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Designer shows off debut collection with a focus on diversity and inclusion at Portland Fashion Week

Janelle Arnold had a 10-look collection from her newly launched fashion line 'Dorotheaa' at the event.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Fashion Week is all about bringing the fashion community together. As part of that, a young and Portland-based emerging designer's work hit the runway.

While Janelle Arnold may be starting small she's already inspiring some big changes. The 24-year-old always had a knack for fashion.

"I remember even being in elementary school and drawing little figures and outfits — they weren't great but it was a start," explained Arnold.

From those humble beginnings, the Grant High School graduate went on to study fashion design at Marist College in New York. A year ago she launched her own fashion line called Dorotheaa, which features very colorful, bold designs with focus on diversity and inclusion.

Credit: Tim Ward Photography
One of Janelle Arnold's designs on a model at Portland Fashion Week 2022

Arnold said that this collection, and what it stands for, was an important mission for her.

"Just for one, growing up I didn't see a lot of diversity in the fashion industry," she said. Arnold said she hopes to bring change to the industry.

The first step toward change started with a 10-look collection that was worn down the Portland Fashion Week runway. The bold and colorful looks illustrate Arnold's passion for diversity in size and models.

"I love having clothes for all women of all body parts," she said.

Making fashion an option for everyone is what organizers at the event like to see on the catwalk.

"Dorotheaa's collection doesn't only focus on diversity of colors and fabrics, and models were intentionally chosen to highlight that diversity," said Liz Starke, the emcee at Portland Fashion Week.

While the event marked Arnold's debut collection, it certainly won't be the last. She's headed to San Diego Fashion Week in October to show off a brand new collection, hoping to inspire others along the way.

"Who are potentially younger or coming up behind me," said Arnold, "so (they) see that, 'Oh this is something that I can pursue, this is something that I can do, cause I see people that look like me or have a similar background as me.'"

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