Photos by Lexie Crawford
Isabel Murphy has always dreamed of hosting her own fashion show. This Highlands senior, who designs and creates her own clothing line, Cheapfit, approached Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent, Dr. Karen Cheser, and Highlands Principal, Matthew Bertasso, several months ago and pitched them her idea.
She wanted to use the school’s space at 20 Grand to host a Fashion and Art gala and invited other Highlands student artists, writers, photographers, and videographers to join her.
After working for a fashion designer for a year, Isabel wanted to put her design skills to the test.
Using what her mentor taught her, she created her own clothing line, branded "Cheapfit". She designed the Cheapfit Brooklyn hoodies sold at the show, as well as all of the unique, one-of-a-kind pieces worn by the models on the runway. Those pieces were designed, hand-dyed, and hand-sewn or quilted by Isabel. The inspiration behind her collection came from her desire to live and work in the fashion industry in New York. Bold colors contrasted with white make the colors pop because as Isabel says, “We all need some color in our lives.”
After high school, Isabel plans to attend Savannah College of Art and Design for Fashion Design, and major in either Advertising or Marketing for Fashion.
Isabel gives credit to her family for being so supportive in helping her realize her dream. Her dad, Brian, helped her put together the show at 20 Grand and her mother, Allison, gave her great advice throughout the process. Her brother Finn, a junior at Highlands, was one of the models, as were some of his friends. She said, “My family is amazing. My parents do so much for my brother, sister (Cici), and me. We are very, very lucky to have them in our lives.”
Select items from Isabel’s collection may soon be for sale. Contact her via Instagram @Cheapfit.Clothing for info.
Six other talented Highlands students were invited to showcase their work before the models hit the runway. Each young entrepreneur set up a booth displaying their work and talked to potential clients about what they do.
Senior Caleb Parks specializes in portrait and fashion photography. In November, his photography was accepted into the Juried Art Show at Xavier University. He plans to attend Columbia College Chicago for Photography.
Senior Sydney Cooper writes free verse poetry and custom poems. She has also published two poetry books, which are available for purchase. She is the editor-in-chief of Highlands High School’s Newspaper, The Hilltopper. She will attend Bellarmine University in the Fall.
Junior Wyatt Richards enjoys landscape and portrait photography. He specializes in videography, specifically promos, documentaries, and short stories, and is an active member in the Highlands Broadcasting Department. His film in the 48-hour Film Festival, hosted by the Highlands Broadcasting Department, won best Film.
Junior Kyley Kunkel displayed her Art III Mini Concentration artwork, collectively themed “Human Emotion.” The pieces individually were titled, “Joy,” “Anger,” “Disgust,” and “Loneliness.” Kyley is too attached to her current pieces to sell them.
Junior Ella Surrey brought some of her Art III class work as well, including portrait and still life acrylic paintings to display her artistic talent. Ella also does commissioned artwork and can be reached at her Insta: EllaSurrey.Art.
Sophomore Lexie Crawford is the Photo Editor of the Highlands Journalism Department. She’s a Scholastic Gold Key Photography award winner and has been selected to participate for the past two years in an exclusive analog photography workshop at Manifest Galleries, entitled The Envision Project. She brought samples of her analog and digital photography to display. Lexie has an active Photography business.
Superintendent Karen Cheser was excited to be at the event to see several of her students wow the crowd with their artistic talents and entrepreneurial abilities. Karen said, “This is why we created this space, to showcase the talents of our students. This is Portrait of a Graduate.”
Models: Cameron James, Sam Burnham, Finn Murphy, Tyler Bracken, Isabel Murphy, Isabella Siska, Kat Suddendorf, Rachel Ray
Student Artists: Lexie Crawford, Ella Surrey, Kyley Kunkel, Isabel Murphy, Sydney Cooper, Caleb Parks, Karen Cheser, Wyatt Richards