It’s a quiet Sunday morning as you roll out of bed. It’s the perfect kind of morning waking up with the peace of mind knowing you’ve accomplished your entire weekly to-do list.
You pour yourself a cup of coffee and curl up in your favorite big, fluffy blanket as start scrolling through various apps on your phone. Because when do you get time to watch all those funny YouTube videos everyone tells you about or finally read all the articles you saved earlier this week?
Then it happens, just like that, your do-whatever-you-want Sunday dreams are destroyed. You somehow managed, and you don’t even know how it’s possible, to forget about a major task on your to-do list.
You totally thought it was done days ago, and now you’re freaking because you know if you don’t start on it ASAP, you’ll never get it done.
This happened to Elda Doamekpo. She thought she already applied for Kansas City Fashion Week when she started designing. It turns out she forgot to submit the application. Luckily, they emailed Elda a week before the deadline to tell her they really wanted her in the show.
With an entire collection to make before she could submit the application, Elda’s teacher told her to wait and apply next season because there was no way she could get it done in time.
Elda could have waited, but she didn’t. She made a collection in three days and spent the rest of the week perfecting her presentation. She was accepted and showed her collection that spring.
“Never let anyone tell you can’t do something,” she says. “When you love what you do, there is no stopping you.”
Elda was born in West Africa and moved to Omaha when she was six. Growing up she remembers how much her mom hated taking her shopping.
“I’m honestly a shopping addict, and I buy everything in sight, she says. “So I thought if my mom won’t buy me everything, then why not start making it myself.”
So in seventh grade, when Elda took home economics, she started materializing her idea. She learned how to cook, make pillows and pajamas shorts. She says that’s how she learned to sew. After that, she bought her own sewing machine and started repurposing her old clothes.
Fast forward to today, Elda is in her second year at the University of Nebraska at Omaha majoring in business. She also started classes for her associate’s degree in fashion design at Metro Community College this September.
Metro’s fashion design program launched this fall and concentrates on business skills and the practical knowledge needed to enter the fashion industry.
When Elda’s not busy taking classes, she is making collections for her label AFIELDA. She makes two collections every year and has since her sophomore year of high school.
Her target market is women 18 to 35 years old who like to be social and fashion-forward. She tells me her designs are either modest or edgy.
“If I could design every collection with leather, I would,” she says.
Elda understands how to mix soft and hard elements really well. Her designs have a feminine touch usually with lace. She also excels at designing garments with the right portions.
Her eighth collection, inspired by fashion in Africa, will show at Fashion Gala Events 2nd Annual Fashion Show on Nov. 11 at the Holland Center. (link to tickets)
For future collections, Elda wants to create structural garments. She plans on attending the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles upon graduation to learn the necessary technical skills for apparel construction.
She also plans to design more for herself.
“With previous collections, I’ve mainly done it to please people,” she says. As I’ve gotten older, I understand fashion better and it’s more personal. Hopefully, what I design will inspire someone to follow their dreams or make someone feel better about themselves. It’s something I want to inspire Omaha to do.”