Fashion@theOpera

by Megan Meister

Abi Ferrin, designer for FIRST NIGHT red carpet

Abi Ferrin did not take a predictable career path, but her story proves that the America dream is alive and well. Born and raised in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Abi wasn’t exactly “in line” to become a big hit in the fashion world. While she began sewing when she was 5, and did in fact win a national McCall’s sewing competition when she was 13, Abi’s focus was the political world as she was lead by her passion for people and a desire to make a difference.

She got her degree with a double major in broadcast journalism and international government, and moved to Washington DC at the age of 20 where she worked for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer for three years. In 2000 Abi moved to Hollywood and started over with a job at Paramount Pictures. She picked up her childhood hobby, and began designing pieces to wear to industry parties. It didn’t take long for her unique creations to receive attention from celebrities and national media, but the 23 year old had a lot to learn before she was ready for the hype she received immediately. After enduring an abusive relationship which left her in debt and broken, she left Hollywood in 2005 and moved in with her cousin Lisa in Dallas. This proved to be a turning point.

In 2007 Abi Ferrin was named Texas’ Next Top Designer, a title that came with a pretty prize package which included placement of her product at Stanley Korshak, a trip to New York for fashion week where she took in all the major shows, $5,000 and a rent free loft to work out of for a year in the historic SouthSide on Lamar building in Dallas which is her boutique storefront to this day.

Abi’s unique and versatile designs are not the only thing that set her apart. The Freedom Project is the philanthropic arm and the foundation of the company. Inspired by her own experience, and her sister’s lifetime commitment to helping empower people, Abi founded The Freedom Project. The Abi Ferrin motto is Fashion with Freedom and Purpose, which comes full circle as a hand-made element is included on every Made in the USA garment. “After experiencing personally what it felt like to be a victim of abuse, I know my purpose and am single mindedly pursuing it. While designing clothing that makes women feel confident and beautiful, I make them my partners in educating, empowering and supporting women who needed a voice. This also creates awareness of a global problem that is not fully understood through the exciting platform of fashion.”

Abi Ferring design

The opening night celebration of the Dallas Opera, FIRST NIGHT sponsored by Deloitte, will celebrate the operas of the 55th season in a number of ways throughout the evening’s festivities.

The evening begins with a red carpet extravaganza and features the exquisite creations of Dallas’ top designers, each designing a gown inspired by the diva from one of the operas of the season.

Be there to applaud them and to enjoy the “fashion show.” There is much in store for the evening’s festivities, a fun and lively private pre-opera reception, and a cosmopolitan late-night dining experience in a lavishly decorated tent.

Join us for FIRST NIGHT and celebrate the opening of the 55th anniversary Dallas Opera season.   For more information please Morgan Vaughn, Special Events Manager at morgan.vaughn@dallasopera.org

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