FashionTeens 2023 Show Highlights Upcycled, Wearable Art

Tarps, tomato cages, plastic bags, newspaper, old books… You may be wondering what they have in common. They were all destined for the dump. Our students saw they had another purpose; a second chance to be repurposed and upcycled in wearable art for FashionTeens – where the love of fashion and social and environmental activism merge.

Each year FashionTeens brings teenagers from across Santa Cruz County together for a fabulous, fashion runway event at different locations in Santa Cruz County. Rescheduled due to recent storm impacts, this year’s show took place Friday, March 24, at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

After working for months, students with a passion for fashion and creativity design, source, create, construct and showcase their own unique piece of fashion art. With onefocus on the environment and the impact we have on it, most creations are made from recycled or repurposed items giving new value to what otherwise would end up in our landfill. Another focus is on our work as social activists.

Thank you to students participating from schools across our County including Mission Hill Middle School, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Watsonville High School, San Lorenzo Valley High School, Scotts Valley High School, Alternative Family Education and Santa Cruz High School.

Additional thanks to our Families, Teachers and Mentors including Founder Kathleen Crosetti, Audrey Sirota, Patricia Sotarello, Laura Lamascus, Terry Thompson, Julie Nolte and Jennifer Taylor, and County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Faris Sabbah.

Photos by Crystal Birns Photography. View more photos on the COE’s Facebook page, and learn more about FashionTeens at