Petite divas launch eZine


POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2009

So, what were you doing when you were 6 years old? Playing in a sandbox, playing “;fort”; in the back yard with your neighborhood buddies or just lazing around in front of the tube?

Six-year-old Zoe Lau and her best friend from kindergarten, 5-year-old Siena Spagnoli, can already count themselves as editors and photographers with the online publication of their first eZine, Fashion Diva. The digital magazine went online a week ago, with technical help from Zoe's mom, Monica Lau, a professional photographer who said she resisted any temptation to meddle with editorial content.

“;It's all the girls,”; Monica said of the project that took root a month ago. “;One day Zoe came up to me and said, 'Mommy, I want to start a fashion magazine.' Just like that.

“;I thought it was amazing because I had worked in publications and photography for a long time and I thought this was a project we could work on together.”;

You know times have changed when what most adults would have called playing dress-up when they were in kindergarten, is now a viable career even kids know as being a stylist. While one might assume a steady diet of E! Television, “;Project Runway”; and reality modeling competitions led to the magazine's conception, Monica said they have no television in their household.

Still, it's hard to overlook the ubiquitous digital camera and its role in raising a camera-ready, image-savvy generation. Add to the mix an uncle who worked as a model, who taught Zoe how to pose when she was 4, and it makes sense that, instead of begging for extra snacks at the grocery store, Monica said that one day Zoe asked for a fashion magazine. Vogue was her title of choice.

Zoe said, “;I always wanted to make a magazine — since I was born — and I wanted to have stuff about Halloween and fashion.”;

Her first editorial meeting with Siena took place at Kailua's A Cup of Tea, where the girls hashed out their editorial ideas, including costume and accessory features, stories that friends told to parents, who dutifully committed their words to print, scary-hair-taming tips and recipes.

IN PREPARING the magazine for publication, Monica took her orders from Zoe. “;She told me how she wanted things laid out, how things should be written. She came up with the names of the features.

The only significant adult-generated content is Monica's explanation of how the magazine came about, under the editor's page.

Otherwise, Zoe and Siena have a lengthy list of friends with the title of “;contributor.”; All the children did their own photography based on their concepts and styling, and they were given a deadline of Oct. 15.

While the amount of photographs and contributors involved would challenge a pro, Zoe deemed the work “;Easy, very easy. It took only a couple of weeks.”;

Monica said uploading the photos took her a week, but she, too, said it was easy. “;It's fun! I'm such a project person anyway and it was great playing with the kids. I like spending my spare time this way.

“;The kids are super cute and it was a learning process for me in just letting them go instead of taking over and doing it myself.”;

Zoe's already making plans for a Thanksgiving issue, and with an ad rate of $2 — $1 for each editor so they can reward themselves with a shopping spree at Claire's — it's one of the most affordable media in town.

Monica can't predict how long a run Fashion Diva will have, however.

“;Zoe's so young so this could turn out to be one issue, or it could be a lifetime idea. As long as she's interested, I'll help her.


See the premiere issue of Fashion Diva at www.monicalauphotography.com/FashionDiva