Finding Self-Esteem Through Fashion

It’s fashionable to tell teenagers: “Find and follow your passion.”

Zoe Cohen’s passion is fashion.

Over the past few years, Zoe — now a Staples senior — has taken 8 courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She’s studied fashion design, business, sewing and “inspiration.”

Zoe Cohen

Zoe Cohen

She’s worked at Mitchells. Most of her time is in customer service, but during an internship with the women’s buying office she went to New York, visiting Prada, Jimmy Choo and other high-end labels.

Zoe also interned at J. McLaughlin’s headquarters. Every Thursday, she took a train and 3 subways to Brooklyn.

This spring, her senior internship will be with Brunello Cucinelli.

Her main activity in Staples is the Teen Awareness Group. TAG raises awareness of the many compromising situations young people may face, and promotes healthy social decision-making.

One of the most persistent teenage problems is low self-esteem in girls.

Zoe realized the power that fashion holds over girls — positive as well as negative. She wondered how — with her interest in fashion — she could help.

She came up with a great idea: an interactive blog.

Then she taught herself how to create one.

The result is FashionEsteem.com.

A great pair of sunglasses "can make an outfit and lift your spirits," Zoe writes.

A great pair of sunglasses “can make an outfit and lift your spirits,” Zoe writes.

The site allows users to post photos of their favorite clothing, shoes, handbag or accessory, and describe how it makes them feel beautiful and confident. There is a question box, and “Tips of the Week” to help anyone dress in style.

“I feel so accomplished and confident after completing each inspiration board and design,” Zoe says.

“I want every female to feel this way. I believe that wearing something that you love has the power to make you feel special.”

A "Tip of the Week" describes scarves as the perfect accessory for any outfit.

A “Tip of the Week” describes scarves as the perfect accessory for any outfit.

On her blog, someone described a quilted jacket:

I like it because I can wear it any time of the year,especially when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to put a whole outfit together. This coat makes me feel glamorous without a lot of effort!

It’s perfect to throw over any sweater, and the color is just dark enough to go with pretty much anything in my closet. It adds a little preppy-ness to any of my outfits, which is a huge part of my style. I love how chic the quilted looks makes me feel!

Feedback has been good. “People love learning new ideas for their wardrobe, and how to have fun,” Zoe says.

FashionEsteem.com is hard work — and Zoe works hard.

Hopefully, she feels very, very good about all she has done — and about herself.

14 responses to “Finding Self-Esteem Through Fashion

  1. Jo Ann Davidson

    Good to encourage sunglasses for young people, not only for fashion, but to prevent eye problems later in life.
    Jo Ann Davidson

  2. U. Zooelly N. Trouble

    “She’s doin’ all right, gettin’ good grades, her futures so bright, she’s gotta wear shades!!!!”

  3. Zoe, your blog is incredibly informative and easy to read … and I’m about as far away from ‘fashionista’ as one can get. Wonderful job!

  4. Great idea, great girl! xoxo

  5. Zoe does sound hardworking and adorable, but what I love is the Westportiness of thinking Jimmy Choo sunglasses are an “affordable” luxury. Only in the right zip code, kid.

    • In the realm of luxuries, it is. She qualified the “affordable” with the word “luxury.” Affordable is all relative to however much you spend on luxuries. Move on..

    • I agree…Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs? What does it do to the self esteem of girls who can’t afford such things (even here in Westport! Gasp!) Nice effort on Zoe’s part for pursuing her passion, but slanted in an oh so Westport way.

      • Then don’t read it. Fortunately, there are many in Southwestern Connecticut (and beyond) who can afford such things.

        • I am not saying there is not. And I am not complaining that I “have” to read the posts. I would just like to point out that there might be some girls for whom buying these “affordable” accessories is not possible. That’s all.

          • I think it is fantastic Zoe is dedicated in pursuing her passion. She is doing a great job. However, I hope as she goes forward in the world she will remember that most people don’t live like many Westporters. Jimmy Choo and affordable rarely go together. Most people will never own Burberry. She sounds very bright and will learn more with more experience and opportunity. Keep up the good work.

  6. Great job zSc
    Men need self esteem from fashion too? how about including us as well !!!

  7. Luxury can be interpreted as many things to different people. You can go to CVS and find a great pair of sunglasses and they can make you feel just as great!!

  8. YAYYYY ZOE this is awesome!!! so prouddd :))))

  9. Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs (wish I could afford that bag) and J. Crew are suggested on the blog..but you can get the look for less at Marshalls, second-hand stores, and H&M (scarf was posted)..so it’s not the brand, but the look she is suggesting. iShe’s hard-working, driven (3 subways!!), and dedicated to a great cause. Great Idea. Wish I would have thought of it..and I’m going to bookmark it because these classic looks are still applicable for a woman three times her age. (me)