Pop star Selena Gomez grew up in Texas and now lives in Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop her from rocking a “Kansas City Girl” dress at a John Mayer concert recently.
On April 21, Gomez was snapped with her boyfriend, The Weeknd, at the show in Inglewood, Calif., wearing Free People’s $148 striped linen-cotton frock, which was designed by Kansas City native Chanté Gossett.
Paparazzi photos of Gomez in the dress quickly popped up on social media and blogs such as selenasstyle.com.
On Friday, Gossett said in a phone interview from her home in Philadelphia that it was exciting to see Gomez in one of her designs — especially because the Kansas City Girl dress is an homage to her hometown.
Gossett, who graduated from the University of Kansas in 2013 with a degree in textile design, designs dresses for Free People, a national company that makes bohemian-style clothes and accessories for women.
“We get to name all our styles, which is pretty fun,” Gossett says. “I had designed this dress, and it reminded me of a lot of friends in Kansas City.”
She imagined her friends wearing the “easy spring dress” to the City Market on a Saturday afternoon. It’s a piece that looks simple but has many eye-catching details. There are buttons and pleats in the skirt, crisscrossed fabric on the bust, adjustable tie straps and skin-baring cutouts at the midriff.
“It was a challenge fitting this one right,” Gossett says, “but everyone I talk to who has tried it on says it’s really flattering.”
Sales back that up: The Kansas City Girl dress is currently one of Free People’s top 10 best-selling dresses at the chain’s retail stores.
“It’s exciting when you get to see the name of your hometown in the top 10,” Gossett says.
Gomez paired the dress with a casual braided updo, gold hoop earrings and white sneakers.
“I loved what she did,” Gossett says. “I’ve been wearing flat white sneakers with every dress right now — it makes everything a little more casual.”
Gomez may be a California girl, but she’s no stranger to Kansas City. The singer played softball at the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend in 2015 and drew 10,000 fans to her Sprint Center show last summer.
The Kansas City Girl dress is still available on Free People’s website, freepeople.com, and at the store’s Country Club Plaza location at 440 Nichols Road. The frock comes in sizes 0 through 12 in one color, “ivory combo,” which features subtle blue and brown stripes that lend a vintage, beachy vibe.
As of Friday afternoon, there were about four left at the Plaza store, according to manager-in-training Julia Zukus.
Zukus hadn’t heard that Selena Gomez wore the Kansas City Girl dress but said she wasn’t exactly surprised: “It’s been really popular.”