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Cliffside Park High School Junior From Fairview Chases Fashion Dreams

Semarah Lafi Photo Credit: Facebook/Semarah Lafi
Semarah Lafi (left) with an Adidas model. Photo Credit: Semarah Lafi

FAIRVIEW, N.J.. — When Fairview native Semarah Lafi was 6, she wanted to be just like Miranda Priestly from the hit movie "The Devil Wears Prada."

Eleven years later, she's the founder and president of the fashion club at Cliffside Park High School (CPHS).

It's good training for becoming what she hopes will be a powerful fashionista just like the one she grew up idolizing, Lafi said.

"It is stressful because you have to accommodate everybody, but I really enjoy the responsibility," she said. "My goal is to make my mark in the fashion industry and I feel I am on my way."

The junior began dabbling in fashion by helping her older brother, a baseball player, pick out clothing.

"It is hard to find clothes that fit an athletic body," she said.

That experience inspired her to become a personal stylist for male athletes, which last summer led her to the campus of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, where she wants to go to school.

"The admissions adviser recommended I start a fashion club because it is a great way to earn a scholarship," Lafi said.

When Lafi returned to school in the fall, she applied for the club -- and was pleasantly surprised by how many students wanted to join.

"It's been really interesting learning about the personal style of all my classmates," said Lafi, who oversees the 16-member organization. "This club has definitely gotten me out of my comfort zone."

The club, which is sponsored by FIDM, meets once a month. Lafi plans different activities for each meeting, such as photo shoots and makeup tutorials.

Lafi's success as president helped her get selected to participate in an exclusive three-day fashion program with Adidas in February.

"I got to work with professional models and celebrity stylists," Lafi said. "It was challenging but very exciting."

Lafi plans to keep up the club in her senior year, and hopes to attend FIDM after she graduates.

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