Prada at 15?

15-year-old-altamira

This kid is 15 years old. He is wearing Christian Dior and Prada head-to-toe. Is this supposed to be success for fashion? I am not sure. I am not sure I want to see children overtly concerned with fashion. Should they be? I warrant that the argument for a child being interested in fashion should be like a child liking sports, the ballet, or maybe automobiles is very valid.

However, I just get the sense that something is wrong with a fifteen year old projecting an image of something that is not his age. I think this image, which I found randomly at altamira, sort of puts into perspective the crisis we have with the youth of industrialized countries today. They are pressured into acting a certain age, into knowing certain things, things that I doubt very few kids even thought about. Consumerism, coupled with the youth obsessed culture we have, has pushed upon children a new role, the role of the kidult. It is expressed in the overtly sexual nature of what are supposed to be children and is illustrated in shows like Gossip Girl, where 15-year-old girls are fashion designers while juggling the sexual pressures of boyfriends.

How does fashion get linked into this? The issue of whether a 15-year-old should be sexually active is the concern of another blog, but, how fashion is linked with this issue is important for our time.

The issue here is not fashion, nor clothes, but what do these clothes represent. If they are “just clothes” to you, then I think you are missing my point. I am not talking about the clothes, I am talking about the significance of a child finding the same value in clothes as an adult, or thinking that having these clothes somehow makes them “more mature.”

Is fashion something you have grow into? Or is this some sort of right that 15-year-olds have now? Should a fashion sense be something nurtured, something grown into, accustomed to, found through personal understanding and careful experimentation? Or should we just let kids be yet another avenue for giant fashion conglomorates to sink their teeth into children like cigarette companies target teen smokers?

By: !

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8 Responses to “Prada at 15?”


  1. 1 Meghan November 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Although I see what you are saying (and agree that one must be at an age to understand what one is wearing before one goes ahead and wears it), a fifteen-year-old is not a child. It is a sophomore/possibly junior in high school who (possibly) is just a few years from heading off to college to embark on a life of his/her own. I’d like to think these are the years when we begin to come into our own as far as fashion is concerned. So, your question of value coupled with age is definitely interesting and something to consider, but fifteen years does not make a child.

  2. 2 Dr. ! November 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    From wikipedia: “The pre-frontal cortex is the primary center for planning complex cognitive behaviors, personality expression, decision making and moderating correct social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.

    The most typical neurologic term for functions carried out by the pre-frontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social “control” (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially-unacceptable outcomes).

    Many authors have indicated an integral link between a person’s personality and the functions of the pre-frontal cortex.”

    The pre-frontal cortex develops between the ages of 12-18.

    A 15 year old is a child, because they rely heavily on outside stimuli to develop thoughts and ideas. If that 15 year old is wearing Prada, it is not an expression of who he is, and his fashion taste, rather, because his mom, dad, friends or older siblings wear Prada. Therefore, for him, it is cool.

    Furthermore, at 15, there is minimal connection of your pre-frontal cortex to your limbic system (emotions, what you feel, what you like) so, any decisions he makes, has little or nothing to do with his own feelings, just what he has been taught.

    Ergo, 15 year olds are children, and if that was my fifteen year old, I would tell him to read or do something constructive with his mind, not develop attention seeking skills.

  3. 3 Sal November 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    There is nothing wrong with a child with a fashion sense, but there is something wrong with a child thinking that he/she needs to wear dior and/or prada to look good. The most beneficial fashion sense for a child would have to be one which promotes individuality. For example, letting a child wear whatever he or she feels looks good, ignoring the opinions of others. As the child matures, he/she will grow into their own style.

  4. 4 Meghan November 5, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Your ability to argue a point via a Wikipedia entry is impressive, and yes, biologically speaking, you (and apparently Wikipedia) are right that fifteen-year-olds have brains comparable to younger children. But tell me, at fifteen, you didn’t have an opinion about what you wore? You were just a young thing who listened to your parents and let them dress you? Because I don’t think that’s accurate. I think you (and I) were opinionated enough at fifteen to decide what we were going to wear whether that included Prada or not.

  5. 5 Meghan November 5, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    And to you Sal, who is to say that Prada does not make someone an individual? Just because one wears brands does not make that person void of individuality.

  6. 6 Mikhail November 5, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I do not think anyone is saying 15 year olds are mindless and wear what their parents choose for them. I for one know I had an opinion at 15, but you cannot argue with biology, and a 15 year old holds no commendable acumen on any topic, especially fashion. I discovered “style” before I discovered fashion and I think that is what this kid has lost. I knew what style was at 15, but that was an individual style created by my mind, Prada had meant nothing to me, I didn’t care how fashionable it was, or what the label said. At that age I did not have an ornate sense of style as I do now and I did not have any knowledge of fashion, and the thus careful execution of my “style”. Style has other strong connotations attached to it. Style is an attitude, a school of thought you develop with vehement in your mind and an eye cast to your surroundings as you try to separate yourself from it. The concurrent identity created is who you truly see yourself as. Style is a set of core beliefs, fashion is the medium of its manifestation.

    If the kid has Prada to wear I guess I cannot knock him. If he cracked his teeth on Prada then good for him, I for one know I was wearing the wackest shit when I was 15 and loved it. In retrospect I can compare what I wear now to then and derive an opinion. That is what I think is lost in starting out in Prada, you have to fall, and reinvent yourself over and over to become stylish. He is a trend follower instead of a trend setter, which he should see himself as at that age. Intrinsic values of individuality and the incessant rebellion that festers in our minds as we begin to hit adolescence gives birth to 15 year olds with skewed agenda’s and style, and in 2 years we think 70% of that is all wrong and the process repeats itself as we grow older and try to define ourselves, relative to our environs.

    Is that kid fresh to death? No one can argue with that, did he develop that look, that “style”, on his own, in his room wondering how to stick it to mom and dad? No I do not think so. When I was around that age I wore backwards fitted caps because I thought no one was sticking it to the man like Fred Durst. I’m sure I just looked like a wannabe Fred Durst and he looks like a wanna be Parisian fashionisto. His “effort” was obviously way more convoluted and the result is such.

  7. 7 Meghan November 5, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Style is a set of core beliefs, fashion is the medium of its manifestation. <<Perfectly put. Thank you.


  1. 1 Prada at 15? | Eleven Magazine Trackback on November 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm

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