Cara Shapiro said she lost her love of fashion during her father’s battle with cancer and eventual passing last year.
But the 21-year-old mother from Cedarhurst got “a new beginning” last week when she won a $200 fashion makeover from Green Acres Mall.
“I had a baby and ever since then I haven’t felt the need to dress up anymore. A lot went on and I just felt I needed a new look for my age and being a mom,” she said. “I needed to find something to make me happy and to look good.”
Shapiro is one of ten winners of Green Acres’ first-ever contest that tasked entrants to write why they deserve a makeover. Shapiro wrote her essay on her father’s illness and death from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma two days after her son was born. She had to drop out of Fashion Institute of Technology to care for her father and support her family.
“For two years I have put all my needs aside and sacrificed my time and happiness to make sure that my family has financial support,” she wrote. “I have not purchased anything new for myself, and I feel that my wardrobe and sense of fashion has been squelched.”
Denise Delise, a fashion stylist working with the contest winners, said Shapiro’s essay touched her because she is a graduate of FIT. The goal of the contest, she said, is to showcase the mall and how its selection of merchandise can fit each winner’s needs. In Shapiro's case, finding affordable and modest clothes that are age appropriate and "fashion forward."
“Denise helped me find different skirts and tops to just throw together that you wouldn’t ordinarily see,” Shapiro said. “I got a lot of skirts that I can wear with a lot of things, not just one outfit. Without the help of Denise, I couldn’t know what to put with what.”
Shapiro said that she hopes to eventually return to school, and this makeover was the first step to gaining back her confidence.
“I lost all that from what happened in the past two years,” she said. “I needed someone to bring it out of me.”