Skip to content

Ten-year-old Albertan's fashion collection debuts at New York fashion week

An Alberta pre-teen living on a hobby farm has created a fashion line that has already hit the runway and also barrel races

A Rocky View County resident is making quite a name for herself in the fashion world.

The debut of her first designed collection, "Broken Halo," was showcased at New York Fashion Week last September, and was followed up quickly with an invitation to the Canadian International Fashion Week.  

Perhaps the only unexpected hitch in the story of aspiring international fashion designer Sutton Monroe Wright is that she is just 10 years old. 

Wright lives on a small hobby farm with her family just outside of Irricana, and got her first taste of the fashion world in 2019 when she modelled at the Vancouver Fashion Week when she was five. That same year she was crowned Little Miss Calgary, the youngest ever at the time. 

In 2020, Wright modelled in her first New York Fashion Week and walked in the 2022 Disney Fashion Parade at Disney World. 

Wright and her twin brother, Spencer Maddox, are homeschooled, and their mother Nicole Kelly said that Wright transitioned from modelling into design after Kelly realized it would be a good lesson in unschooling, an informal learning method that prioritizes learner-chosen activities as a means for learning. 

“While in [New York] modelling, it occurred to me that seeing the industry from the other side–and all the work that goes into it–would be a good lesson for unschooling,” Kelly said. “I taught her to sew…and it all just happened organically from there.”

After picking up the sewing needle, Wright returned to New York in 2023 to show off her personal collection.

“Sutton loves the runway,” remarked Kelly. “[But] she doesn't like some of the over-the-top, made-for-runway-only statement pieces, designs that can't be worn. She likes designing elegant yet edgy, wearable, age-appropriate clothing.”

A link to the Sutton Monroe Etsy page shows a lot of denim with custom floral prints, inspired by a dress worn to the Grammys by music superstar Taylor Swift. 

Canadian International Fashion Week will be held in Lethbridge on June 8.

At the end of March, Wright and Kelly travelled down for a rehearsal. There she met some of the models that will be wearing her designs and interacted with other designers. Kelly mentioned that, aside from designing the fashion line, Wright will also be modelling some pieces in Lethbridge as well. 

Aside from fashion, Kelly said that her daughter loves what she calls, “the three R’s”: Runway, Rodeo, and Rinks. 

Wright is also a champion barrel racer for the Future Cowboys and Cowgirls, a non-profit group that promotes youth participation in the sport of rodeo. Wright won two championship buckles for Barrel Racing and Pole Bending, and was the runner-up in the goat tying category. 

To top it off, Kelly said that Wright took up figure skating recently, and is a part of a homeschool drama club that is planning a performance in Carstairs for June.

“I like to encourage [her] to dream big and chase those dreams,” Kelly said, who added with a laugh:  “And then I have to facilitate those dreams."

While her new line will be showcased in Lethbridge, the busy days ahead won’t be stopping for Wright. After her initial collection debuted in New York last year, she was invited to fashion shows in Paris, Dubai and Japan. 

“Another homeschool part of this lesson is that travel is expensive and can be difficult,” Kelly said. “[Yet] we are thrilled she was presented this (Lethbridge) opportunity to continue creating, much closer to home. It will be a much less stressful event without the delayed and cancelled flights, transporting all the garments to another country, to hotels and rehearsal venues and then backstage for the show.” 

But busyness is just part of the fashion world, and her mom said Wright is an ambitious girl who “loves the runway.” She has been modelling and showcasing some sort of talent her entire life. 

For Kelly, Wright’s path to fashion-design stardom has not been by accident.

“She's a super-active, motivated homeschooler who just wants to chase big dreams– like every little girl should.”


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks