FRIDAY 5: Ideas For Fashion Girls

Ideas For Fashion Girls
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Got an eye for style? You can use your fierce fashion sense to launch your own business, or help out a cause you care about.

In this Friday 5, get ideas for how you can use your interest in clothes and couture to create a big impact and read about some of the girls who already have designs on making a difference with fabulous fashions.

ONE: Launch What You Love: Thirteen-year-old Maddie Robinson has always loved to draw, and when she was just 8, she started creating art in the outline of a flip flop. Now, five years later, her FishFlops have hit the market. “I’ve always been a flip flop kind of kid. In 2006, I had the idea to create a brand of flip flops that would combine my love for swimming, fishing, and drawing. I called them FishFlops®. I shared my idea with many of my friends and family and they all smiled and thought I had something special,” says Maddie. We love how Maddie focused on a product she knew she wanted to wear. What would you create?

TWO: Host a Fashion Show: This can be a fun event for your school or community. You can show off your own designs or simply style your friends in looks you love. By hosting a fashion show, you can make a name for yourself — or use the event to raise money or collect donations for a cause you care about. Zoe Damacela, the winner of Seventeen Magazine’s Pretty Amazing contest, is a designer who donates her high-end creations to charity fashion shows.

THREE: Enter a Contest: Pay special attention to contests for young designers. This is a good way to start getting exposure — and even a little cash. In August, hip clothing store H&M announced the winners of their 2011 Your Art Here T-shirt design contest, five budding artists and designers all under the age of 21. The talented designers got to see their shirts featured in the window of H&M’s 5th Avenue store in NYC, and received a $2,000 cash prize in addition to a $500 shopping spree. Read more about the talented winners  here.

FOUR: Fill a Need: That was product design student Veronika Scott’s goal when she started her work at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. And she came up with something brilliant: A coat for homeless people called the Element S. Veronika’s creation is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. Even better, the coats themselves are made by a group of homeless women who are  paid to create these coats for those living on the streets. How could you design something that would satisfy a need in your community?

FIVE: Give To Others: Got a closet full of clothes that no longer fit? Start the new year with a little closet cleaning and donate your extra items to a local homeless shelter or community thrift store. The timing is right: DoSomething is launching its annual Teens for Jeans Campaign on January 16. You can also get inspired by Krissi Fajgenbaumin, a nominee for People magazine’s Readers Choice Hero of 2011, who started her own charity when she was just a high school sophomore. Teens 2 Teens provides fashionable gently used clothes to needy high school students — for free.

Fashion girls, tell us: What other ways that you can use your sense of style to start a business — or raise money for a cause you care about?

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