Swedroe is only 13. And although her grandfather, artist and architect Robert Swedroe, creates the colorful, pop-print patterns and helped set up the brand — Swedroe Art to Wear by Ariel — the silhouettes are 100% Ariel. Here’s why the teen is poised to become a household name before she’s allowed to drive.
She’s over the precocious tag
Swedroe would prefer people focus on her craft, not her age. “A lot of people say, ‘How do you design for women? You’re not even a woman yet.’ But I listen to my customers and incorporate their feedback into my work,” says the underage fashionista. “And once I go to design school, I’ll be unstoppable.”
She respects the masters
“I love Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Fendi, Valentino — I love their focus on elegance,” says Swedroe. Her own made-to-order digitally printed creations, as pictured on her Instagram account, are colorful and glamorous.
She’s all about the beach
“Living by the water has absolutely influenced my aesthetic,” says Swedroe, whose resortwear collection includes a $420 asymmetrical silk wrap and a $455 romper. But Swedroe is equally obsessed with function. “I’m always in a bathing suit. I wanted to make pieces that women would feel comfortable moving in.”
She’s got A-list ambition
Swedroe knows she has a leg up due to her grandfather’s connections — he once hosted a Stella McCartney fashion show at his mansion — but believes that success is dependent on hard work. “Stella McCartney is such a role model to me; I absolutely want to reach that level someday.”
But homework comes first.
Swedroe was recently admitted to Miami’s prestigious Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH). “Fashion is my passion, and I’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. I go to school, come home, race through my work so I can head over to the studio and work. Right now, I’m sketching my fall/winter line.”