The new Fashion Club at TJ symbolizes a flow of creativity and new beginnings.
Since the dawn of time, people have adorned themselves with a variety of clothes to keep warm and represent their status, wealth, culture, and occupation in society. Fashion demonstrates changes in society and the mood of each decade as it evolves with time. Junior Lauren Maggio, one of the founders of the Fashion Club at TJ, describes fashion as “an art form [and] a way for people to express themselves and show who they are.” This description captures the essence of what fashion has become, as clothes are necessary, but it is up to the person to make the small choices of what to wear that shapes their personal expression.
Clubs in high school are known for helping students develop communication, creative thinking, and teamwork skills. With this agenda in mind, the Fashion Club aspires to create an environment where students can express themselves through the clothes they wear without being judged. Their core values include acceptance, passion, respect, and friendship, which all work together to make members feel part of something bigger than themselves. Junior Aviva Freedberg, co-founder of the club, encourages students to join despite the isolating times. “Fashion club is not only a space for talking about fashion, but it is a place to make friends and converse,” she stated. What connects these members is not just a love for fashion, but the need to learn from one another, inspire each other, and build a community in which people are accepted for who they are and how they choose to present themselves to the world.
One of the co-founder’s journeys with fashion is a compelling story of a young girl with an insatiable curiosity about the industry and an urge to learn more through fashion workbooks. Soon, young Maggio grew up to create a club at her high school with dreams of entering the fashion world and helping others find their passion through their style. Sharing the same insatiable curiosity, Freedberg trekked through the journey of life with her armor: boots and a pair of kitten heels she used to adore when she was younger. Her armor soon evolved to include sneakers and the challenge that comes with finding new ways to style them. Yet as she learns to navigate the tricky waters of high school, she experiments with different armor, preparing for the fashion merchandising or marketing world. Two different people, two different styles, two different journeys with fashion, and one passion came together to create a place for students to discover what they like and dislike without the watchful eyes of a judgmental society.
Maggio addressed the concerns of those who may be a little hesitant or unsure about joining, stating, “Even if you don’t know a lot about fashion or you aren’t super serious about pursuing a career in the industry, this club is a great way to meet new people and have fun.” The club meets once a week on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm. One of the things they have been doing so far includes presenting Pinterest boards that display their style inspiration or dream style. This gives them the opportunity to discover different styles that they love and learn about their members’ sense of style. It also allows them to learn more about fashion and all the different styles that exist. Additionally, they choose a theme each week to dress up to and an example of this was when they all dressed in knitwear. This allows them to build a sense of community while also having fun and sharing ideas of how to style certain items. At meetings, members do their best to not echo the same deafening silence that is associated with breakout rooms by participating and sharing ideas, opinions, or thoughts. The club also utilizes Instagram to connect with members and students at TJ. Their handle is @tjhsfashion, and they also put up reminders for when they will be meeting. By doing this, they are able to promote events, ideas, or provide inspiration to their followers.
As the founders and members set sail on their journey to discovering what lays before them, they are guided by a beacon of hope and passion as they navigate the small waves of the fashion industry.