Girl Scouts are getting a new look for the first time in nearly 20 years after the organization teamed up with design students of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology to create some updated designs for “the next generation of leaders.”
The leadership organization announced the news on Tuesday, noting its past apparel collaborations with designers like Diane von Furstenberg. However, this latest collaboration is different because it invited young designers to reimagine the traditional uniform of Girl Scouts grades 6 to 12, which has been unchanged for some time.
“The current Cadette/Senior/Ambassador vest and sash were last updated in the 90s, and we have heard from girls that they wanted updates. We felt the need to update the uniform components in a way that allows the modern Girl Scout to show her pride and affiliation, but also her individuality and personality,” Wendy Lou, deputy chief revenue officer at GSUSA, tells Yahoo Life. “We also recognized the importance of giving the girls updated options and keeping them in line with the updated Girl Scout program which continues to evolve.”
The Girl Scouts tapped into three 2020 FIT graduates — Nidhi Bhasin, Jenny Feng and Melissa Posner — to take the classic uniform, including a green vest and sash, and give it some “modern, fashionable twists.” The goal, according to the organization, is to allow each of the girls to showcase their individual personalities while representing the Girl Scouts. Young women currently involved in the organization even took part in the design process to make sure that their visions came to fruition.
“Focus group participants highlighted the importance of individuality, inclusivity, functionality, and comfort,” Lou continues. “The now graduated design students ensured that the apparel not only encompassed present-day fashion trends, but also varied in style to appeal to middle and high school girls across the country. Overall, this collection embraces girls’ desires to express their individuality through fashion by offering mix-and-match options that can be worn while participating in Girl Scout activities or as everyday wear.”
The new uniform that resulted includes an updated khaki utility vest made with a cinched waist and epaulet shoulder, and a new sash featuring a pocket big enough to fit the largest iPhone. The pieces are aimed to be functional and fashionable for Girl Scouts to wear to troop occasions or elsewhere. Bhasin, one of the FIT designers and a Girl Scout alum, shares that she used her experience with the organization to inform her design process.
“Girl Scouts really helped strengthen my self-confidence and encouraged me to pursue my interests,” she said. “With this collection, our shared goal was to not only design trendy attire but also make sure that girls would feel inspired, proud, and powerful while wearing each piece. Today’s Girl Scouts are the next generation of leaders, so we needed to make sure they dress the part so they can continue to take on the world!”
Lou explains that the partnership with FIT was no coincidence. “GSUSA came to FIT not just because of its reputation for innovation, but because of the incredible opportunity to engage with forward-thinking female design students — ideally positioned to translate the ideas of today's Girl Scout into on-trend, wearable designs,” she says. “FIT has a commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship among its students, and GSUSA’s values include launching the female leaders of tomorrow who will do good in the world and be part of the same kind of innovative change that fuels FIT.”
Women outside of the organization can also support the Girl Scouts by purchasing some of the new 18 pieces of apparel, including new T-shirts, sweatshirts, joggers, leggings, a skater dress and a denim jacket, from the Girl Scouts online store.
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