Olympic Gymnast Vaults into the World of Fashion Design

The 2008 Summer Olympics were a ratings bonanza for NBC and many of the games’ biggest names are now happily riding the wave of success to Hollywood. We all saw how super swimmer Michael Phelps did flexing his comedic muscle on “Saturday Night Live” and now the world is just days away from seeing how gold medal winning beach volleyball player Misty May Treanor fares on “Dancing with the Stars.” But, there is another star athlete, who’s also hoping her medals will bring additional bling to her life post Olympics.

Nastia Liukin, the 18-year-old gymnast from Texas, who tumbled her way to all-around gold in Beijing, is moving from the gym to the runway… or at least her designs are. Liukin recently announced that she has teamed up with Vanilla Star Jeans, a leading denim company for juniors and girls, to create a new clothing line. The gymnast’s collection, which will hit shelves just in time for the holiday season, will be appropriately titled the “Gold Collection.”

But don’t look for the line to include denim leotards. Liukin says she modeled her line after her own favorite casual wear. The collection will reportedly feature T-shirts and jeans designed by the gymnast. If you can’t wait until the holidays, the company has rushed an “Inspired by Nastia” line that is in stores now as a preview of what’s to come.

While Liukin gets set to make her mark on the fashion world she is keeping busy starring in new Cover Girl ads and appearing on TV’s oh-so fashionable “Gossip Girl.” In addition, the Texas teen spent last week attending the prestigious shows at New York’s Fashion Week. The budding designer was front and center at Badgley Mischka’s Spring 2009 fashion show. She also attended the unveiling of Peter Som, Isaac Mizrahi and Cole Haan’s collections for Spring 2009. Liukin says in between gawking at the “incredible designs” and rubbing elbows with celebrities she was busy taking notes from the front row in hopes that one day she can be watching from behind the runway instead of in front of it.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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