News from the Field: Chicago Youth Center Shows Fashion Flare

Dress and FashioNext People's Choice Award

Last Fall students from the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago had an opportunity to participate in the Chicago Youth Center’s fashion design club. Over a period of 10 weeks, students in the program designed and created beautiful dresses. Their work culminated with participation in FashioNext, a fashion design competition hosted by the Chicago History Museum and Ebony Fashion Fair. The garments from the Chicago Youth Center’s team, Mode Reines, were on display at the Chicago History Museum exhibit, Inspiring Beauty.

Although the young women did not bring home the grand prize, they received a great honor as the winner of the People’s Choice Award. All event attendees were allowed to vote on their favorite look, and team Mode Reines from the Chicago Youth Center was the crowd favorite.

The Mode Reines team expressed great pride in being the only team whose dress had a strong message. The team members acknowledged that although their dress looked different from the others, it strongly demonstrated their theme—trials to triumph. The bottom of the dress was filled with images of the challenges, difficulties, and pain that people suffer in Chicago. Illustrating how people rise above these challenges, the top half of the dress represented victories like finding one’s voice, love, and overcoming pain. They were very proud that the crowd recognized the message that their dress conveyed.