Make-A-Wish granted Noa’s one wish of bringing her designs to life on the runway.


Jeff Linett

In January 2015, Noa Sorrell was diagnosed with cancer at just 11 years old. While enduring three months of chemotherapy, Noa found solace through designing her own clothes. With the help of her Singer sewing machine and lessons from her late grandmother, a talented seamstress, Noa began drawing, designing and sewing clothes in bright colors that cheered her up. What started out as a hobby to pass time during her chemotherapy flourished into a full-fledged passion, with Noa creating all of her own fashion designs from start to finish—not an easy feat for anyone, especially an 11 year old. When Noa found out that she would be granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, her one wish was to bring her designs to life on the runway. Noa opened up Los Angeles Fashion Week last night with Art Hearts Fashion produced by Erik Rosete and ParkerWhitaker Productions showcasing her childrenswear collection at the Taglyan Complex. We talked to Noa about her first experience showing a collection at Fashion Week:

Harper’s BAZAAR: How did you start designing your own clothes?

Noa Sorrell: I’ve been sketching clothes ever since I can remember, but I really only started designing and making my own clothes during my first round of chemo. I was not feeling well and I needed something to take my mind away from how sick I was feeling. I always wanted to design and sew clothes and suddenly I had all the time on my hands. 

Noa’s Spring 2016 collection with Art Hearts Fashion. Produced by Erik Rosete and Parker Whitaker Productions

HB: I love that your wish was to show at Fashion Week, how did that idea come to be?

NS: When I found out I was getting a wish, I had already started sewing and I really wanted people to see my work. Sewing made me happy, and I wanted others to feel happy wearing my pieces. When Make-A-Wish® told me that I could participate in Fashion Week I couldn’t believe it. I never imagined that I would get to show my designs at Fashion Week. This is a dream come true!

HB: What types of clothes do you design?

NS: I design colorful, happy clothes mostly for teens, and also for adults. I design things that I could see myself or my friends wearing. I have designed sporty reversible tank tops for my friends to wear during sports events. When I design clothes, I usually try to make the piece according to them or their personality and the occasion that they will be wearing it to.

HB: How would you describe your personal style?

NS: My style is modern and bold, but still cute and wearable.

HB: What was it like planning your own fashion show during Los Angeles Fashion Week?

NS: Very exciting! It was also very hard work because I drew everything, chose the fabrics, and sewed every single piece by myself. Me and my little Singer sewing machine. I also made an outfit for myself, my sister and my mom to wear at the show!

Noa’s Spring 2016 Collection with Art Hearts Fashion. Produced by Erik Rosete and Parker Whitaker Productions

HB:  Tell me about your spring collection, what inspired the clothes you designed?

NS: I was inspired by flowers blooming in the springtime and by the sunshine. I also wanted to make clothes that appeal to all styles and occasions. This is why my collection has prom dresses and skirts.   

HB: When did you first learn to sew?

NS: My first time sewing was with my grandmother. Right before she died of cancer she made a dress with me. This was in December 2012. But I didn’t sew again until I found out that I was sick in January 2015. 

HB: What plans do you have next for your fashion line?

NS: I really don’t know. I hope I can continue making exciting outfits. I have some fun ideas for fall and winter designs too!