2015 Winner: Lauryn Tankersley

I am Lauryn Tankersley, a Junior at Fairview High School in Cullman and the 2015 Rising Design Star Challenge Winner. From a very young age I have had a desire to design and I feel like creativity is one of my strong suits, so when I was asked by my high school family and consumer science teacher to enter a design into the challenge, I was all for it. With it being my first time to enter, I had no idea what an exciting experience I was in for. To see my sketches come to life, displayed at the museum, then walk the runway was amazing and for my designs to be chosen as the winner was incredible. Being part of BFW has been an inspiring experience and has encouraged me to pursue a degree in design and to follow my dreams to be a part of the design community.


Sarah Forêt, eighteen-year old student and designer from Huntsville, Alabama hails from a long line of talented artists in her family. After competing in Birmingham Fashion Week for two years, in 2014, she was awarded First Place in the Rising Design Star Challenge sponsored by Buffalo Rock. Sarah has also interned with CFDA-achieved menswear designer, Billy Reid, attended summer intensive courses at Parsons: The New School for Design in New York City, and awarded Second in State at Trumbauer Theater Competition for Costume Design. To learn more about Sarah, visit her blog at  sarahforet.weebly.com . 


A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Anna Gregory Bloomston, “Annie” is finishing her senior year at Mountain Brook High School. Annie has always been inspired by fashion, design, and fun creative projects. Back in 2009, just before her 13th birthday, Annie started a small business called, “Annie B. Boutique” where she designs and produces hair and jewelry accessories that are sold in a few boutiques across the country. She recently got a taste of the fashion world by designing a dress using non-traditional materials for Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Star Competition where her “pop art dress” won 1st place in the people’s choice awards at The Birmingham Museum of Art as well as 1st place in the Rising Star Competition. She continues to surround herself with the fashion design world when she was an intern at Heidi Elnora Atelier and also getting to see the latest trends at Shoefly, a distinct boutique in downtown Homewood. Annie’s love for design has inspired her to continue her education in fashion and she is hopeful to someday be a part of this exciting world!


Sarah Valin is seventeen years old and the winner of the 2012 Rising Design Star Challenge. Her passion for design and using it as a tool for innovation has compelled her to participate and become a member of several different art organizations. Sarah is a member of the National Art Honor Society. She enjoys volunteering at local art shows, participating in advance placement art, and most importantly partaking in Birmingham Fashion Week. Earning the title of Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star only confirmed my vision of creating my own clothing line in the future. I hope to continue involving myself in what I love—fashion design—at a design school in New York City in the fall. As for right now, however, I am enjoying spending time with my friends and family, blogging, and continuing to design clothing.