Kids as designers
Do you think it’s possible for kids -young ones- to be designers? By that I don’t mean the minutia of putting out a product line by themselves although the youngest one I ever worked with -she was 12- had a working operation, outsourcing the sewing to girls in her girl scout troop. I kid you not. They were making and selling sleeping bags -to order- for beanie babies.
Kids as designers is kind of a sore topic with me, call it outright rancor. The boy is rather talented artistically yet I’ve never been able to persuade him to follow some constraints and direction to produce a design with artwork to scale that I could work with. Off to the side is an example of what I mean. I think this tattoo design would be awesome on a leather jacket. I even thought of approaching the tattoo designer about licensing. Those style lines could be stitched down with a contrasting leather underneath and the top layer cut away to reveal the pattern (like this). but has the boy ever produced? No, he has not and I’ve offered him terms that any beginning designer would give their eye teeth for (hourly wage plus 10% of sales, 10%!). I suppose it’s just as well. Based on personal experience, none of the things I think are cool ever sell. It’s so much fun making these kinds of things. I never get work like this. Wah wah wah, all I do is whine.
Do you recall that bit of fun we had with design sketch analysis? Boy, that entry was snarky, I need to remember to go back and do some copious editing for sure. Anyway, at the very bottom of that entry was a sketch done by a six year old girl -and it was totally doable- and sale-able! The sketch was much better than sketches done by individuals much older than she. So, in my opinion, I think kids can design. Anyway, all of this was inspired by an email I got:
I have a ten year old daughter who lives, sleeps, and breathes fashion. I am interested in getting a clothing line started for her that is geared towards tween and teen girls. She has not learned how to sew, but has an incredible portfolio showcasing her insightful, and youthful designs. I am certain that she would need some type of formal training in designing, however I have never seen such talent in a young ten year old girl, that I feel very strongly about helping her make her dreams of becoming a fashion designer true.
Is there any avenue that you could direct us in to see if anyone would be willing to take a look at her designs and possibly get a clothing line developed? Would this even be possible given that my daughter is only ten years old with no sewing experience?
The obvious impression you’ll walk away with is that mom is smitten with her child and thinks she’s perfect but let me tell you, that support is never related to the child’s age. I’ve seen grandmothers wax eloquent about their 40+ year old daughter’s talent in similar terms so don’t deprecate it based on the child’s age. The only downside I see to this really happening is the perception of how fashion happens. As we all know, many people think designers just design and manufacturers buy it from them and make it happen. However, if mom were willing to pick up the drudge work and apply some constraints (talk about learning lessons of limitations), there really is no reason it couldn’t happen.
What do you think? This sort of thing always interests me. She could be a prodigy and I think we’re too quick to make assessments and write someone off based on their age.