Hollis-Brookline High School students in teacher Candice Hancock's Fashion & Retail Merchandising class are hosting a clothing drive and fashion show to benefit Catie's Closet, a local organization that provides stylish clothing to low-income schoolchildren. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)
Hollis-Brookline students celebrate fashion, spirit of giving
Monday morning marked the launch of a community-wide clothing drive to benefit Catie’s Closet, a Dracut, Mass.-based charity providing new and gently used clothing for school children whose families are struggling to make ends meet.
Hancock said the class itself is a new venture for the high school community, where family and consumer science courses in general have dwindled in popularity over the years.
With this year’s crop of students demonstrating a strong interest in fashion design, retail merchandising and other creative arts, Hancock suggested planning a fashion show, admitting her expectations were initially low.
After another staff member passed along a Catie’s Closet brochure, plans soon began falling in place for the clothing collection and fashion show.
The hour-long fashion show will feature student-designed outfits themed for each month of the year, followed by a display of fashions Saks Fifth Avenue’s Merrimack outlet store donated from its 2014 collection.
Student designers who participated in the Vans Custom Culture program, where teens model their own custom-designed sneakers, will also be featured in the show.
Senior Julie Zanella has been putting her sewing skills to good use, hand-stitching many alterations on the models’ outfits, while fellow senior Becca Gill will coordinate the evening’s modeling sessions.
Wilson said she was touched hearing about the struggles faced by low-income students and knew she wanted to help somehow.
Dapolito agreed that learning about Catie’s Closet was an eye-opening experience,
Clothing donation bins have been set up all over the school. The plan is to collect items during school hours through May 23.
Catie’s Closet currently has in-school “stores” at various sites around the region, including Lowell High School in Lowell, Mass., Alvirne High School in Hudson and Fairgrounds Elementary School in Nashua.