in partnership
Isabel Lopez is a budding fashion designer who's headed to Paris, thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation.jpg
Isabel Lopez is a budding fashion designer who's headed to Paris, thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation. (Image: Seattle Refined)

Make-A-Wish is taking an Anacortes pre-teen to Paris for Fashion Week

Hanging out in Isabel Lopez's bedroom, it's easy to get a sense of what she's into. The twelve-year-old from Anacortes clearly has a thing for Paris and a passion for fashion.

"I think of other dresses that I have seen and I take multiple dresses that I have seen and I kind of like put them together," explains Lopez.

She creates and colors entire looks, complete with shoes and accessories. In a word - she's a budding fashion designer.

"She makes a lot of dresses," says her mom, Julia Mancinas. "She has seasonal collections that I've seen, I've seen her have a winter collection and the dresses are long-sleeved, and the summer collections are the shorter dresses."

Her work isn't limited to fancy frocks.

"She made her and her sister's Halloween costume," recalls Mancinas. "They were salt and pepper."

And she's even sewn a purse - Eiffel Tower-themed of course. It seemed like the sky was the limit for this young fashionista. But everything changed after a routine doctor's visit.

Her mom remembers it well.

"I just took her in for a regular pediatrician visit when she was about 8, and the pediatrician gave her a few looks and started doing a lot of weird measurements.," said Mancinas.

Then the doctor revealed some scary news.

"My daughter has Marfan's Syndrome," she said. "It is a connective tissue disorder. But the thing that it majorly affects is her heart. The aorta, which is the largest valve in your heart, it expands and can detach and that's the life-threatening portion of her disorder. So that has to be monitored regularly and she takes a daily medication for her heart."

It means she has to take it easy sometimes.

"I can't stand or run or walk for that long," said Lopez.

But she doesn't let Marfan's Syndrome slow her down. Lopez and her mom recently submitted a special request to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"She wished to go to Paris during fashion week," said Mancinas. "She wanted to visit one of the fashion shows while we were there."

And then they got The Email - Lopez was going to Paris!

This winter, she will see her favorite city - in person.

"I was really excited because I kind of really want to go," she said excitedly. "And also I get to go to a show for Fashion Week so I can see what the other fashion designers were making."

The future looks fabulous - and fashionable for this designer.