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The University of Alabama

UA Alumna Contestant on NBC’s ‘Fashion Star’


Hunter Bell

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama alumna and New York City-based fashion designer Hunter Bell will show the world what she’s made of when NBC premieres its new season of “Fashion Star” Friday, March 8.

Bell joins 12 other designer contestants for a chance to launch their original collections in three of the nation’s largest fashion retailers — Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Express stores, a multi-million dollar prize. Working with design mentors, the contestants are given a weekly challenge to design clothing with a certain look, feel and function. Their designs are then presented to buyers from the three retailers.

While Bell could not reveal how she did in the competition, she said she enjoyed the experience.

“The show is a fierce competition,” said the 32-year-old Florence, S.C. native. “We’re under the gun with each weekly challenge, competing with one another and trying to do our very best. What’s great about this show is that each contestant is given the tools and resources to be successful.”

NBC provides each designer with their own pattern maker and seamstress, and the contestant must manage their “team.”

“In order to be successful in this industry, you need to know how to sew and construct a garment, but it’s more about managing a team,” Bell said. “That’s real life. That’s what you’re usually doing in the industry.”

The twist is that the buyers decide then and there to purchase and carry the designs exclusively in their stores, and those designs become available immediately after the broadcast.

“That means what a viewer might see on TV one night will be in the store on on the streets within the next couple of days,” Bell said.

Bell studied fashion design and studio art at The University of Alabama and graduated in 2003. Shortly after graduation, she left Tuscaloosa to explore her dreams in New York City. In 2006, she launched her fashion line Hunter Dixon with then roommate Jennifer Dixon. Self-described as a women’s contemporary fashion line with feminine flair that is recognized for its whimsical and flirty designs, each collection is filled with bold colors, unique detailing and abstract prints. It’s a brand where “sensible simplicity meets metropolitan style.”

Based in New York City, the Hunter Dixon collection is available in nearly 200 boutiques worldwide, Anthropologie, other specialty stores and on  Hunter Dixon has been featured in numerous publications including ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Lucky, Marie Claire, People, People Style Watch and WWD and has appeared on The Today Show, The View and Fox News. All garments are produced in the United States and Hunter Dixon proudly supports the Manhattan garment district.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.