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August 1, 2004By Gayle Linwood Boca Raton Christian HighWalk through any mall and you will see a wide variety of clothing, all designed to appeal to today’s teens. Throughout the racks, there is evidence of many different cultures blended into American fashion.Many trends borrow from cultural traditions. “For instance, anywhere you go, you may see Muslims in full headdress and scarves,” said Meagan Lynch, a freshman at Savannah College of Art and Design. “Now, scarves and Middle Eastern based clothing are in style. It’s definitely become a mainstream thing.”The scarves in particular have become hot items, showing up in everything from casual beach clothes to formal eveningwear.Clothes decorated with American flags have been extremely popular since Sept. 11, but flags from other countries, such as Haiti and England, are showing up in fashion.Asian lettering is found on everything from T shirts to tattoos, even though many teens have little idea of what they mean.”It’s crazy if you’re wearing something that you don’t know what it says,” said Desirae Watler, a sophomore at Boca Raton Christian High. “It might say something offensive, and you wouldn’t know.”But many teens find the Asian letters mysterious, and that interest continues to drive sales in Asian styles.Lynch, who will major in fashion design, said multicultural influence on American fashion is huge. “A lot of people are putting out designer clothes based on cultural styles, so it’s pretty big,” she said.Stephanie Gallardo, a freshman at Palm Beach Community College, said she often sees clothing with a South American flair. “I see it a lot, especially Brazilian inspired clothing. They wear bright colors and a lot of beads.”Lynch agreed. “Beaded clothing and tops with fringe look very South American, and are very popular,” she said.Many teens in South Florida have a South American background, which is seen in a lot of current styles. “I think there may be more representation from South America than anywhere else,” Watler said.
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