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A Pattern For Success

A new business is turning ordinary kids into haute couture designers, CBS News Correspondent Tracy Smith for The Early Show's Study Hall
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When kids are allowed to dress themselves, even in clothes their parents bought, they can come up with some pretty outrageous combinations.

So why would anyone think it's a good idea to let them create their own clothing?

Because, to paraphrase Ralph Lauren, it's not about designing clothes, but designing dreams.

They're the trendsetters of the world: Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and now Tristan Friedman?

Eight-year-old, Tristan is turning her colored drawings into kiddie couture. Showing her drawing, she says, "On the lower portion, it's going to be a big poufy dress, and there's going to be a neon pink, a neon red, and a light blue." She is doing it with the help of a company called "Imagine This," and its creator, Liz Geier.

Geier explains "Imagine This" as a way to enable children to design their own one-of-a-kind outfits. "A lot of little girls just do it as a doodling thing, draw pictures of what they'd like to wear, princess dresses or anything they'd like to wear, so I take those pictures and turn them into patterns."

The task isn't always easy.

"Especially with really small kids, the drawings, sometimes you wouldn't even know that the picture is supposed to be of a dress," says Geier. "It's almost like working with a police sketch artist, you know, that kind of thing, where a person can't draw a picture of somebody, but if they can describe it to a person who can draw, they can get it. So what we end up with is a clearer version of what they already see in their mind, which is very cool."

While any kid can become a client, this haute couture has an haute price, starting at $350. For that, Geier personally sews each outfit at her home in L.A. and works one-on-one with clients like Tristan, making sure their "original" designs are made precisely how they're envisioned.

But with the combinations that kids come up with, one wonders why would you want to give them license to design their own clothes.

Geier says, "The things that they design are really unusual. They're the kind of things that get commented on a lot. When people see them, they're like, 'Oh my God, what a great dress!'"

Comments that veteran child designers, like Edith Young, Olivia Anacon, and Stephanie Leckich, hope for.

Stephanie says she wanted to make a different kind of jeans and start a new trend. So what did others says about her design? Stephanie says, "Well, I went to my fifth-grade social with it, and everyone, they were pretty impressed."

And as for the "impressive" price tag, Stephanie's mom says it's worth it. She says, "It's so exciting, I had such low expectations of her drawing, quite frankly, and when we told her that she had this opportunity, she sat down, she knew exactly what she wanted. It was fascinating to see what she produced."

And Tristan's mom feels the same way. She says, "That's a nice thing, I think, for young kids, to have a sense of pride in what they do and be able to show it off."

Does your kid want to be a designer? Visit Imagine This.