It’s Saturday morning in the Mower household, and 12-year-old Grant looks the part of the typical suburban preteen. He wakes up late, throws on jeans and a striped polo shirt, tames his bed head, and greets me in the living room of the family’s Flower Mound home. But Grant Mower is no typical sixth-grader. The budding fashion designer recently won a Terry Costa prom dress design competition against 11 high school- and college-aged competitors. His winning dress (which was constructed with help from Mom) will be reproduced and sold at Terry Costa in 2012. But Mower didn’t stop there; he debuted two new eveningwear looks at a Fashion Group International of Dallas awards ceremony in November. He plans to have a complete collection soon.
Mower’s interest in objects of beauty showed itself early on. As a toddler, he was fascinated by snow globes and Swarovski crystals. By the age of 7, an appreciation for luxurious dresses had begun to emerge, and, soon after, the fashion sketching began. “I couldn’t stop. I was drawing three to five gowns a day,” he says.
As one might imagine, the youngster’s enthusiasm for fine apparel was not shared by his classmates. Mower got so sick of the teasing that he tried home-schooling for three weeks. But he missed his friends and worried about the extra pressure on his parents, who were already busy raising four kids. He went back to school, finding inspiration in a biography of Coco Chanel.
Today, Mower continues to develop his aesthetic, which he defines as simple, elegant, and effortless. His designs are created for “the socialite who wants to have a ‘wow’ moment without being over the top.” Mower is meticulous about details. From fabrics to seam placement, organza to bias cuts, he knows what he wants.
“Clothes are what you wear; fashion is who you are,” he says.
Bullies, take note: this kid knows who he is. And it’s not hard to imagine a future in which you’ll have to save up to afford one of his gowns.