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Tonawanda Teen Finds Calling in Fashion

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (Feb. 27, 2018) – The 8th annual Erie 1 BOCES fashion show, FUSION, will feature the hand-designed and produced apparel of high school students from across WNY who are involved in Erie 1 BOCES’ Fashion Design and Merchandising program.  
Tonawanda High School student Carah Kozakowski will be one of 11 students from nine school districts whose work will be Photo of Carah Kozakowski  showcased on Thursday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall at Buffalo State College.  
Carah said fashion has always felt like a calling to her.  
“Going from elementary school when I played around with styles and wore so many different outfit choices to now, where I have somewhat of a style,” she said. “I love social media and fashion shows and would love to be a part of it one day. The fact that, with fashion, you can totally represent who you are just by what you wear and that fashion will always be around inspires me the most about fashion.”  
Carah said her designs drew on inspiration from coast to coast.  “I wanted to create looks that were original that no one's seen before. I combined California and New York City’s weather. I was inspired by the circus for the avant-garde piece… a black pleather skirt with a circus vibe 3-D skirt around it. I used a Hula-Hoop wrapped in twine and then feathers and more twine hanging off of it. This is supposed to pretend that hips are wider than they are and bring in a wild feel to the collection.”
Carah said the Erie 1 BOCES program has helped her discover many things she didn’t know about fashion, and cemented her desire for a career in the industry. “It made it easy to set my heart on something and give me hope during the tough times of high school. This showed me another path I could take after high school.” After graduation, she plans to pursue a fashion merchandising degree.  
Classes offered at Erie 1 BOCES afford students interested in fashion design and merchandising the opportunity to learn techniques that will allow them to pursue their dreams of launching clothing lines, starting apparel boutiques and attending a variety of college programs. 
The show is free and the public is encouraged to attend. For ticket reservations and other information, please contact Darlene Meek at by March 10. The event will also serve as a drop-off site for the annual Prom Dress Drive organized by Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon.  
About Erie 1 BOCES  
As part of public education, Erie 1 BOCES offers a variety of career and technical programs during the regular school day to high school students in Erie County. High school students interested in learning more about how they can participate in various programs such as fashion design, web and gaming technologies, health careers or aviation technology, should visit or speak with their high school counselor.