A 10-year-old girl who was being bullied for her weight designed a plus-size clothing line and took it all the way to New York Fashion Week.
At an age when most of us were sitting around and watching cartoons, 10-year-old Ify Ufele started both a fashion line and an anti-bullying initiative, and she presented both this week at New York Fashion Week. It seems like the universe is working correctly for once, because this kid is totally going to grow up to be a star, and everyone is going to wish they’d been a whole lot nicer to her.
According to Today, 10-Year-Old Egypt Ufele, who goes by “Ify,” says she was inspired to start designing clothes after she was bullied at school. Jerks at her school were picking on her because of her weight, and she decided that she was going to turn “negative attention into positive attention,” by embracing her style and creativity to start her own fashion line for people of all shapes and sizes.
She learned to sew using her grandmother’s sewing machine, and now she’s dressing professional runway models. That’s pretty great revenge on the nasty kids who were picking on her. The best revenge is living well, and if she’s this successful at 10 years old, someday she’s going to be really famous, and those kids who picked on her will be bragging about having known her when they were kids.
Lots of little kids fantasize about designing clothes, and some, like Ify, even manage to make the clothes themselves. But this precocious adolescent took it even farther and started a business with a website and a mission statement. Drawing and sewing dresses is one thing, but starting an actual fashion line and taking it to Fashion Week is in a whole other ballpark. Her entrepreneurship would be impressive in a woman twice her age, and for a 10-year-old it’s astounding.
She calls her line Chubiiline, and her designs are remarkably sophisticated for a child. She has a fearless sense of color and a good eye for proportion. Her designs look both comfortable and fun to wear. If she’s designing like this at 10, fashion schools will probably be falling all over themselves to court her when she’s older.
That’s great, too, because the fashion world needs more people like her. Creative kids who care about inclusivity and social justice are just the sort of people who are going to make the world a better place.
Ify has had a ton of success for a kid her age, and it looks like she has a lot more in her future. She’s really inspiring. She went from a bullied schoolgirl to a role model for other kids like herself, and grown-ups should be taking note, too.