Aspiring Designers Learn Skills in Little Silver

October 17, 2017
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Karen’s School of Fashion instructor Claire Rand gives student Ashley Micele feedback in Fashion Runway class.

By Rebecca Roth |

LITTLE SILVER – A black, lacy dress with a gold neckline and accent belt inspired by Coco Chanel. A 1930s-inspired flowy white gown with an off-the-shoulder, abstract top and red bottom. These are some current designs from two students at Karen’s School of Fashion. Not only are these designers fashioccn-forward but, at only 10 years old, they are also ahead of their time.

Aspiring fashionistas have a home away from home in Little Silver at Karen’s School of Fashion. Students of all ages who have a passion for fashion can learn the fundamentals of the fashion industry while staying local and having a ton of fun too.

Karen Lozner, a New York City native and the founder of Karen’s School of Fashion, opened the fourth location of her fashion school in Little Silver two years ago after she outgrew the space at her Fair Haven location.

Lozner chooses locations for her fashion schools based on where she can picture herself and in areas that she loves. Little Silver made the list, along with her other locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Marlboro, New Jersey.

The Little Silver location has had tremendous success in the past two years, according to Lozner. She attributes that success to her loyal fashion students and their parents. “I’ve had very supportive parents that absolutely love the program for their children. They nurture what their children love and if they love fashion design, they know this is a great environment for that,” said Lozner.

Student Ashleigh Mills measures her classmate Monica Haynes for a dress.

With about 75 students attending classes each week and the numbers growing, Lozner aims to keep developing and improving her Little Silver location. Some goals she has in mind are to eventually expand the facility, provide certified classes for students to obtain college credit, and even trademark her exclusive fashion design program. “You can’t get these skills anywhere else,” she said.

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From textile and fashion design, to sewing and measuring, to learning how to design in Photoshop, Karen’s School of Fashion offers a variety of skills students can learn. Each class the school offers, whether it’s for adults, teens, or kids, has unique aspects which cater to the students and their individual experiences.

Adult and teen classes are focused on specialized techniques to help students build fashion portfolios for colleges and future careers in the fashion industry. Lozner and her staff are currently helping students work on their portfolios and applications for fashion design schools like the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design.

Kids classes are more foundational and aimed at exploring all aspects of fashion design. Classes like Fashion Runway let kids explore the whole fashion design process from a single idea to a finished product.

“We learn how to use Photoshop, we’re making our own fabric, and we get to decide what theme we do,” said 10-year-old student Monica Haynes of Fair Haven.

Fashion students Monica Haynes, Ashleigh Mills, and Ashley Micele, with the owner of Karen’s
School of Fashion, Karen Lozner. All students are wearing clothes they designed themselves.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Karen’s School of Fashion for these young students is getting to see their own designs come to life. “I feel so happy and proud of myself that I got to make something and design it myself,” said 10-year-old Ashleigh Mills of Fair Haven. “I always feel relieved that it comes out so cute because I can actually wear it out to dinner or to school,” she added.

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However, in the world of fashion, not everything turns out the way it’s supposed to the first time around. Ashley Micele of Rumson, also age 10, understands that things can go wrong during the design process, but feels relived when she gets it right. “When I do something right like making this shirt and these pants, I just feel very proud that I can wear it,” said Micele, pointing to her outfit she made herself.

When it comes to the kids, Lozner couldn’t help but smile at the impact she is making in the lives of these young, aspiring fashion designers. For her, it’s all about giving back. “The fashion design skills that I’ve acquired from childhood to the present, I wish to share with my students, and I hope it will enable them to become designers,” she said. “While teaching the fashion skills that I absolutely adore in combination with the love I have for children, I feel as though I am living my dream.”

This article was first published in the Oct. 12-19, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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