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August 06, 2011  | by: Abby Adesanya

Campers Search Through Fashion Spreads at Fashion Camp NYC

Remember sleepaway camp? Where we’d beg our parents to let us go away for an extended period of time during the summer, all to play team games, roast marshmallows over the open fire, and stay up all night braiding each other’s hair? Well, fashion-centric kids in New York now have an alternative to all of that: they’re trading in those friendship bracelets for a real-life experience in the business of fashion. The industry’s craving for young Gen Y game-changers is becoming more prominent, but the question is: will they put the adults out of work?

Fashion Camp NYC, created by Gordon Josey and Fran Della Badia, a senior vice president for Coach, holds three programs a summer, giving about 50 girls access to some of the most coveted experiences in the city. They all convene at LIM College for a five-day program, where they learn to blog, plan their own fashion brands, “market visit” big-name department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, and attend lectures by industry stylists and editors–all for a whopping price of $1,295 (food and housing not included).

The New York Times had a first-hand interview with several of the girls, and the decision to grow up quickly is a common mindset among the campers:

“I used to go to summer camp, but it was just …” said Madison Snyder, 16, also of Atlanta, trailing off and making a disapproving face. “We’re all into fashion and know we want to do something about it later in life, so we found out about this and took an opportunity just to learn.”

What does this spell out for all the over-21 people still hustling just to make it in the fashion industry? The kids of today are smarter than ever, and in order to stay in the race, Gen X is going to have to keep up.

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