When her daughter was only 4, Joy Nixon recognized her talent.
“She was drawing stores with little clothes hanging in the store,” said Nixon, a personal fitness trainer. “She was drawing dresses. She loved dresses.”
Now 17 years later, her daughter, Cree Nixon, is hoping one of her designs will make it into a collection from well-known designer Diane von Furstenberg.
Nixon, who went to public schools in Jones County and later in Monroe County through the ninth grade before her family moved to Los Angeles, is among seven women competing on the second season of “House of DVF” that airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on the E! network.
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On Sunday’s episode, contestants are expected to submit a design, and only the best design will make it into a House of DVF collection.
The overall winner of the eight-show series that premiered Sept. 13 will become the next DVF global brand ambassador.
Serving as the ambassador means a host of opportunities from appearances in photo shoots to creative direction in what’s designed for the next season, said Nixon, whose fashion-related work includes illustration, modeling and costume design.
The winner also serves as a source of inspiration for young girls aspiring to a career in the fashion arena, said Nixon, 21.
“The thing with this group of girls is that we’re all so different,” Nixon said. “So whoever wins is going to be a different type of woman who is representing the brand.”
Each would bring a different type of style from exotic to eclectic, she said.
“I would say my style is definitely more bold, artistic and artsy,” said Nixon. “I dress kind of out of the box and create my own trends.”
Joy Nixon said her daughter’s unique sense of style and eccentric personality made her stand out even as a child.
When living in Middle Georgia, Cree Nixon went to Mattie Wells Elementary School in Jones County where she was accepted into the gifted program because of her unique talent, her mom said. Nixon also attended Hubbard Middle School and Mary Persons High School in Monroe County.
The family’s move to Los Angeles was to help foster the interest shared by Cree Nixon and her sister, 17-year-old Kennedy Nixon, in the fine arts, Joy Nixon said. Kennedy Nixon enjoys dancing.
At the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, a high school in downtown Los Angeles, Cree Nixon studied writing, drawing, painting and design, her mother said.
Cree Nixon also has interned at various fashion companies and for different designers in Los Angeles. She was the junior costume director for Debbie Allen’s “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” and she worked personally with the head Bebe sportswear designer.
Now majoring in communications at Santa Monica College, Cree Nixon recalled her mother encouraging her when she was very young.
“My mom kind of made a big deal out of my drawings,” Nixon said. “I knew it was special. ... She’d say, ‘Oh my gosh, this is very specific.’”
As a child, Nixon drew stores filled with shelves of clothes, dresses on hangers, purses and shoes.
“I was really like designing the dresses in the stores I was drawing,” Nixon said.
Nixon said she especially enjoyed sketching prom and wedding dresses -- the latter a passion she still has to this day. She hopes to establish her own fashion house by first designing wedding gowns.
She also has her own fashion blog: https://thefashionintuitive.wordpress.com.
Joy Dixon said she is excited to see her daughter living her dreams.
“It just makes me believe that if you believe, anything is possible,” she said. “You have to follow your heart.”
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.