I recently met up with Lindsay Siwiec, fashion PR guru and soon taking over the reigns of the non-for-profit fashion biz, My Favorite Outfit. We chatted about all things fashion and what it means to help young fashionistas succeed in attaining their dreams. When most fashionistas think of fashion, we immediately think of how we’re going to scoop up the latest trend and then style it for our Instagram page. But today is different. Today is all about turning fashion into a worthy cause.
Enter, My Favorite Outfit. This local organization founded by Jaqueline Perlman uses fashion to address the needs of at-risk youth in crucial life stages by offering two interactive programs: Pop-Up Workshop and Fashion 101.
Pop-up workshops address low self-esteem in at-risk middle school girls, one of the largest issues facing girls in America. Pop-up workshops empower students to boost their self-esteem. Students learn about:
- The link between self-esteem and the way we dress
- Self-expression vs. self-objectification
- Reclaiming their individuality by finding their personal style
The MFO pop-up allows each student to choose an outfit (clothing is donated by multiple businesses and retailers) at no cost.
> Learn how 7th grader Amaria experienced the Pop-Up workshop.
Fashion 101 -The largest issue for at-risk high schoolers is a lack of personalized guidance to set goals, find a mentor, and develop collaborative skills to excel in a team environment. My Favorite Outfit offers an after school program that allows professional mentors to teach and navigate students in a career in fashion.
Through a fashion-based, hands-on curriculum, students learn how to:
- Set a clear direction for their futures
- Explore careers in arts, such as fashion design, trend forecasting, and styling
- Construct an original garment
- Connect with college fashion programs
- Network with others who can provide insight and connections into college and careers
Learn more about Fashion 101
This amazing program has partnered with 27 Chicago schools that have helped 675 girls and donated 4, 319 pieces of clothing. All of this could not have happened without the volunteers who help style the girls at the My Favorite Outfit pop-ups and host individual clothing swaps. Many of the local supporters and partners including Kellogg School of Management, Kirkland & Ellis, The 1111 Foundation, Bloomingdales, Groupon and many more.
If you are interested in helping these young girls reach their fashion dream in Chicago, MFO can always use more help. Right now it costs MFO $35/student for our pop-up workshops and $250/student for Fashion 101. I would love for my Fashionista Chicago readers to get involved or donate to help empower at-risk youth to succeed in middle and high school, college, and beyond.
If you are free on April 21st at 9 am, come volunteer as a stylist with me. Together we can make an impact!