9 who shine: Edge of fashion

Mary Rachel Wolfe considers herself an artsy young lady, but she doesn’t want to limit herself to a canvas.

The Briarwood Christian senior wants her designs to leap off the page, to become tangible, wearable and affordable to the masses.

“I couldn’t see myself just sitting down drawing, so I started reading fashion magazines and I realized fashion is a form of art,” Wolfe said. “People look at fashion as a shallow thing, but it takes more effort than people give it credit for.”

Wolfe, 17, will head to Mississippi State University this fall to major in fashion design with a double minor in art and business.

She’s taking sewing and knitting classes this summer to fine-tune her skills, and she plans to keep scraps of paper in her purse at all times to jot down notes or sketch out looks that inspire her.

“I want to have a running start. I don’t want to get there and be like, “What do I do?’” she said.

An avid watcher of The Learning Channel’s “What Not To Wear,” Wolfe describes her sense of style as “classic cute.” She stays abreast of the latest trends, but doesn’t necessarily follow them.

“I love dresses, something you can just throw on and say, ‘Okay, I feel cute’ instead of thinking about it so much,” she said.

Wolfe said her collegiate studies gives way to endless opportunities. Perhaps she’ll be a department store buyer or a fashion magazine editor.

She doubts she’ll follow the industry’s traditional route.

“A lot of people move to New York or move to California, but I want to stay in the south … maybe Dallas or Atlanta,” she said. “After college, I think I’ll have a better idea of what I want to do, but I’d love to own a shop. That would be so awesome.”