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'Mommy and Me' Crowd Elbows Into Fashion Week Tents

By DNAinfo Staff on February 13, 2012 7:17am

By Della Hasselle and Serena Solomon

DNAinfo Staff

UPPER WEST SIDE — Forget the playground, movies or ice cream shops — it seems that kids these days are craving haute couture.

The tents at New York Fashion Week this weekend were teeming with kids as young as 3-years-old, alongside pre-teens in their fashionable best and aspiring teen designers.

All in the company of their parents, the young fashionistas came to the Super Bowl of Fashion for motivation — or simply to bask in the fashion and celebrity atmosphere.

"What better place that Fashion Week to be inspired?" said Natalie Israel, 39, before attending the Tracy Reese show with her daughter Kira, 11, and her father, Jean Paul Fallen, 65.

"She's starting to sew, so it will be nice for her to see how it all works," Israel added. "It's very inspiring for the kids."

Upper West Side parents Jerry Newarth and Karen Castellano, who had brought children Isabelle, 10, and Spencer, 7, to the Tracy Reese show, were also excited about Fashion Week as a family affair.

"We love it," Newarth said. "It gets [the kids] interested in what's happening, gives them a sense of style."

The parents weren't the only ones who were thrilled at the opportunity.

"I was so excited," upstate New York resident Victoria Magnone, 13, said of the moment she found out she had a ticket to a Fashion Week runway show. "I knew that there were going to be lots of famous people."

Magnone, who wore a pink shirt with a cat on it and silver Doctor Martens, came with her mother, sister Isabella and friend Nicole Greco.

Many of the kids came dressed in their best for the event, trying to keep up with the designers, bloggers and models by flaunting their trendiest threads and kicks.

"I am finally able to say I am wearing a brand," said New Jersey resident Ann Kunz, 12, in a black lace Armani dress with a Swarovski crystal necklace.

"I will be honest. I like it because it makes me look thinner," she added, about the dress. "Just because we are kids [it] doesn't mean we don't care."

Kunz and her friend Madeleine Phillips, 12, were in the lobby gushing over platform shoes before seeing the Jill Stewart show.

Maddie Gough, an aspiring 14-year-old fashion designer from North Carolina, had also come to Fashion Week with her twin sister, Nikki. She wore a black lace skirt and a pink top from Forever 21.

"I like lace a lot. I really like the vintage look," she said, adding that she "didn't want to wear all black."

This was Gough's second turn at Fashion Week. The day before, she had attended the Fashion Design School at the Academy of Art University, where she wore a dress she had designed herself that was made from a navy fabric with bow patterns on it.

The girls had been taken by Nikki and Maddie's father David Gough, 53, who flew over from Switzerland to take them to the tents.

"[Maddie] wants to be a designer, [Nikki] wants to be an artist," said Gough, explaining why he went to the effort to get his girls to Fashion Week.

Gough admitted that the kids could probably teach at least one parent a few things about New York Fashion Week.

"I'm clueless [about fashion]," he said. "I'm enjoying taking a lot of pictures of my daughters enjoying Fashion Week."

For all DNAinfo.com's Fashion Week coverage, click here.