Where is the next generation of fashion designers coming from?
Maybe your home.
The website FashionPlaytes.com allows girls to flex their burgeoning fashionista muscles by choosing a basic garment (dress, T-shirt, hoodie, skirt, pant), then adding their own flavor with different colors, ribbons, appliques, rhinestones, ruffles and buttons. A website avatar can even "model" the creations.
Once a look is completed, save it to a "Wish List" or send it in for construction. And before you can say "Tim Gunn," the outfit is shipped to your home within two to three weeks.
"I found it because she was always creating her own outfits," says Weston, Fla., mom Lori Lipkin about her daughter, Sabrina. "She was always talking about designers and clothes."
So, a Hanukkah gift later, 9-year-old Sabrina was not only designing for herself, but making "twin" outfits for her teddy bear.
"I would like to be a designer one day because it's a lot of fun to be able to wear your own clothes, and you can be really proud when someone compliments your clothes," Sabrina says. Prices include: T-shirts for $14-$15, rompers $18, dresses $14-$24, skirts $9.99-$11.99, leggings $12 and jeggings $25.
Ava Shaw, 6, also from Weston, received FashionPlaytes.com gift certificates for her birthday in November.
"I tell you, that fashion gene skips a generation," says her mother, Lisa Shaw. "Her grandmother loves to shop and loves fashion, too, but I'm too busy.
"Ava's big thing now is dressing up to go to church."
Ava's other big thing is autonomy. "I like it because you design your own clothes and you get the colors you want to use," she says.
For tweens and younger, there also are other similar sites such as ByKidsOnly.com.
For the older designer under your roof, there are options too. These include:
-- IndiCustom.com. This site is tailor-made for younger, hipper wannabe-designers -- especially if they like designing their own jeans.
-- FabricOnDemand.com. Come up with your very own textiles and materials.
-- Fabricly.com. Email your sketches and the design "team" checks out your designs and selects which designers the site wants to promote.
-- Garmz.com. Upload your design and the online community takes a vote. If you win, your garment gets produced and sold in the Garmz online store.
(c) 2011, Sun Sentinel.
Visit the Sun-Sentinel on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun-sentinel.com
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.