Meet Sydney Keiser, four-year-old, Fashion Designer for J.Crew

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Sydney Keiser is probably the world’s youngest fashion designer who can’t yet grasp what a sensation she is. Now aged seven, she rose to fame on the Internet just when she was four years old as Mayhem through her mother Angie Keiser’s blog and Instagram account. She became even more famous when J.Crew signed her to design their clothing line for children, back in 2015.

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Mayhem uses just paper, tape, glue, and scissors to make her dresses. Sydney Keiser sometimes uses pieces of fabric, jewels, feathers and anything she can find in her home and follows her creativity. To make sure that they don’t spend much on the supplies, her mother made a deal with her that they don’t make anything unless they don’t already have the supplies, except when they run out of tape and glue. All the gifts they receive on special occasions are ample and they don’t really need to purchase anything.

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At first, her mother had to help her extensively as Mayhem was obviously inexperienced but all the designs are mostly hers. Although she can now create all of her designs without any help (she’s been doing this since she was three!) her mother still helps out because of her very inconsistent attention span. She can even sew! Even when she is not making a dress, she is always giving inputs on what she wants or making another dress sitting by her mother. She even has a mannequin which she named McKenza and considers it as her imaginary sister.

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Mayhem creates whatever comes to her mind and says that she works at it for about 10 hours each day (10 child hours). When she felt like recreating red carpet looks from The Oscars, the Internet just lost it. When Angie received an email from Jenna Lyons, the President and Executive Creative Director of J.Crew, she could not help thinking that it was some set up. When her husband finally convinced her that she should reply to that email, she accepted their offer to let her daughter design a collection for them. The first time she spoke to the executives from J.Crew, she says that she and her daughter have no design experience in comparison. She reiterated the fact that they just tape paper together, sitting on their floor.

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The family was flown into New York City by the company and Mayhem got to create her ideas, as she always did at her home in Ohio, in the office of Jenny Cooper, Head of crewcuts. Her mother and an assistant paper-dress maker helped her in the process. Mayhem had fun through the whole process and after she was done, the J.Crew team magically recreated her designs using fabric. She was really pleased with how her creations turned out. This cutie loved the experience so much that she was in tears when she had to leave.

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The family is now residing in Georgia and Mayhem got her big kid bedroom in it. When she’s not creating dresses, Mayhem is busy living up to her nickname in their parent’s studio and living like any other kid her age. This smart lady already has solid business and retirement plans. Wonder how many Mayhems she is going to inspire once she is grown up!

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