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Students Model Sustainable Styles at Up 2 D8 Fashion Show

fashioncardsPlaying card shirt created by Jenny Kahn, modeled by Anya Kornfeld.Can you wear sustainable clothes without sacrificing style? Scarsdale High School Junior Jenny Kahn took on that challenge and figured out a way to refashion last year’s clothing into new, stylish pieces. To that end, about a year ago she created the Up 2 D8 club (aka Up to Date) at Scarsdale High School. “Fashion Design has always been my passion; however, I am also aware that the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. Each year, 26 billion pounds of textiles are thrown into landfills. Virtually every synthetic fiber that has ever been created is still in existence. With the rise of ‘fast fashion’, this waste will only get worse. That led us to our current goal: to raise awareness and make an impact on a local level,” Khan said.

Since its inception in 2019 with only four members, the club has grown tremendously. Members of the club bring in old clothes that they don’t wear anymore, or are no longer wearable, take them apart and add to them, in order to give them a new life. The club meets each week to create new pieces, and continue with longer projects. Whether it's adding pom pom-string to the sides of jeans, or completely cutting up a shirt and turning it into a skirt, the possibilities are endless. Being a member of the club myself, my favorite thing about it is being able to see my old clothes transformed into wearable pieces.

Once all of the pieces were complete, Kahn organized a fashion show displaying all of the club member’s designs. “All designers prepared at least two garments, and some came to my house to spend more time sewing and creating their pieces. We had a total of 30 garments, including the suit I wore as host, plus 11 models wearing the remaining 29. In addition to preparing the garments and fitting them to the models, I had to deal with the technical aspects of the show, including lighting, music, and a slideshow of the ‘before’ images. We marketed the show through social media and posters Up 2 D8 3Camo shirt with black sleeves created by Allie Singer, modeled by Victoire Lacoudre.placed throughout the school,” Kahn said.

She orchestrated an entire runway show with student models. All of the ticket sale proceeds went to the charity Kids Kloset, a program that provides under-served Westchester County children with clothing.

“It was very rewarding to know that I was modeling for a good cause and that I was able to show the hard work and effort of others in the club,” said model Jolie Kantor ‘21. The students who created pieces for the show spent weeks designing their garments so they were picture-perfect for the runway. Some students who made garments, like myself, got to model their own pieces. The rest got to see their designs come to life on the runway. “It was really fascinating to see the pieces that I created come together on someone walking the runway. When making the pieces it was important to imagine what it would look like on someone, so it was interesting actually seeing my pieces being worn,” said club member Allie Singer ‘22. The fashion show also gave students who modeled an opportunity to gain confidence. “The experience of walking in front of the audience with the beautiful garments on was so amazing. It showed me a different style of art that I truly love” said model Marie Lacoudre ‘22.

Overall the fashion show was very successful. “We raised about $1,500. The show was a success because all of the designers enjoyed the process of setting up and showing their pieces. We were additionally able to spread awareness and encourage people how to “rethink” old clothes and ‘reinvent’ them rather than throwing them all away,” said Kahn.

Up 2 D8 6White and navy white striped color-block skirt created by Eliana Zitrin, modeled by Jolie Kantor.Although there aren’t any future plans for the club currently, Khan states “We will continue having our weekly meetings and hopefully work on some long term projects I have in mind.” Although there won’t be another fashion show for the club this year, there will definitely be more events from the Up 2 D8 club.

Up 2 D8 5Jean jacket with faux fur back created by Jenny Kahn, modeled by Lara Burgert.

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