Fashionable Dreams Take Flight for Boys & Girls Club Contest Winners

Designer Elisa Jimenez (in mask) and the MSN 8 Butterfly Squad give members of Boys & Girls Clubs of America a behind-the-scenes peek at the fashion industry. L to R: Amhir Campell, Joseph LaMonica, Tahyasha Brown, Amanda Roldan, Corinna Skeete, Kelly Calderon. Click image for hi-res version.

New York, Feb. 13, 2003 — For several aspiring young fashion designers at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx, this year’s Fashion Week — when New York’s leading clothing designers show their fall 2003 collections — is a dream come true. Today the MSN 8 Butterfly Squad escorts a group of Boys & Girls Club members interested in the fashion industry to a star-studded fashion show and introduces them to designer Elisa Jimenez. The event, at a new Midtown venue called Show, will feature Jimenez’ latest designs, which include a piece inspired by the MSN 8 Butterfly.

The youths were chosen on the strength of their responses to an essay contest, held at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, about their dreams of a career in the fashion industry. The winning would-be designers will become Butterflies for-a-day and receive a front-row seat to the show, a visit with Jimenez and the models, and a first hand look at the glamour of Fashion Week. They will also see the work needed to be successful in a fashion show — the last minute coordination, the quick changes, and the fast make-up work.

The event is the latest in an ongoing program of support from Microsoft for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which began in 2000 with a US$100 million grant to equip the nation’s 3,000-plus clubs with computer access, and has led to an innovative series of
“Club Tech”
ventures across the United States. (See Related Links at right.)

The MSN 8 Butterfly Squad is taking flight on a nationwide tour from Microsoft that will visit major cities across the U.S. to make things
for residents and city officials by volunteering their time and effort to improve the area. The idea for the squad was inspired by the MSN 8 pledge to make the Internet experience
“better with the Butterfly.”
As part of that effort, the MSN 8 Butterfly Squad is working with local Boys & Girls Clubs, paying visits to kids in local children’s hospitals, performing community improvement projects and distributing free MSN 8 gear, MSN 8 discs and hard-to-get tickets to sporting events and local attractions.

“The MSN 8 Butterfly Squad helped make things better for the members of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club by making some fashion-industry dreams come true,”
says Kurt Aschermann, senior vice president, marketing and communications, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“We’re excited about working with MSN on the Fashion Week experience, as well as on the MSN 8 Butterfly Squad activities as they continue on across the country, supporting some of our other local chapters.”

A New York-based designer, Jimenez knows something about dreaming. She was once a young woman infatuated with the fashion world. Jimenez draws inspiration from butterflies, and naturally, had an eye on the MSN 8 Butterflies since they appeared on the scene. Her butterfly-inspired design in this week’s show will be auctioned off via uBid beginning February 20, with proceeds to be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of America.

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