FemBodiment Event: Free Your Star Foundation

This Friday, September 30th, join YMA FSF Scholar Sahar Pazirandeh to celebrate the launch of the Free Your Star Foundation (affiliated with her accessories line: Freedom Star)! The evening has been named Fem Bodiment as it will highlight women entrepreneurs in fashion, photography and beauty industries. Enjoy music by stylist and D.J. Radio Rose Garcia, stop by the eyelash bar for complimentary false lash application and sip on a specialty FemBodiment cocktail.  Live music and dance performances will whisk you through a stylish evening for a good cause.  Support a grass roots organization that is a vehicle of change and empowerment for urban youth and women.

The  Free Your Star Foundation aims to change the face of fashion, film, photography, and magazine industries by being a fiscal and mentor resource for urban youth and women. Partnering with credible professionals the Foundation will offer scholarship recipients first-hand experience through structured internship programs. In addition the Foundation will offer grants to Fashion Designers, Documentarians and Photo Journalists working towards the same cause.


Friday, September 30th

6 p.m. -10 p.m.

321 East 73rd Street


YMA FSF:  What are you doing these days?

SP: I am the Founder of Freedom Star, a for-profit organization working towards a social change since 2008. Under the Freedom Star umbrella I I run credit-earning, fashion-based programs for high school students, event production (galas, fundraisers, and launches that have included Dancing With The Stars’ Edyta Sliwinska, and Pulitzer Award winning author Junot Diaz, among others, and last but not least fuel for my soul and my “bait” for attracting teenagers, Freedom Star Accessories Line: www.FreedomStarOnline.com

YMA FSF: How has the YMA FSF helped you in both your fashion and philanthropic pursuits?

SP: As an independent student I was fully responsible for my tuition and cost-of-living. The support I received from YMA really put my mind at ease, I was able to work less hours and focus on my studies and forming Freedom Star.  The support I received from YMA made me realize the importance of being supported fiscally during my educational career. I knew that I wanted to offer the same support through Freedom Star one day, thus Free Your Star was born.

At the YMA awards dinner I met the CEO of Iconix Brand Group, Mr. Neil Cole, his brother, Kenneth Cole, was being recognized that evening. I introduced myself to Mr. Neil Cole at the event and landed an amazing senior internship experience. Working with brand managers for Badgley Mischka, London Fog, Rampage, Candies and Bongo, my love for the business side of fashion was confirmed.

YMA FSF: What does Free Your Star mean to you and what do you hope to achieve?

SP: Free Your Star is truly a dream come true for me. As an immigrant that is living the American Dream, I have experienced first-hand the opportunities of this nation, especially the fiscal support that is possible due to a generous community called Philanthropist.

As a Fashionlanthropist I use a common language  – fashion – to educate and empower urban youth and women. Beyond offering scholarships and grants to up-and-comer fashion designers, Free Your Star will be a mentor resource. One day, Free Your Star will offer fashion business fundamental workshops, first-hand experience to scholars through structured internship programs, and eventually, a resource for the masses that do not live in New York, but would like to experience and get to know the fashion industry by offering them short-term housing and first-hand NY fashion industry experience.

YMA FSF: What do you feel are major challenges of working in the fashion industry and how will Free Your Star enable urban youth to overcome these challenges?

Working in the fashion industry means having hard work ethic and a “golden brain.” It is one of very few industries that allow the creative mind to blend with the business mind – an industry where an entrepreneurial spirit is welcomed. With urban youth the biggest struggle is overcoming mental slavery, many think that all they need is on their ‘block,’ and often they do not want to work harder to discover their bigger picture.  To expose students to the various roles in fashion, creative and business side, and giving them one thing to be confident about allows them the building blocks for a better future, and to learn that hard work can be fun. To understand the world of possibilities just over the bridge, in Manhattan, for them to know that money does not have to get in the way of education, and most importantly, that they are smart enough to pursue any of their aspirations.

Fashion did that for me, it was first my armor, it helped me hold my head high when approaching a challenge, and then it became my vehicle to freedom.

YMA FSF: How can students and industry professionals get involved?

Fiscal support to help us reach our fundraising goals for 2012 school year is always appreciated. More importantly, what will make the lives of this population more rich is not the fiscal sponsorship, but a mentor sponsorship. A phone call or email a month, or perhaps speaking to a group once a semester can make such a difference in shaping a life and a successful fashion career. Such small actions mean so much.

Learn more about Sahar’s inspiring project:


One Response to “FemBodiment Event: Free Your Star Foundation”
  1. Go Sahar! Proud to become among the YMA scholarship winners doing great things by helping people.

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