Talent Knows No Age: J.Crew's Youngest New Designer

For all of you Pinterest fiends who have fallen in love with the world of do-it-yourself crafts, take a second to imagine what it would be like to follow one of those links and teach yourself how to refashion an old t-shirt or sew your own shorts out of a cool new fabric. The sense of accomplishment at being able to follow those step-by-step instructions for fashioning your own clothing is an exciting feeling for any religious Pinterester. Some avid fans of do-it-yourself fashion even take their love for design a step further, following their idol Tim Gunn and other aspiring designers on Project Runway. The dream that you might someday work for a major design house is always out there.

They say that many of the talented individuals who go on to work with major designers have some kind of inborn talent. While the hard work they inevitably put into their career is clear, most of these designers show off that X factor, the kind of flair for patterns and fashions that convinces their audiences that their clothing really is something special. In the case of Mayhem, a four-year old designer who now has her own collection at J.Crew, that talent is definitely there.

Before going any further, take a moment to soak that all in. Four years old. Instagram famous. Hired by J.Crew. Sorry, what?

Anyone who’s been a fan of the classically preppy styles that J.Crew is renowned for can attest to the fact that while this design house knows how to stick to the tried and true designs that work for them, they are not necessarily opposed to taking risks. The thing is, what most of their adoring public didn’t see coming was the latest addition to their crew—four-year-old Mayhem from Ohio.

Mayhem, a nickname derived from her free-spirited approach to life, gained Instagram fame through her genius paper recreations of various awards show dresses, from Lupita Nyong’o’s red-caped wonder by Ralph Lauren to Jennifer Lawrence’s stunning Dior Haute Couture gown. The designs she and her mother, Assistant Paper-Dress Maker Angie, have come up with helped her land her latest gig: designing pieces for the J.Crew Crew Cuts Summer 2015 collection. The Crew Cuts children’s collection brings together the classiness of the label with the colorful and exuberant nature of being a kid, which is the kind of thing that Mayhem’s paper dresses mimics almost to a T.

With the help of J.Crew’s longstanding patternmaker Fukuji Honda, along with various other J.Crew team members, Mayhem’s paper dress creations are turning into the next big thing in childrenswear. J.Crew’s team watches in awe as this toddler sensation accessorizes the paper cutouts with jewels, and uses materials like gold gift-wrapping tape to add patterns to the paper.

As Mayhem twirls and dances around the studio, everyone can see that this is a four year old who is only just realizing the depths of her own talents, and is having the time of her life watching her jewel and glue creations showcase the kind of out-of-the-box creativity that could be inspiring trends for years to come.

Lauren GuldanComment