In case you were curious about what people with a lot of extra money are doing with their kids over the summer, a recent article in the New York Times profiled Fashion Camp NYC. It’s exactly what it sounds like — an expensive “camp” for young girls who want to go into the fashion industry. The campers design their own brands, go to Barneys and Saks to conduct “market research,” and listen to lectures from editors and stylists.
The article portrays the girls as young women who love clothes and shopping, have been blessed with parents who have the money to indulge those kinds of interests, and have been led to believe that all you have to do is want something badly enough and it will materialize.
In other words, it’s “The Hills.”
Anyway, far be it for me to begrudge teenagers the opportunity to do what they love. But the idea that this camp seems to foster is that fashion is about finding a picture of a celebrity and being able to identify the feeling of liking what she’s wearing…
“Do you think that we need to come up with a cohesive, like, color palette?” asked Sara Mullally, 16, trying to sound diplomatic. She was seated with nine other girls at a rectangular lunchroom table, all rapaciously searching fashion magazines — Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Lucky — for images to represent the line of evening wear they were dreaming up…
Consensus of any kind seemed elusive, until one girl held up a print ad featuring a glammed-out Dakota Fanning.
“Oh, my gosh, totally,” Sara said.
“Go ahead,” another camper said. “She’s our girl.”
…and I think a career in fashion might depend on more than that.