"I am the youngest fashion designer in America," 10-year-old Cecilia Cassini told me with a childlike certainty so intense that I had to ask how she could be sure.
"Because they tell me I am," she replied.
Cassini, a fashion ingénue so "nue" that even the spelling of her own name trips her up ("C-E-C-E, no, C-E-C-I-L-I-A") was being trailed by a German television crew when I met her at the New York Fashion Week Tents.
But her big moment will come in April, she told me, when the "Today Show" will air a package on her that they have already begun filming.
Cecilia, who is from Encino, California, is big on sequins. She designed the sequined black shorts she was wearing, as well as the grey cardigan with a sequined shoulder that was hiding under her faux fur Miu Miu jacket. (Cecilia would never use real fur in her own collections, she assured me, but was on the fence about whether fake fur was allowed.)
She was also wearing a pair of sunglasses so oversized that they made the Olsen twins' eyewear look like pince-nez, and a huge purple bow in her hair, which is her signature.
"The most famous dress I made is the bow dress," she said, and then elaborated: "It has a big bow on it."
Cecilia is no relation to the famous 20th century American designer Oleg Cassini, but she is not without connections. She is represented by a former manager of Kim Kardashian, a friend of her mother's, who helped launch her line and hooked her up with the Tough Cookies children's boutique in Los Angeles, which sells her designs.
"And I'm about to be sold at another big store, but you can't say which," she said mysteriously.
Meanwhile, backstage: Access to the Mercedes Benz Star Lounge is a hot ticket at Fashion Week, for the chance to hobnob with models and celebrities. "We do have our share of people trying to crash," the host Gregory O'Shea told me with a grin. "Some people try to use passes from previous seasons, and we've even found them being sold on Craigslist."
(For the record, the best way to crash is to flirt with Gregory. Try it!)
And read about the fashion world's current darling, 13-year-old blogger, Tavi.