For Jennifer Henriquez, imagining colorful, high-fashion drawings was just a hobby.
That is, until July when the 10-year-old found out that British fashion designer Caroline Oates was interested in making one of her fashion sketches a reality.
“Caroline works interns and students and she likes to reach out to young people to get interested in the artistic side as well as the fashion side,” Jennifer’s mother, Stephanie Henriquez, said. “She reached out and thought it was a really great idea.”
Oates has had her own fashion design business for 18 years in Liverpool, England, but has been interested in fashion since she was 6 years old. Oates said she first saw Jennifer’s work in July and was “very impressed.” She plans to make her design for spring, as the colors are bright.
“I like Jenn’s work because she has a great eye for colour and her drawings have good proportions and lot of the time, fashion drawings on a person take years to learn,” Oates said in an email. “I was very impressed ... [and] she has real potential.”
Jennifer said she has done about 10 drawings or so and enjoys drawing dresses, shirts and skirts. Her favorite color palate as of late consists of blues, purples and a little bit of pink. She said that she does not know of many fashion designers, but said Oates inspires her.
The dress she designed for Oates is a pink dress with ruffles that had dark-colored boots. The caricature had long, flowing hair and a bit of attitude with her left hand propped on her hip.
“I watch fashion shows and look at fashion models,” Jennifer said of how she was inspired to begin fashion drawings. “I just think of drawing a dress and [then] I color with my own coloring.”
Henriquez said Jennifer does not copy or trace anything. She was inspired to reach out to designers and professors after her father saw the drawings and said he really liked them, including a professor at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., and Margie Voelker-Ferrier, a professor in fashion design at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio that teaches design and drawing. Voelker-Ferrier said she found Jennifer’s drawings “charming” and gave her some advice on how to continue to develop her skills.
“For a 10-year-old, they are about right with a bit of something extra in them,” Voelker-Ferrier said. “Now the tough part is practicing to get really good.”
Jennifer said she sees herself in Paris or New York working somehow with fashion one day.