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12-year-old boy designs dress for first lady Michelle Obama


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PARK CITY -- Designers fight for the chance to dress high-profile women. A boy with Utah ties is hoping first lady Michelle Obama will wear his work during her visit to Utah next week. And this up and coming designer is just 12 years old.

Grant Mower beat out high school and college fashion design students in a contest in Texas where he lives.

"First I was just drawing little girls stuff, then I came up to where I am now watching Chanel shows and you know sort of a growth in fashion and maturity," said Mower.

He's grown a lot from the first dress he made of newspaper. Now he's designing a dress for the First Lady, Michelle Obama. The inspiration came when he saw an orchid while visiting the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. However, it's been a painful road to get to this point. His mother Moanna says bullies at school would tease him for wanting to be a fashion designer.

"He would look for validation, and not get it, so he'd come home from school and it would take him three hours for me to just get him back," said Moanna Mower. "And out of desperation I would do things like, do you want to watch a Versace fashion show? "

"When it came to sixth grade, because there's new people, there's also new bullies, and they come," said Mower. "And I don't care, I really don't care what they tell me."

Grant left for Dallas Wednesday and will come to Utah for the chance to schedule a fitting with Mrs. Obama at next week's Utah fundraising event for the President

"He's just so happy," said Mower's aunt Shannon Barton. "He's just so happy when he's designing. He's who he really is when he gets to do things like this."

Right now, Grant is an apprentice under a designer who has dressed former First Ladies: Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. Mowers has kept those sketches under wraps until of course, as everyone is hoping, Mrs. Obama will make the big reveal in a Grant Mower gown on July 26.

E-mail: niyamba@ksl.com

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Nkoyo Iyamba

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