Just in time for Fashion Week, my son appeared in the living room wearing his sister’s party dress and a strand of pearls. Let’s just say that personal style is cultivated early in my house. Whether it’s my 6-yr old donning one of my dresses and strappy gold heels or my son wearing his “fancy clothes” or sometimes my favorite stilettos, they share a passion for fashion. That’s why I’m so excited about the latest website I came across by way of Sarah McIlroy, Founder and CEO of Fashion Playtes.
Fashion Playtes is a revolutionary online custom clothing company where tween girls design clothing they can actually wear. I love this idea for so many reasons. First, girls often succumb to wearing what everyone else is wearing because it’s safe and they can blend in. They never develop their personal style and just end up dressing like everyone else. Do you really need to see one more AF or Hollister shirt? I think not. Second, girls’ self-esteem is formed very early and the encouragement of thinking outside the box leads to confidence and trust in their own personal style. Third, it’s creative, fun and stimulates an artistic side of the brain which leads to lots of great ideas and spurs new passions. Okay, I could go on but suffice it to say, I am a huge fan of getting girls involved in fashion early.
Sarah was kind enough to give me a coveted invite to the Fashion Playtes beta. My daughter was beyond excited to design something so we went online and got started. The site is very easy to use and the application takes you through exactly what you need to do to get started and move through the design process. I’d consider my daughter computer literate but she’s certainly not a tween. Even still, the site was well designed for her and she was able to do most of the designing herself. She selected an empire-waste bohemian style dress and went to town trying out colors, customizing underlayers, ribbons, ruffles and rhinestones. The best part was designing her very own label, which is both a great word of mouth marketing tool for Fashion Playtes and a confidence-boost for a 6-yr old fashion designer. We clicked “buy” and we waited for our dresses to arrive (yes, we ended up ordering two additional dresses for her friends’ birthdays:).
About two weeks later, the dresses arrived. My daughter called me at my office to tell me “Mommy, it is exactly the way I designed it!” I came home to find her still in the dress and jumping around the living room. I gave it the once over and was very impressed with the quality of the dress. The fabric was a very soft cotton with a bit of lycra for a good fit and the ribbons and designs we chose were adorable. Most important, my girl was ecstatic to see her name on the label on the back of the dress. Priceless.
So, if you’re a fashion-lover like me and have a young girl who is following in your footsteps, check out Fashion Playtes. It’s a perfect place to watch your child develop their stylish eye and build a passion for fashion. I can get a few beta invites for anyone who wants to create a label and let the designing begin!