Meet the Class of 2017: 10 Talented Kids Behind Target’s Newest Fashion Line, Art Class

February 14, 2017 - Article reads in
Images of Art Class creators and the Art Class logo

When we introduced Art Class, Target’s latest and greatest kids’ apparel and accessories brand, we told you all about the trendy styles and original looks, and also introduced the super-inspiring kids behind the brand’s first limited-edition partnership—The Class of 2017. Now, we’re getting to know those creative kids—who helped design everything from joggers to dresses—a little better.

From a 10-year-old dance sensation who has performed on stage with Justin Bieber to a seven-year-old assignment photographer, each talented collaborator drew upon their individual experiences and spunky personalities to help create a line that’s suitable for dancers, CEOs, surfers and more! Hear from the kids themselves, below:

Aidan Prince, 10
Dancer, Actor
Aidan Prince dancing

“I started dancing when I was one, doing gymnastics at two and taking hip hop classes at four. I also took classes in jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary and break dancing. I love to dance—I must, if I practice at least three to four hours a day! I also love denim, but need to be able to dance comfortably, so I designed a pair of stretchy denim pants for Art Class. I kept them stylish with a cool interactive phone pocket so I can play games on my phone when I'm sitting down.”

Cory “Mr. Cory” Nieves, 12
Celebrity Chef, CEO and Founder, Mr. Cory’s Cookies
Cory Nieves baking

“I got the inspiration for my business in 2009 when I was five. I wanted to buy my mom a car, so I looked up cookie recipes online in order to raise funds through bake sales. I even invented my own ‘Voila’ cookies, which I sold for $1.00 each every weekend. I also made lemonade and hot cocoa, because they pair well with cookies! When I was younger, I was teased at times for what I wore or my big hair, so for Art Class I created the nerd shirt because it was my way of telling nerds it doesn't matter what people think of us—we are cool!”

Haileigh Vasquez, 7
Model, Actress
Modeling shot of Haileigh Vasquez

“I started modeling as a baby. My parents discovered my love for fashion when I took my first steps chasing after a purse. Now, I’m really into being creative, so I draw all the time and even cut and stitch different colored and patterned fabrics together. Designing for Art Class was fun! My athletic dress is sporty because I love dresses and playing sports, but realized a lot of the stuff is so boyish, so I came up with a style I can look fashionable in but still be comfortable and cute.”

Hawkeye Huey, 7
Assignment Photographer
Hawkeye Huey holding his camera

“My dad took me on a trip when I was four. We went to build forts in the desert and brought a camera along with us. The fort blew away in a sand storm so we started taking pictures, which is when I knew I loved photography. For Art Class, I designed the skeleton hoodie. I love dressing as a skeleton for Halloween and wanted to be able to wear it every day. I also designed the blue hoodie. I wanted reflectors because I thought it would be a cool thing to wear at night.”

Asia Monet Ray, 11
Dancer, Singer, Actress
Asia Monet Ray doing a one-hand stand

“My mom put me in a bunch of activities because I was so hyper…ice skating, gymnastics, dance, and all of it was really competitive. Long story short, dance won out and I was signed by my dance agent when I was five. Once I was eight, I started acting and singing, and was even offered my own show! For Art Class, I had so many ideas and my creative mind was going crazy! The thoughts behind my jersey dress and skater dress were to bring out a comfortable sporty yet fun look for everyday wear.”

Hilde Lysiak, 10
Author, Publisher, Orange Street News
Hilde Lysiak reporting on a scene

“I began writing the Orange Street News when I was seven years old. It started out as a family paper that I wrote by hand with crayons. Now I have over a thousand subscribers who want the news, so I’m always out looking for my next story! It was so great that the designers at Target let me actually paint the flowers on canvas that would become the pattern for the coral-printed dress I designed. I like pretty, flowy things that are easy to move in. I never know when I’ll have to hop on my bike quickly and chase down a story. The dress and jumper I designed would be perfect for that!”

Johnny Orlando, 13
Singer, Social Media Star
Johnny Orlando in a recording studio

“I uploaded my first YouTube video when I was eight years old, just for fun over Christmas break. It was a cover of Justin Bieber’s song ‘Mistletoe’ and I didn’t think anyone would watch it! A few weeks later, we looked back and it had a few thousand views, which was crazy to me at the time. I really wanted my Art Class designs to reflect my personal style, so I created a T-shirt and a pullover. When I sign autographs, I always include what I call my ‘signature heart,’ so we incorporated a bunch of those onto the t-shirt.”

Kendall Vertes, 14
Modeling shot of Kendall Vertes

“My mom used to take me to my sisters’ dance classes, and I would twirl in the back of the room—I think I started taking it seriously around age seven. And I’ve always been a ‘shower’ singer, but started singing professionally when I was about 12. Because I’m always on long bus rides, at competitions, on planes or somewhere for a long time, I practically live in sweatpants and comfy clothes, but I also want to look stylish. So that’s where my Art Class sweatpants came from. I wanted to do the sweatshirt dress because I love cute dresses that aren’t too fancy but are fun and easy to wear.”

Mercer Henderson, 14
App Developer, Kidpreneur
Mercer Henderson presenting her audiots emoji's

“I have always thought about making the world a better place. I want to influence change in everything I do, from performing to building apps—my apps are committed to doing social good and raising money for charities. Right now I’m starting a 4Girls Tech & Social Media Conference, which is free for public school kids. Asia [Monet Ray], who I met through Target, is doing it with me! I hope some of the other Art Class kids join, too. As for my style, it’s sporty chic with a sprinkle of geek (my glasses). I love the super soft tee shirt and great pair of shorts I designed. I think a touch of retro is cool so I used an embroidered ‘NYC’ patch on my shorts.”

Steve Roberson, 8
Big-Wave Surfer
Steve Robertson surfing

“My dad, my brothers and all my uncles surf, so we would surf together. Then I found out what it felt like to surf big waves and now surfing is all I want to do forever. I do have to train a lot, because I want to set the record for the youngest kid to surf the biggest wave in the world! I want to do it this year, if my mom lets me. Working on Art Class was super fun! I designed a pair of light blue skinny jeans because I typically don’t wear jeans in Hawaii, but wanted some pants I could wear for special occasions. I also helped design a pair of comfy black shorts with pink laces which are super cool.”

The Art Class brand, launching with the Class of 2017 collection, is available in all Target stores and on Prices range from $5.99 to $24.99, and new Art Class products will roll out on an ongoing basis every four to eight weeks.

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