NEW YORK — Almost 100 teenage girls crowded the juniors department of Macy's Herald Square store Wednesday evening, showing off their unique fashion for the chance to become the "it" girl for trendy clothing brand Heatherette.
The Heatherette design duo — Richie Rich and Traver Rains — designed Pamela Anderson's dress for her Saint-Tropez, France, wedding to Kid Rock (see "Kid Rock And Pamela Anderson Marry In 'Real Rock And Roll Wedding' ") and have hosted wild fashion shows that draw celebrities like Paris Hilton and Blondie's Debbie Harry.
The designers were seeking out an "it" girl to shoot a photo campaign for a more sedated line of funky clothes, which will be sold in 80 Macy's stores across the country.
"Every girl we've run into in the last few years, they always said to us, 'We want to be a Heatherette model! We want to be your "it" girl!' " Rich said. "We were curious to see real girls out there and why they want it. All their answers were to be fun, flirty and fashionable."
Another big draw was celebrity guest Mya, who was on hand to judge the event and gave the crowd a sneak peek of her new album, Liberation, which hits stores November 14. The R&B songstress, in head-to-toe Heatherette, wore a light-blue chiffon top and denim capris.
"Liberation means to be set free," she said. "There is no holds barred on this album. Mya is saying what Mya wants to say and doing it my way and having a great time and loving life."
The starlet said Heatherette was an "inspiration" for the album's fun and flirty sound.
"When I went to their first show I was already a Heatherette fan, and I turned a fan for life," she said. "The fans, the energy and the originality and the fact that they do take risks, I love that in a business where people are always trying to confine you. And they inspire me so much more outside of fashion as well ... just their energy and what they stand for.
After close to 100 girls tried out, the designers and Mya narrowed the group down to five. The finalists walked the catwalk and had a dance-off to Mya's new single, "AYO."
Glendale, New York's Sara Isabella Bieler — who silkscreened a picture of the designers on her T-shirt — was crowned Heatherette's "it" girl.
"My style is really wild and original," said Bieler, who paired the tee with a mini-skirt, white leggings and Converse sneakers. "I try to be unique and make it crazy and glittery and bright and everything."
She went home with the prize — a $500 customized wardrobe, two tickets to the Heatherette spring 2007 fashion show and an appearance in a photo shoot.
"Sara is fun, original and funky and totally embodies the spirit of Heatherette," Rich said. "Wearing a homemade Heatherette-style T-shirt totally showed her 'look at me' spirit."
The funky collection — inspired by Heatherette's fall 2006 Gothamist collection — is being sold alongside lines like JLo, Baby Phat and Applebottoms. The line consists of rainbow-printed tank tops, mini-skirts, skinny jeans, studded tops and graffiti-strewn pink hoodies — each item for less than $100.
"It's great and totally affordable," said Rachelle Adams, an 18-year-old from Jersey City, New Jersey, who was buying a hoodie and T-shirt. "I love the bright colors."
Other "it" girl hopefuls had a lot to say about the "it" designers.
"I love Heatherette, and I'm from a really small town and I'm always the girl who is dressed kind of weird and different," said Xhemile Karpuzi, 16, who drove with her mom from New Jersey to try out for the contest. "They totally get my style. I wore a Heatherette dress to my sweet 16 [party], and I was the only one who had it."
Karpuzi wore a red, flashing Chuck E.Cheese ring; a Smarties necklace; a Hello Kitty handbag; and a mini-skirt with leggings underneath.
"I don't think Heatherette is for wallflowers," she said. "They're for people who stand out. I'm so happy they're making a more affordable line so this way everybody can have it."
Other girls waited with their entry forms, a Polaroid picture of themselves and a one-word description of their style ready.
"Heatherette represents heaven," said Candace Morales, 15, who was visiting from Fayetteville, North Carolina. "And heaven is all about peace, joy and happiness. And I think if you have those three qualities, you can be the 'it' girl."
Julianne Young also stood in line, wearing D&G sunglasses, a L.A.M.B. bag and American Eagle skinny jeans.
"I love fashion and I love Heatherette," she said. "They're so crazy and cool. I'm different and a lot of fun — being energetic and different and having fun — and that's what they're all about."