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Passion for Fashion Winner gears up for dream run!
Jan '08
Reneé Topete, a senior at Otay Ranch High School, in Chula Vista, California has always dreamt of working for a fashion magazine for as long as she can remember.

Since she was a little girl, she loved to put together outfits and wear them all in one day, which to her mother's dismay, greatly increased the flow of laundry in the household. It was on an inspirational family vacation to Italy when Topete knew she wanted to work in the fashion industry.

Topete hopes to inspire people to make a difference in this world while looking amazing and fashionable at the same time. As winner of The Art Institutes Passion for Fashion Competition's Fashion Marketing & Merchandising and Fashion Retail Management Category, Topete will begin her creative education at The Art Institute of California – San Diego in the summer of 2008.

Topete's winning piece can be described as environmentally fashion forward and functional at the same time. Says Topete, “I strongly believe we do not need to cut trees or use animal materials and products to create things we love. Because there is so much trash and clutter accumulating in land fills, I thought it would be a good idea to use old rubber tires to create something useful and fashionable at the same time.”

Topete's original concept was to invent something different and unique both men and women would enjoy wearing but at the same time build awareness of environmental and recycling issues.

She attributes her creative success to her dedication to Yoga and the relaxing, rejuvenating environment it helps her maintain. She is looking forward to embarking on her new journey at The Art Institute of California – San Diego and hopes to continue growing her successful belt-making empire!

The Art Institute

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