Hunter Maxham has wanted to work in fashion since she was 5 and watched a Barbie movie. Now, with help from some local players in the fashion industry, the senior at Greely High School in Cumberland is preparing to launch her first show of clothing designs.

Hunter Maxham says learning about the fashion industry from those involved locally has given her an advantage in starting her college studies. Contributed / Chelsea Ray

Maxham will showcase five looks she created with the assistance of textile design and fashion artist Jordan Carey at her show on May 8. The show will also be a fundraiser for the global nonprofit Best Buddies program, an organization for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities, which is near and dear to her.

Studying with Carey and other Portland-based fashion experts throughout her senior year has given her a jump start on her studies at the University of Rhode Island next fall, she said.

“It’s been a really good experience,” Maxham said. “I feel like it gives me an advantage or an edge going into college, having skills beforehand.”

Chelsea Ray, a Portland-based wardrobe consultant who worked with Maxham last fall, grew up in Maine and said she understands the challenges of working in fashion in a state where it isn’t an emphasis.

“It was a great opportunity to be able to work with Hunter,” Ray said. “When I was in high school, if I had had that opportunity, I think it would’ve really changed the trajectory of how quickly I would’ve gotten into my business.”


Ray shared her knowledge of fashion merchandising, personal shopping and closet organization with Maxham.

Maxham began sketching out her spring-inspired clothing line for the fashion show in January and is now cutting and sewing, a process she said has been “really hard,” especially because she only recently learned to sew.

“It takes a lot more work than you’d think, because it’s not just sewing two pieces together and then you have a top,” Maxham said. “It’s been fun, but I’ve messed up a lot.”

She’s donating the proceeds of her show to Best Buddies because of her sister’s involvement with the organization. Best Buddies, a global nonprofit, pairs students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities with students who do not, and allows them to form important friendships and develop social skills.

Maxham said she has loved seeing her grow with her buddy. Her fashion show will feature three pairs of buddies who will model the clothes together.

“It’s hard when you don’t have friends in middle school and high school, and Best Buddies provides opportunities for kids,” Maxham said. “It’s such a good experience.”

The fashion show will be held from 6-8 p.m. May 8 at the Greely Performing Arts Center in Cumberland. Tickets are $10.

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