New York’s summer STITCHED Fashion Camp inspires young designers

By Rachel Covil - August 1, 2015

STITCHED Fashion Camp is the place where fashion dreams can come true, offering a two week summer camp for kids with a desire to sew and design.

Joe Zee and Rob Younkers launched STITCHED three summers ago. Zee, Editor in Chief of Yahoo Style and former creative director of Elle, launched the program with Younkers, a fashion designer and Adjunct Associate Professor at Parsons the New School for Design in The School of Fashion. In an article by Yahoo Style, Zee says that he and Younkers wanted to create a place that could be a creative outlet “where kids could come and express their inner Coco Chanels without judgment—or grades.”

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Target Inspires Budding Designers at STITCHED Fashion Camp

July 30, 2015

This summer marked a fashionable first for Target, thanks to a partnership with STITCHED Fashion Camp – a first-of-its-kind program started by Joe Zee, editor-in-chief of Yahoo Style, and Rob Younkers, a professor at Parsons. Founded in 2013, the East Hampton, N.Y., summer camp provides children ages 8 to 16 with hands-on fashion design experience. This year, Target decked out the space with inspiration and supplies, and our own Julie Guggemos, senior vice president, Product Design and Development, stopped by to get kids’ style inspiration from the fashion-forward campers and host two master classes. First up? A lesson in how to personalize a basic denim jacket.

Words of advice from Julie, Joe and Rob echoed around the room as the kids turned their focus to the work in front of them. Joe mentioned with a grin, “It’s like the ‘Project Runway’ workroom, but for eight-year-olds.”

Read more and watch the video here:


Interview with Joe Zee and Rob Younkers from Stitched Fashion Camp

July 31, 2015

Visit the link to watch a video interview with Joe Zee and Rob Younkers from Stitched Fashion Camp for News 12 Long Island.


Stitched Fashion Camp: Where Childhood Fashion Dreams Come True

By Joe Zee - July 30, 2015

"So STITCHED was born. We launched the camp together three summers ago in East Hampton, as a 2-week program where kids could come and express their inner Coco Chanels without judgment—or grades. From the very start it was important to Rob that we never dumb down the curriculum, instead offering the same level of teaching and guidance that we would any designer-in-training, whether eight or 18. So today, our campers do everything from designing their own fabrics to customizing t-shirts to making bags and finally, conceptualizing and executing an entire back to school outfit for themselves. Cuteness alert! And trust me—when realized by an exacting 8 year old, it's doubly as cute."

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How Rob Younkers Gives Back with Stitched Fashion Camp

By Nicole Schnitzler - June 2014

Fashion designer and mentor Rob Younkers develops a Hamptons-based summer camp for the next generation of creatives.

Hamptons“My first memory of creating anything was making clothing for my troll dolls out of felt,” says Rob Younkers of his childhood sewing sessions alongside his grandmother.

Last summer, in an effort to ensure others had the same chance he did, Younkers—who balances teaching at Parsons, designing for Ariana Rockefeller’s eponymous collection, and creating his own men’s line (set for a fall debut)—launched Stitched Fashion Camp, a hands-on workshop for aspiring fashion designers ages 8 through 16, alongside his boyfriend, Joe Zee, Yahoo editor-in-chief and executive creative officer of Yahoo Fashion.

During the one-and two-week sessions at East Hampton’s Guild Hall, participants gain firsthand insight into the design industry while working with Younkers and Zee to develop their own personal panache. “We really try to give them an experience that’s true to the industry experience,” explains Younkers. Such intentions are evidenced by the camp’s detailed itinerary, which begins with mood board creation and ends with a showcasing of the campers’ ready-to-wear pieces as well as the resources themselves: a fleet of new Singer sewing machines and customized textile design capabilities from Spoonflower.

For Younkers, whose experience working with kids began when he mentored a 14-year-old designer on MTV’s Made, the means that justify the end. “The process of them seeing a sketch they did and then wearing that sketch on their body is so important,” he says. “Whether or not they become the next Valentino, Versace, or Oscar de la Renta, they’re learning a skill that so many people don’t learn anymore.”

It’s a skill that Younkers wants to bring to others through additional city launches, holiday pop-ups, nonprofit involvement—including at this summer’s Super Saturday benefit on July 26—and even a shift in age groups next summer, when he hopes to debut adult classes in the Hamptons. Still, his passion is rooted in helping to build big-time designs via small measurements. “Working with kids makes you remember why you got interested in something in the first place,” he says. “They’re so wide-eyed and hungry for information, and that makes me take things a little less seriously. I always tell them, ‘So you made a mistake…. We’ll do it again. We’re making clothes; this is supposed to be fun and exciting.’”
Guild Hall, 158 Main St., East Hampton


Joe Zee to Teach at Fashion Camp in Hamptons

By Erik Maza - June 21, 2013

CAMP WITH ZEE: Joe Zee, Elle’s creative director, is adding camp counselor to his résumé. Fashion camp. Zee and his partner, Rob Younkers, an instructor at Parsons the New School for Design, are starting on Aug. 5 a two-week crash course in design and garment construction called Stitched Fashion Camp for boys and girls, ages 10 to 14.

The fashion teens will spend six hours in a studio in East Hampton, N.Y., getting lessons on illustration, design, construction, styling — even visual merchandising, according to its Web site. “They will sew a skirt or shorts, rework a T- shirt, and create a look from their illustrated collection,” said a description of the curriculum. Price? $1850, supplies included. "Please bring your own ‘brown bag’ lunch," the site advises.


Joe Zee's Fashion Camp May Be The Most Elite Summer
Experience Ever

by Renee Jacques - July 8, 2013

What's a young girl (or boy) to do when she is spending her summer vacation at her parent's beach home in East Hampton? Sure, she could try the regular activities like sailing and tennis. But once she tires of that, she could always sign up for Joe Zee and Rob Younkers' new fashion summer camp, Stitched Fashion Camp.

Stitched Fashion Camp is a new two-week program that will kick off on August 5-16 at the Guild Hall in East Hampton. For the first time ever, 12 lucky children will be granted the exclusive mentorship of Zee, the creative director of Elle, and Younkers, a fashion designer and professor at Parsons The New School for Design.

The attendees, who will range from 8-14 years old, will learn how to sketch concepts for their own cohesive six-piece collections. By the end of the program, they will cut, sew and assemble one out of the six looks, bringing their collections to life. Stitched Fashion Camp is serious about craft: The camp's corporate sponsor is Singer, provider of the campers' sewing machines.

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The Cut

Joe Zee Founded a Summer Fashion Day Camp

By Julie Ma - June 21, 2013

This August, Elle creative director Joe Zee will be taking a two-week hiatus from the Hearst Tower. He'll be in East Hampton, WWD reports, but not for a vacation: Instead, he'll be surrounded by "fashion-loving" tweens and his boyfriend, Parsons adjunct professor Rob Younkers, as the couple has co-founded a summer camp designed for aspiring young designers between the ages of 10 and 14. STITCHED: FASHION CAMP, which runs for two weeks, promises campers tips and advice from top industry experts, as well as opportunities to design, execute, illustrate, construct, and style. With a price of $1,850 for the session, you might call it glamping for kids. Lunch isn't included.

The Daily Front Row

Joe Zee's Next Project: Fashion Camp For The Hamptons Crowd

June 21, 2013

DailyElle's creative director, Joe Zee, has a summer project out East come August, and it's not a shoot for the glossy. Zee, a Hamptons regular, is setting up a two-week camp for aspiring fashionettes with his beau, Rob Younkers, called "Stitched Fashion Camp," according to WWD. Kicking off August 5, the day camp for coeds between the ages of 10 and 14 (anyone want to take a gander at what the gender ratio will likely be?), will consist of six hours a day getting schooled on the industry. Getting crafty with needle and thread, learning visual merchandising, and styling (but of course!) are all in the curriculum.

The price of getting an early start in the fashion fray: $1,850 for the 14-day immersive experience. Thankfully, the program's cost includes all the necessary trimmings for getting schooled in design 101. FIT for the tween crowd? Parsons for the petite set? It's only a matter of time before the opportunity becomes waitlist-only. Expect some equally as fashion-obsessed parents to hang around a bit longer during drop-off to catch Zee in style-skewed counselor mode...


What to Expect from Joe Zee and Rob Younkers at Their New Fashion Summer Camp

By Tyler McCall - June 26, 2013

What started as a dream six years ago for Parsons professor Rob Younkers has become a reality: He and his boyfriend Joe Zee, creative director of Elle, are opening a fashion summer camp for kids. And in a way, it’s all thanks to reality TV.

“I did an episode of MTV’s Made in 2006 and worked with a teenager,” Younkers told us. “That was my first time working with a really young designer, and it sparked this interest in working with designers younger than college level.”

From there, Younkers began working with local art studios to put together small day camps and classes, but he always wanted to do something on a bigger scale. “It just started to grow and grow, and you know how things are, you want to eventually do something on your own,” he said.

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Refinery 29

Is This The Poshest Summer Camp Ever? Joe Zee Thinks So

By Seija Rankin - June 24, 2013

Is there anything that screams childhood more than rushing off to summer camp? Boating, swimming, sing-alongs, and mess halls are the stuff true memories are made of. Unless, of course, you're an aspiring fashion designer and Joe Zee devotee — then you're hunkered down in the Hamptons sketching, trimming, and sewing your day away.

Elle's creative director has teamed up with his boyfriend/Parsons adjunct-professor Rob Younkers to create Stitched, a two-week designer boot camp for tweens. The program promises tips and advice from industry experts, as well as practice with illustration, construct, and style. And, lucky kiddos can live out their summer dreams for the low, low price of $1,850. We would have been shocked at how high that number is, but alas, it is Joe Zee after all.

Explore LI

At last: A summer camp for tween and teen fashionistas

by Ann Bratskeir - July 19, 2013

A “faaaabulous” (as we fashion types like to say) new summer camp for budding fashion designers between the ages of 10-15 will launch this August in East Hampton. And, phew, there are still a few spots left at Stitched Fashion Camp, where fashion loving boys and girls will have the opportunity to tap into their inner designer, learn a tremendous amount about the fashion world and create their own mini-collections by the program’s end.

“Kids who love sports go to sports camp, kids who love horseback riding go to horseback riding camp. Where do kids who love fashion go?,” asks Rob Younkers, a co-founder of the camp who is a designer an adjunct associate professor at Parsons the New School for Design. (He was, by the way, hired for his position by Project Runway’s Tim Gunn.) Younkers got the bug to teach kids after his stint on MTV series “MADE” where he mentored a 14-year-old designer wannabe. “For any artist, the younger you get started, the better. And for creative kids, this is an opportunity to be constantly creating, be motivated and learn how to do new things,” says Younkers. “I want these kids to feel a great sense of achievement and to leave camp with new friends and a new skill set.”

His partner and the camp’s co-founder, Joe Zee, a famous figure in the fashion industry, will wear a couple of hats this summer…one, do his regular job as creative director of Elle Magazine, and the other, work as, well, a counselor. Zee, who has been named among the world’s top 15 stylists, also stars in the Sundance Channel’s “All On The Line With Joe Zee,” where he mentors struggling designers. Says Zee about Stitched’s mission, “We want to pull apart the curtain on the fashion industry and help kids be inspired.

Guest “counselors” will include an accessories designer from Tory Burch, Stacey Battat, the costume designer on Sofia Coppola’s movie “The Bling Ring,” Kara Laricks, season one winner of TV fashion competition “Fashion Star,” and a few other drop-bys such as Nicole Miller.

Campers will execute their visions on brand new sewing machines provided by Singer, and have the opportunity to create their own fabrics courtesy online site

Will Stitched produce the next fashion prodigy? “It would be great if we found the next Karl Lagerfeld,” says Zee. “But if the kids come out excited and inspired and knowing how to sew the hem on a pair of pants, that’s fantastic.”

Fashion camp doesn’t come cheap. A two-week session that runs Monday through Friday from Aug. 5-16 is $1,850. There is also a one week option available for $925 that goes from Aug.12-16. The camp is located at Guild Hall, 158 Main St. in East Hampton. The kids are encouraged to bring their imaginations and creativity. And they have to bring their own lunch.

Dans Papers

Joe Zee and Rob Younkers Present STITCHED Fashion Camp at
Guild Hall

by Soth Team - July 2, 2013

Joe Zee, the Creative Director of ELLE magazine, and Rob Younkers, fashion designer and Adjunct Associate Professor at Parsons the New School for Design have joined to create STITCHED Fashion Camp, the newest trend for young, aspiring designers eager to get a sneak peek into the fashion industry! The ultimate “behind the seams” experience, STITCHED was created to encourage and develop adolescents’ love of fashion, with a goal to nurture creativity and passion for fashion.

For the first time this summer, co-founders Younkers and Zee invite young innovators to join them at Guild Hall in East Hampton to learn about fashion design and styling from top industry experts. From August 5–16, fashion’s future stars will get their first glimpse into this creative industry with instruction on everything from illustration and construction to styling and visual merchandising. Boys and girls, ages 10-14, and of all skill levels are welcome.

Under the guidance of instructors and industry insiders, participants will be guided through the entire design process from “beginning to hemmed.” Designers will develop a concept, create inspiration boards, fabric and color stories, and illustrate a six-look collection for Spring/Summer 2014. The young designers will then turn their ideas into runway ready garments with hands-on instruction in pattern making, draping and construction techniques. Once their garments have been made, they will get their first taste of fashion styling as they step into the STITCHED Fashion Closet with Zee to accessorize the look. The summer day camp will culminate with an open studio presentation of the designers’ inspiration boards, illustrated collections and styling photos. They will also have the opportunity to display or wear their final look.

Guest of a Guest

Joe Zee: The Hamptons' Newest Camp Counselor

by Jaime Williams - June 26, 2013

Joe Zee, Creative Director for Elle, will be heading out of the Hearst towers this August and off to summer camp in the wilderness. Well, East Hampton that is. He and partner Rob Younkers (a professor at Parsons), will be coordinating a two-week summer camp this August for fashionistas ages 10-14. These tweens will learn the ins-and-outs of garment design at Stitched Fashion Camp. Check out what the "ultimate behind the seams experience" entails this summer.

For six-hours a day at a studio in East Hampton, these stylish campers will study everything from illustration and construction to visual merchandising. The camp will end with a fashion show of sorts for the young designers in the making, with the campers choosing to model their new designs or not. All that potential Stitched campers are required to have for this two-week crash course in fashion are “a passion for fashion” and a bagged lunch! According to the website,

No experience is necessary! We will teach you everything you need to know to bring your ideas to life!

Well, and $1,850 tuition for their week at Stitched Camp! Sewing machine, supplies and bottled water are included.

Who: Fashion loving girls and boys, ages 10-14

When: 2 week session, August 5 - August 16 (Monday-Thursday 10am to 4pm)

Where: Guild Hall- 158 Main Street, East Hampton

Only in East Hampton! This sounds a little more like Troop Beverly Hills to us than tug-of-war and s’mores. Stitched is definitely not your average summer camp. But, if your 11 year-old stays up late reading Vogue under the covers, this sounds like the summer spot for them. And they leave having completed their very first collection!


Joe Zee: The Hamptons' Hautest Camp Counselor

by Laura Euler - June 22, 2013

Joe Zee, Elle's creative director, is everywhere these days. When he's not setting up a photo shoot for his beloved glossy, he's filming reality TV or hosting the Oscars for Entertainment Tonight. His Instagram reads like who's who of the fabulous set, so it should come as no surprise that this fashion connoisseur is setting up shop, or should we say pulling out his sewing machine, in the Hamptons. On August 5, Zee and his partner, Rob Younkers, will teach a two-week program in East Hampton. Entitled "Stitched Fashion Camp," aspiring glampers will learn the art of styling, design, illustration, and merchandising. So, how much does it take kick-start your kid's career with The Devil Wears Prada crowd? $1,850. Please note, the price of admission does not include lunch.

Style Blazer

Joe Zee Starts Fashion Day Camp for Tiny Fashionistas

By SEvans - June 22, 2013

Joe ZeeSummer camp is synonymous with s’mores, rock climbing and bunk beds but Elle’s creative director, Joe Zee, is giving it a fashionable twist. According to WWD, Zee and his partner, Rob Younkers, co-founded a two-week crash course in design and garment construction called Stitched Fashion Camp. The East Hampton day camp is designed for boys and girls ages 10 to 14 and will include “illustration, design, construction, styling and visual merchandizing lessons.” Camp starts August 5th and cost $1,850 for the session.



By Angel Lenise - June 21, 2013

For a cool $1850, your child could be on his or her way to becoming fashion’s next big thing. ELLE creative director and fashion authority Joe Zee will be setting up shop—or summer camp—in the Hamptons for a two-week course called Stitched Fashion Camp. The session will serve as an introduction to illustration, sewing, construction, and styling for children, ages 10-14. Who knew South Fork could be so haute?!


Stitched Fashion Camp

This summer, Parsons professor Rob Younkers and his boyfriend Joe Zee—creative director of Elle magazine—will launch Stitched Fashion Camp, a two week summer camp for kids. For $1,850, kids from 10 to 14 will learn the ins and outs of creating clothing, "from cutting a pattern and draping fabric, to styling and merchandising." Camp debuts in the Hamptons on August 5th with 12 spots.