School of Communication and the Arts

Fashion student wins award from Olsen twins

By Jennifer Abbey, '12

Grace Buckley, a fashion design major, has always been a fan of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, so when she found out about their fashion competition, she just had to enter. Little did she know she would be the grand prize winner a few short months later.

For the contest, Buckley, '12, had to design a look for the Olsens' Olsenboye collection, a lower priced tween line for JCPenney. She also had to write an essay about why she wanted to win.

The judging process narrowed down looks from all over the country to the top 25. The group was then narrowed down to the top 10, which were then put online for public voting.

"I wasn't expecting to get in the top 10, so when I did I was telling everyone I knew to vote for me every day," Buckley said.

When it came time to find out the grand prize winner of the competition, Buckley saw on the website that she had not won. She decided to call the contact at JCPenney to thank her for the opportunity anyway. But Buckley received more than an op­portunity. The head of the competition told Buckley that there was a computer glitch, and she was actually the real winner.

"I had told everyone I didn't win and a week later she told me that I did so I was freaking out," Buckley said. "It was like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory."

Buckley heard about the competition from a friend on Facebook.

"A friend from home was like, 'Look it's Mary-Kate and Ashley, you should just apply,'" Buckley said. "I was so bogged down with everything else, but I did it anyway."

For winning, Buckley received a chance to have her look in the Olsenboye line, a $1,000 JCPenney gift card and a trip to New York City for her and two others. Buckley, along with her mother and sister, then went to the Olsens' showroom in New York, and Buckley got to walk through their design process. She also got to see designs that would soon be released for both Olsenboye and their high-end line, Elizabeth and James.

"They are really down-to-earth," Buckley said. "They intro­duced themselves and I was thinking, 'You really don't need to tell me.'"


Buckley hopes to get a job at Elizabeth and James after she graduates in May.