10-year-old Cecilia Cassini is being touted as the “youngest fashion designer ever,” launching both a clothing line and a company.
Starting sewing at the tender age of six, she has taken “taken a few sewing lessons here and there; but, mostly, she has learned by breaking a lot of needles on her machine and ripping out a lot of crooked stitches.” (according to her website above)
At her first trunk show, Cecilia sold almost 50 pieces in three hours to impressed and eager young girls.
Here are some of her designs (dresses selling from $92 – $143):
And a little more from her site:
Unlike Da Vinci or Coco, Cecilia insists that she does not want to wait until she is an adult to create masterpieces and to begin making a difference. And, why should she? Of course, school is a priority; but, Cecilia still has plenty of time to design and sew.
Cecilia was lucky to be discovered and taken seriously by some journalists whom have given her incredible exposure. Cecilia has been featured on several television and newspapers across the United States. CBS news and the front page of the Los Angeles Daily News are just two of many.
Numerous children have contacted Cecilia to say that because of her story, they are encouraged and inspired: One child said, “just because we are children does not mean we should not or are not able to follow our passions and turn our dreams into realities.”
I have a very strong emotional reaction to this, on many levels (as a wannabe designer still looking for my “big break,” as a creative just evaluating design aesthetics and value in an already oversaturated market, as a mom against the exploitation of children, as a consumer fed up with big business and carefully-crafted PR/marketing company puppets, and as a consumer reacting against overpriced clothing and brand-label-cache).
Plus, I’m just a bitter old woman who really should give her a “you go girl!” high five but instead stews about how this reflects on me. Ask Donna Karan or Marc Jacobs about this girl – or another designer who’s enjoyed a great deal of success and is secure in themselves, and they’re likely to give that high five (at least publicly).
Sure, her “career” is also being spun as “empowerment” for young girls and as “inspiration for them to follow their dreams.” Cecilia has gone to speak at a few elementary schools to inspire and motivate the students.
She’s also caused a media frenzy (man, journalists just love a juicy “youngest EVER!” story…and Tavi had to be outdone sometime), and presented the “Style Icon Award” to Ashley Greene at the Young Hollywood Awards, appeared on the cover of GIRLS Magazine, the front page of the Los Angeles Daily News, CBS News, and will be in a future issue of People. People Magazine, people!!
Note: On her “Contact” page she has a manager listed, in addition to emails for Press, Sales, and Cecilia herself.
This is a business with a young girl’s face on it, no doubt about that.
What do all of you think of this?
(p.s. – to the person who asked about Cecilia in my formspring.me account – it’s so funny! I was actually writing this post as your question came in. We must be sharing brainwaves!)
why shouldn't she have a manager. she's 10. Of course there would be adults helping her. obviously she's lucky, she's provided with the resources and the opportunities. Kids are smart these days, so I wouldn't call Cecilia a prodigy. Just a smart and lucky kid.
I think that she is a 10 year old girl who should be playing and going to school. If she wants to sew ok, but I don't think she should be a business at this sge. That is what she is a business, that people want to make money off of. The prices for the clothes are ridiculous. And yes I am sorry but the clothes look like they were designed by a 10 year old, which is not really that big of a deal. If they looked like clothes that were designed by an adult then ok make a big deal about it. Just let the girl be a kid, no 10 year old should have a manager.
her designs are so cute and so appropriate for little girls. i love that she found her passion so young! go cecilia.
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I think that it is all great, good for her (and her parents….)
Personally, though, not into the strapless dresses for 10-year olds!
She seems like the next Kira Plastinina (sp?), which is not exactly a good thing. And I agree, she's definitely not a prodigy–her clothes look as if they've been designed by a child (which she is). But she is a lucky kid, and has been given an opportunity of a lifetime.
Good topic. Cecilia's site just screams silver spoons, and comparing her to Tavi is ludicrous, as everything about Tavi's site is authentic. Nothing Cecilia's “designed” seems special or unique. I think having people call her a “fashion designer” is kind of insulting to people that put a lot of time and hard work into actually becoming one. Plus, whoever built her site didn't build it to say Cecilia Cassini, Fashion Designer. It says Cecilia Cassini, Fashion Designer, age 10. Just kind of sick to me.
I really find that it's lovely that she is able to have the resources to utilize her skills.
However, the clothing is priced too high and it's a bit of a stretch to admire her.
Plenty of young girls create clothing, toys, paintings or drawings around this age or anything. Plenty of young girls and boys have their own businesses actually. The only difference is that she has an actually manager and has everything provided for her. She (and/or her manager and parents) also must have or has gained connections in order to be publicized as such. Unlike a lot of children who sell things completely on their own on the internet,door to door or during events. She has her manager who sets everything up for her.
Also, the designs aren't worth the price. Most are very simple and basic designs and don't resemble a quality that matches the price.
So I'm not amazed by her, I just really like the thought of this. Though I would like to see more success stories of artist dealing with struggles, I do find something worthy in this. Because I do see this as something I would've designed as a kid….even if some of it does seem to be losing it's essence.
she's only ten! why would she want to waste the time she could be playing meeting celebs and being famous? im completely with the save it til your an adult thing – otherwise you might spend your adulthood trying to win back lost years. i can say this cos im a kid too.
some of the pictures of her on her site are actually quite sad – a tiny 10yearold in short skirts pouting away. feeling youthful years flying out the window …
Her designs are cute but I wouldnt let my 12 yr olds wear them yet – and the fact that she's wearing makeup that is more than just a bit of blush on her perfect-as-yet-untainted-by-the-drive-to-look-older skin, bothers me more. She probably has an artistic eye, but also seems to have enterprising handlers. Im not against her having a line of her own, but there is just too much push for young girls to look older – that a big designer has said (as nobly as possible for him Im sure) he wont use models under 16 for his shows – even a 16 yr old shouldnt be on a cat walk. Lay off the girls, they are truly clueless about the potential reprecussions their new sophisticated looks could bring, lets not have to lay it out for them until theyre at least 13, k?
I have no doubt that there is some adult pulling the strings in the background and I hope that they aren't taking advantage of her.
I am all for encouraging a child's dream, but also limiting it so they can enjoy their childhood.
With so much pressure and early success without having “paid the dues to get there” as a parent I am concerned how this will affect her development and the long term effects. Having a parent open a shop for her on Esty or sell what she has made at county fairs during the summer, or the like would be appropriate, not trying to build a business or empire around a 10 year old.
Right now she is “hot” and getting a lot of attention because she a novelty – what happens when the novelty wears off? Having not faced the minor disappointments and failures, she will not be ready for such a major let down. Look at how messed up child actors are. Look no further than Lindsey Lohan.
Another commenter said she seem like the next Kira Plastinina, which is probably more true than not – Kira was the 15 year old Russian designer that was bankrolled by her businessman father only to have her company end up filing for bankruptcy less than a year being more the $54 million in debt.
While the clothes are kind of a little girl Barbie version of glamor is, I have to agree with with what a commenter said about not liking the idea of little girls wearing strapless dresses. I don't see much of anything I would allow a 10 year old daughter to wear in public – they might be ok for dress up for a party or slumber party, but not to school or the mall.
I agree with what most folks here are saying. I mean, when I was that age, I was designing things for fun, and I guess it would have been cool to do something with it, but in the end (???) I don't know. Congrats that she gets to do something she likes, but I don't see it going too far. I see her growing tired of it in a couple years and then finding the next thing to get into. They're average clothes at best, and uninspiring. I don't mean to be so mean to a little kid lol, I just don't trust that it's her doing, but more or less some crazy adults and parents cashing in on her while they can. It just happens all too often.
I'm surprised by how bitter and mean a lot of the comments on here seem to be. A ten year old having recognition and success doesn't damage your chances of being successful or getting recognition. Don't begrudge her the attention she's received.
I have no idea whether she has people driving her or is driven herself, but if the motivation for what she is doing comes from her, then the adults who are facilitating it should be applauded, not criticised. I wouldn't have pushed any of my children to do something like this, but if they had asked me to help, then I would have done, like a shot.
These designs are not good. I applaud her for pursuing her interests, but she should be designing and sewing after school for fun. These designs are no where near ready for selling. I bet this will fizzle after time – the clothes do not have staying power at all.