Meet the 14-year-old fashion designer balancing work and school as she gets ready to show at Panama Fashion Week
The Miami-born teenager, who has been home-schooled since age 11, made her first dress – out of soda cans – in 2010 after struggling to find an appropriate Halloween costume; and hasn’t looked back since.
‘If I was to go to regular school, I would have no time,’ Ludovika told MailOnline. ‘The flexiable schedule allows me to design. Work and school, it is important to balance both.’
With supportive parents standing behind her (Ludovika’s mother manages as well as funds her namesake line), the 14-year-old hopes to one day be based in Paris showing alongside fashion industry heavyweights.
‘My parents back me up with everything I do,’ she said. ‘I’m very fortunate to have a mom who is constantly there, who I can work with as a team to make it happen. She does a lot of the creative directing with me, we collaborate together.’
The lithe blonde, who models her own collections and hopes to peruse a modeling career – her ‘second passion’ – once the label takes off, developed her interest in fashion at a young age.
With a television-producer mother, Ludovicka grew up surrounded by costumes, models, photographers and make-up artists, which gave her confidence to ‘do something of my own’.
‘Instead of going to a store to buy things, I wanted to create something more creative.’
Now, the teen fills customs orders starting at $1,000 for a dress, and with her upcoming show at Panama Fashion Week on October 12th, she hopes to eventually move into ready-to-wear.
‘I am passionate about haute couture, which allows you take out your creatively,’ she said. ‘There is so much time, detail and effort involved. Clothes can just be clothes, but haute couture is like art. I love making art, which is why started my line.’
For her first runway show, Ludovika says she is simply extending and expanding her current spring/summer 2014 collection which draws inspiration from the razzle-dazzle of the Sixties. ‘I have a taste for glamor and femininity. Colors inspire me, unusual materials and jewels.’
After being invited as a guest international designer (thanks to some exposure from a CNN interview), Panama Fashion Week is covering costs for Ludovika’s runway show, which she is ‘beyond’ grateful for.
The Miami-born teenager (pictured) who has been home schooled since age 11, made her first dress in 2010 after struggling to find an appropriate Halloween costume; and hasn’t looked back since
The teen fills customs orders starting at $1,000 for a dress, and with her upcoming show at Panama Fashion Week on October 12th, she hopes to eventually move into ready-to-wear
‘Its a growing fashion week – the biggest fashion week in Central America,’ she said, unable to contain her excitement. ‘It has a lot to offer, so much potential to grow into something bigger. It’s a great country and a great opportunity.’
But it hasn’t always been so easy. Ludovika, who wears heels every day and has a penchant for ‘movie star’ gloves and bouffant wigs, was bullied when she was younger for her eclectic style.
‘In middle school I had my own style, my own ways,’ she recalled. ‘I was bullied for expressing myself and not being afraid to stand out. But everyone experiences it at one point, it’s so common in the U.S.
‘I want to show people it doesn’t matter what people are going to tell you, what matters are your dreams. if you want something to happen, at the end of the day you only have yourself. You have the choice to play your life as your choose, it’s a blank canvas.’
With an upcoming 15th birthday, Ludovika is excited to grow as a designer, but admits she wouldn’t mind staying ‘young’ a little longer.
‘I want to stay 14 forever,’ she laughs. ‘But I’ll be fine. At 15 it kind of changes, you have a little bit more impact when you tell your age, especially in the fashion world. I can say: ‘I’m 15!’ Instead of people saying, “She’s really young”.