'Fashion Camp' Makes the Girl Scouts Seem Even Frumpier

fashion aveIn a former life, I was Arts & Crafts co-director at a summer camp. Oh yeah. Tie-dye t-shirts, friendship bracelets, anything and everything plus glue and glitter ... those were the days. It was a simple time filled with the simple joys of pipe cleaner activities and smelly markers. Times, though, have changed. It's out with the old fashion and in with the new fashion ... and I mean that literally. There's a camp in NYC for those 12- to 18-year-olds out there who have a passion for fashion ... and rich parents. It's called FashionCampNYC.

I know, you can't decide if you love the idea or hate the idea. Let me help. You love it and hate it. Here's why.


You love it because camps, overall, are awesome. There are camps for everything under the sun, so why not fashion? Under the glamour and gloss of the fashion world is a real business made up of gross margins, mark-down percentages, and math. Lots and lots of math. FashionCampNYC purports to teach their campers about branding, marketing, retail and wholesale strategies, how to merchandise, how to successfully blog, how to take advantage of public relations, and how product development works.

Campers attend lectures given by industry insiders and go on field trips to stores to learn about display. The goal of the five-day camp is to teach teens how to turn their passion for fashion into a lucrative business. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

You hate it because it costs $1,295. Pretty sure the day camps I attended as a kid cost about $50 for the week and included a free T-shirt at the end. Wowzers. Only in New York, right? Well, actually, kinda ... because the camp fees don't cover any boarding costs, so really, only New Yorkers can easily attend -- everyone else from out of town will have to slum it in the W Hotel uptown.

You hate because the NY Times interviewed a camper whose favorite restaurant is super pricey, super chic sushi tent pole Nobu. She said she ate there four times the week she was at camp. So much for sloppy joes and grape soda.

You hate it because you can't go. Just me? Oh. Well yeah, I wanna go to FashionCamp, sue me. Sounds really fun! But I hope the campers have some classes in retail math though, because that is muy importante. New minus old over old is going to be their favorite formula if they're ever successful: Percent increases may not be as exciting as Prada shoes, but it's what keeps the industry heading in the right direction.

What do you think of FashionCampNYC?

Photo via Joe Shlabotnic/Flickr

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