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Wadena native the talk of Fashion Week

Molly Carlson, a 1999 graduate of WDC High School, wears a platinum blonde wig for modeling Betsey Johnson's Pink Patch Line during New Yorks Fashion Week. Carlson, a technical designer, was one of several employees chosen to be atypical models for the Pink Patch Line.

Wadena native Molly Carlson works behind the scenes of the New York fashion world as a technical designer for Betsey Johnson, but during Fashion Week at Lincoln Center she was in front of cameras with bright lights and wearing bright colors.

Carlson was one of several showroom employees and store employees donning platinum blonde wigs and modeling the Pink Patch line.

The line's use of fashion employees of all shapes and sizes, rather than professional models, caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. Carlson is the unnamed "pregnant woman" in those articles.

It was her first modeling experience.

"It was a little scary," she said.

Carlson received an e-mail and agreed to the modeling assignment.

"Betsey was really excited to have me in the show," she said.

Seven months pregnant, she wore the tight outfit anyway.

Carlson said that Johnson had told her, "If you're going to go out there, you're going to go out there in something nice and tight to show what you've got."

She wore a pink cardigan as part of the outfit.

"It's part of her new lower price line which she just started, which is the Pink Patch," Carlson said.

Carlson's family moved to Wadena before she started kindergarten, and she is a 1999 graduate of Wadena-Deer Creek High School.

Her mother, Theresa Sievers, still works at the Elementary School.

Carlson said entering the New York fashion world was "kind of by accident."

She started at the University of Minnesota - Moorhead undeclared, working at Fresh Freeze in the summer. She did some work in the MSUM theatre department, but decided that making clothing was a better choice of career and transferred to the University of Wisconsin - Stout.

Carlson had a summer internship at Vera Wang in New York between her junior and senior years and was later asked to work there, a job she held for almost five years.

Carlson said that her favorite aspect of the fashion world is seeing something she has worked on for months being displayed in stores and worn by people on the street.

Carlson and her husband, who is from Wisconsin, travel to the upper Midwest to visit family.

She has also followed the Wadena tornado events.

"I went home at Christmas time," she said. "I don't even recognize parts of town, even though I grew up there."

Carlson said she took up a collection for Trees For Wadena in her office.