder of the fashion event which he started 13 year ago.
McClure on Friday announced the 2022 headline designer first on Wake Up CBUS. It's Natalia Fedner, who grew up in Bexley but now works in Los Angeles.
“She’s an amazing and very unique designer that deals with a specific type of textile and she’s dressed up Beyonce, J. Lo, Shakira, Kim Kardashian,” McClure said with excitement. “And she’s doing that in LA representing Columbus, Ohio.”
Fedner told Wake Up CBUS anchor Angela An her first celebrity clients were Jennifer Lopez and Pamela Anderson, who bought out Fedner’s entire first collection.
“It is an entirely metal textile that stretches in six directions,” Fedner explained while holding a piece of her fabric. “So left, right, up, down, but also backwards and forwards. And what that does is it allows it to take on a shape of whatever you put it on almost like sand.”
Fedner said she now has a patent on her signature stretch metal which has graced major fashion magazine covers and other celebrities like Cher, Sharon Stone, Lenny Kravitz and Taraji Henson.
“I have to credit my parents,” said Fedner. “They’re both engineers so I think I have a bit of that engineer brain.”
Alla Fedner, Natalia's mother, showcased some of the art pieces her daughter worked on as a child while growing up in Bexley.
“I supported her always,” Alla said. “She was very good at things like jewelry from the age of two.”
She added that the aspiring designer would often cut up t-shirts and other clothing that fueled her passion.
“This is why we came to the country and I’m so proud of Natalia because this is what it’s all about to come to American to follow your dream,” Alla said.
Fedner was only 4 years old when her parents left Ukraine to start a new life in Ohio.
The family struggled at first and found it hard to accept help early on. But Fedner said the kindness of strangers is why the Bexley graduate is hosting a fundraiser during Fashion Week Columbus for refugees fleeing the current war in Ukraine.
“I feel that the best thing we can do when we’re feeling helpless is to do something and there’s so much that can be done,” Fedner said with pride as she reflected on her past growing up as a child refugee.
“I’m so grateful to Fashion Week Columbus for giving me this incredible platform where I can continue to spread awareness and fundraise and do it in my hometown,” she added.
Click here to learn more about Fashion Week Columbus and the nine other designers who will grace the runway with their new collections.