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Contributed Photo by Ron Holtz

THIS IS THE photo of 21⁄2-year-old Alila Giamarese of Callicoon Center submitted to Cookie Magazine, and one can see why the toddler won the magazine’s monthly “Most Fashionable Kid” contest.

This Callicoon Center toddler was most fashionable

By Jeanne Sager
CALLICOON CENTER — February 29, 2008 — She’s got style, she’s got grace.
And, yes, she is a winner.
Alila Giamarese, the 2 1⁄2-year-old daughter of Joe Giamarese and Vivian Hung of Callicoon Center, was chosen by voters across the country as the Cookie Magazine most fashionable kid.
Hung entered her daughter’s picture into the contest on a lark.
Surfing the Web, she clicked into the Cookie site and noticed the call for kids with a quirky sense of fashion.
“I figured let’s just send in a picture and see what happens,” she recalled.
In October of last year, Hung was notified that Alila’s picture would be going up on the Cookie site.
She was one of 12 finalists Cookie’s editors had chosen for the nation to get a peek at.
Split into three separate age groups, the finalists were subjected to a popular vote – with folks clicking in as often as they liked to cast a ballot for their favorites.
“I definitely asked everyone I knew to vote,” Hung said with a laugh.
Her hair in pigtails, Alila was dressed in a simple purple shift with brightly colored embroidery.
But her chocolate brown eyes stole the show, and the pudgy little fingers thoughtfully entwined in her hair were irresistible.
The family learned around Thanksgiving that Alila had been selected.
They were asked to head down to Manhattan for a photo shoot with photographer Tamara Schlesinger, best known for her lifestyle and fashion work, and who more recently has turned her lens toward children.
Arriving at the shoot, Hung was still under the impression that Alila was the Cookie winner for the 2 and under group.
Looking around for the other “non-model” types, she got her second surprise.
“They said, ‘No, Alila’s the only one,’” Hung explained.
She was, hands down, the most fashionable kid in America.
It was impressive even for a family well-acquainted with how models are chosen for a national magazine layout.
Hung left her job as an art director for Martha Stewart to open the family’s store, Global Home, in Jeffersonville. Her husband still spends part of his time in the city working for Vogue magazine.
“Being a parent, of course you’re super-duper proud of your kid,” Hung said with a laugh. “Sometimes when you’re a parent you wonder if you just think your child is special because they’re your child.
“It’s nice to know other people think your kid is cute too!” Hung continued. “But am I going to push her to model? No.
“If she wants to, that’s up to her.”
Clad in a variety of outfits for a feature on plaids, Alila had fun and turned up in several photos in the March issue of the magazine (out on newstands now) and on the Cookie Web-site.
Working with professional models – most of whom were older and better able to handle direction – she stood out, but not too much, her mom said.
In fact Cookie designers were so hooked on a picture of Alila alone, wearing a Sophie Catalou peasant dress and amethyst ribbon socks by Lili, Meili and Bean, it’s the sole photo to appear with the table of contents on the magazine’s site for March 08 (
Alila also walked away with a $1,000 gift card to J. Crew’s children’s line for her parents to indulge their fashionable child.
To get a glimpse of Alila’s national debut, go online or pick up a copy of the magazine that’s on shelves now.

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