The New York Times has a great story today on Parish Nation, a clothing label popular with hip hop artists that goes into troubled public schools and produces fashion shows. The brand's founder, Tony Shellman, argues that producing a fashion show teaches teamwork, responsibility, business skills, creativity, and risk taking. Of course, it also produces consumerism, superficial judgments and solutions, and class division, or at least heightened class awareness. When we were in college, there was a "charity fashion show." It was a huge deal, where if you got cast as a model, you were automatically deemed one of the school's most desirable girls, and if you weren't somehow working on it (as a "stylist," an art director, a publicist, a producer, whatever) you decided you hated the whole crew - even in the high school from the article, Camden High in New Jersey, only a little more than half of the students were allowed to attend the show with priority going to athletes, honor students and those with perfect attendance, arguably the kids who need the extra attention the least. Obviously, using a Fashion Show as an opportunity for self esteem and business experience is different - but is it different enough to encourage in all schools?