Young Designers Strut Their Stuff at iconcept jr



The area’s budding designers and future fashion moguls come together this Sunday at Art Center Sarasota for the first iconcept jr—a runway show modeled after the Art Center’s annual iconcept fundraiser but geared towards artists ages 8-18. As many as 25 young participants will take to the runway, modeling outfits of their own design and created using unconventional and recycled materials in a bid to support artistic exploration and the Art Center’s educational and outreach programs.

“It’s going to be a runway show just like the adults',” says Lisa Berger, Art Center Sarasota director and creator of both iconcept and its junior counterpart. The young models/designers will walk a professional runway under professional lights and sound, she says, their work laid out in a full program with a page dedicated to each artist.

There are no prizes and it’s not a competition, Berger continues, rather a focus on fostering creativity and building confidence in the students, which would only be undermined by pitting them against each other. When encouraged, the students have shown themselves to be “quite innovative,” she says, designing outfits and constructing runway-ready clothing from recyclables, medical supplies, bath sponges, coffee sacks and even local media, to name a few. “They’ll all be celebrated,” she says. “That’s what this is all about.”

But it’s also about raising money for the Art Center’s youth scholarships and programming such as Slice of Art, which brings students from area schools into the Art Center for guided tours through the exhibits. Many participants in iconcept jr were also attendees of the Art Center’s summer Boot Camp, where they worked directly with adult iconcept artists and learned to sew and hem and solve problems like a designer, and it's this type of programming that Berger hopes to support.

The show begins in Art Center Sarasota at 12pm on Sunday, September 25, and runs until noon. Tickets include a buffet lunch and are $50 for adults and $25 for those 17 and under. VIP tickets are $75 and include a seat along the runway.

Pictured: Olivia Schmeits of Riverview High School models her creations. Photo courtesy of Art Center Sarasota.

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