ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Age is just a number, especially for 15-year-old Connor Totten, a local fashion designer.
He learned how to sew from his grandma at the age of 10, “It was sort of like an explosion of creativity; everything just started sparking,” he said of the experience.
After that, Totten was hooked. He began sewing and making clothes.
“I actually got to the point where she couldn’t teach me what I wanted to do anymore. So I started teaching myself,” he said.
Totten has been figuring out who he is personally and artistically, and it’s happening fast.
Just three years ago, he had his first fashion show at the age of 12. His friends and mother strutted the stage in the clothes he designed and made.
“It’s really fulfilling seeing them wear something I’ve made and then being happy and enjoying themselves in it,” he said.
He hopes to one day dress some well-known stars too.
“The first few that come to mind are like Rihanna, Lady Gaga,” he said.
He has to graduate high school first, which is part of his plan, and then it’s on to fashion school.
“Here, I have a deconstructed blazer and a mermaid style wire dress,” Totten said as he held up one of his designs for his Spring 2021 line.
For his fifth fashion show, his designs are inspired by Adam and Eve.
“They’ll be walking out here on the patio,” he said, showing me where the models will walk the runway. “It’s all about being attracted to what’s not good for you and how that can affect your mental state and how you present yourself.”
Money raised by the event will go to Jump for Kids FL, a group aimed at helping kids understand the importance of fitness and nutrition.
“If we can build a foundation for the children when they get into high school or when they’re young adults, they’ll be more active and more fit,” said Jeff Pope, President of the organization.
Pope has known Totten for years now. He says the idea for his first fashion show came from a dress Totten made for his teacher when he was in 5th grade.
“It’s very exciting to watch Connor grow up into the young man he is now,” he said.
Pope says that because of COVID, they haven’t been able to get into schools for personal training lately. In the meantime, they’re donating work-out equipment to schools in Pinellas county.
If you’d like to watch the fashion show, it’ll be streamed on the Jump For Kids FL Facebook page.