Fashion For A Cause: Project Pairs Underprivileged Girls With Formal Dresses

About two dozen girls, ages 12 to 18, quietly talked among themselves Thursday afternoon while eyeing the dresses sorted by size on three tables.

The dresses were theirs for the choosing thanks to Sam Sisakhti of Boston, founder of UsTrendy, that he describes as the world’s largest independent fashion e-commerce site. He said it is now a top 100 online fashion retailer of junior and young women clothing.

Last October, Sisakhti, who once lived in Nashua, formed the nonprofit Believe in Yourself Project, which works with community centers and after-school programs to provide new designer dresses for underprivileged girls to wear at school dances or upcoming events.

Yesterday, it was the Nashua teens turn to make a selection.
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The girls picked a dress in order of a number drawn.

Cordona selected Number 2, which gave her a good chance at that red party dress.

It turned out no one selected the number 1 ticket so Cordona got first pick and the sequined dress.

“I love it!” she smiled. “It makes me feel sophisticated.” She’ll be wearing it later this month at the club’s “Youth of the Year” dinner. She’s one of the finalists.

Brianna Duston, 13, an eighth grader at Pennichuck Middle School, dazzled in a navy dress, striped in black lace, and in a fit-and-flair style.

“I’m probably going to wear it to one of my school dances,” she said.

The dresses came in a variety of colors — black, white, eggplant, teal, blue — many featuring lace and at least one was made of velvet.

Faridah Sidek, 15, a freshman at Nashua High School North, couldn’t stop smiling.

“I never had a lace dress,” she said, clutching a shift.

Sisakhti told the teens he had always wanted to own a fashion company. He received 150 rejections from potential investors, he said, but he never gave up.

Finally, 10 years ago an individual who had invested in Skype and other online ventures, provided the financing for his company.

He, too, couldn’t help but smile as the girls made their selections. He told them he will be back again one day with more dresses for other events.

“I hope this will be the first of many,” he said.

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