Filed Under:  Entertainment

LSU student-turned-model returns to NOLA Fashion Week

8th October 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Kelly Parker
Contributing Writer

As the Big Easy anticipates another week of all things fashion, a new local success story returns to the growing popular venue, NOLA Fashion Week. Last year, Darian Ellis was chosen as a model, after seeing an ad for the event in her hometown of Baton Rouge. Soon after walking the local runway, the LSU student found herself contending for the top spot in Tyra Banks’ renowned modeling competition. Ellis appeared on America’s Next Top Model cycle 19/College Edition, now airing on the CW.

NOLA Fashion Week/Spring — Summer ’13 takes place October 13-20th; with fashion shows, shopping events and educational workshops held throughout the CBD.


“NOLA Fashion Week was the catalyst for my interest in the fashion industry, “she told The Louisiana Weekly. “I had absolutely no experience but I knew immediately that I wanted to make modeling a career for me. I am forever grateful to the entire team of NOLAFW and it feels great to return and have more fun working with everyone.”

The hit CW show recently said goodbye to Ellis in what is stated as the closest elimination of the season so far; the vote came down to mere tenths of a point separating the social media scores of Ellis and University of Texas student Yvon­ne Powless.

“‘America’s Next Top Model!’ was such a great experience for a model that is just starting like me,” Ellis says. “I met amazing people and gained the right exposure to assure myself that I want to make modeling a career choice.”

NOLA Fashion Council (NO­LAFC) has quickly become a driving force behind the current growth of the Fashion Industry in New Orleans. This biannual event provides southern born/or based designers a platform to gain experience, increase sales and make professional contacts. A forum is also provided for designers, models, hairdressers, makeup artists, and various industry professionals to grow and showcase their talents. NOLAFC works closely with designers, connecting them with resources needed to grow their businesses.

Ellis is pleased that her home state has begun to gain recognition as a force in the world of fashion.

“I think that it fantastic that New Orleans is making waves in the fashion industry,” adds the 22-year-old. “Usually you only hear about New York or Los Angeles when discussing fashion; but speaking as a true southern girl, I’m excited that NOLA is emerging in the business.”

Since the initial season in March 2011, NOLA Fashion Week has produced over 80 events in the greater New Orleans region, showcasing designers like Sophomore NYC, The dope. Game, Jolie & Elizabeth and Brennan Manuel, just to name a few.

To provide continuing education for professionals in the region and to teach new skills to the fashion-focused community, NOLAFC has hosted over 28 educational workshops during NOLA Fashion Week, as well as throughout the year. Workshops were led by industry experts from brands including Vera Wang, Anthro­pologie, J. Crew and Tommy Hilfiger.

This year; Ellis will not only walk the runway, but she’ll take part in a modeling seminar as well.

“I’m really excited about hosting the Model Workshop,” she says. “I’ll be able to meet the models in a fun and comfortable setting to answer questions and help with runway advice. I’m so excited! I’m also looking forward to seeing the new collections and walking in the shows.”

To check out the shows, and learn more about the upcoming workshops and events, visit

This article was originally published in the October 8, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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