When people think of Omaha, events and places like the College World Series or the Henry Doorly Zoo may come to mind, but for young fashion designers, models and event coordinators the city has a lot to offer in Omaha Fashion Week.
University of Nebraska senior Colt Paulsen said that he went from modeling in the event his freshman year to emceeing (acting as Master of Ceremony) Omaha Fashion Week’s student night.
It was really full circle,” Paulsen said. “My first time walking in fashion week was on student night,and now I’m ending my college career emceeing student night.”
Paulsen is from Cozad, Nebraska, a town of less than 4,000 people.
“I never would have thought that Omaha could offer so much, but it’s basically just been meeting people, getting in touch and just doing anything you can,” he said. “That was my mindset, just experiencing as much as possible before moving and graduating.”
Paulsen said he began his Omaha Fashion Week journey with Develop Model Management, a modeling agency that provides casting for the event. Through Develop Model Management, Paulsen moved into the field of entertainment news when he had the opportunity to cover Omaha Fashion Week as a red carpet correspondent for Develop TV.
Paulsen said that because he’s graduating with a journalism degree he “might as well use it.” He also said that while his absolute dream job involves being on a reality TV show, he’s passionate about working for E! News.
“I definitely think if it wasn’t for modeling, I would be like ‘what the heck am I going to put on my resume?’” Paulsen said. “I’m into entertainment news and I want to move to Los Angeles after I graduate and report on the Kardashians, host the Grammys or direct carpets—that’s my dream job.”
While he’s set his sights on Los Angeles and E! News, Paulsen said that Omaha Fashion Week is a great way to grow experience within the industry.
“I think Omaha Fashion Week is a gem in Omaha, and if you want to get into the fashion industry, the entertainment industry, the event planning industry—you’d be silly not to take advantage of it because they offer so many opportunities and volunteer work,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen has some advice for anyone who may want to participate in Omaha Fashion Week.
“If you put it out there and you say what you want, you need to be open and patient,” he said. “If nothing comes quick, you just need to be patient and just let your work do the talking for you and take any opportunity you can.”
The 11th annual Omaha Fashion Week ran Feb. 27 to March 3. The shows included “Metro Community College Student Night,” “UNL Student Showcase,” “Methodist Survivor Show presented by Xenon,” “ASPIRE Emerging Designer Showcase” and “INNOVATE Featured Designer Showcase.”