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February 7, 2014

Kingsley woman designs costumes for Olympians

TRAVERSE CITY — If the 2014 Olympics handed out medals for costume design, Stephanie Miller would be right there on the podium.

Miller works out of her Kingsley home and has designed costumes for figure skaters of all levels for more than 20 years. Her reputation for the stunning creations she and her business associate, LuAnne Williams, produce spread throughout the skating world, where her designs are sought by world class competitors.

U.S. pairs skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who hail from Michigan and are favored to take the gold medal in Sochi, will wear Miller’s designs. Additionally, Olympians from China, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Azerbaijan, Australia and Russia are expected to perform in Stephanie Miller creations.

Skaters seem to find her even though she’s not easy to locate.

“We don’t have a label. We don’t even have a Facebook page or website. People hear about us through word of mouth and they find us,” Miller said.

Her knack for costume design dates to the 1970s, when she competed in synchronized skating and ice dancing.

She participated in ice dancing and team synchronized skating and reached senior national competition levels in synchronized competitions.

She stopped competing in 1996, but continues to coach.

“I designed my own costumes, and people always wanted to know where I got them. I started designing for other skaters, and it just caught on,” Miller said. “I’ve been designing for Meryl since she was a little girl. In Vancouver (in 2010) I had dresses on the podium when Meryl and Charlie took silver medals and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, took the gold.”

Her photo albums are filled with costumes she’s made for some of skating’s current biggest names: Alissa Czisny, Jenny Kirk and Evan Lysacek wore her designs while they rose through the ranks.

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