By  on August 14, 2007

Bindi Irwin may be best known for following in her late "Crocodile Hunter" father Steve Irwin's footsteps as an environmental conservationist, but as it turns out, the eight-year-old is also a budding fashion entrepreneur.

Irwin, who has been busy this summer doing crocodile research with her mom, Terri, in her home country of Australia, is preparing for her first trip to the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas at the end of the month. There, she plans to introduce her children's clothing line, Bindi Wear International. Her plan, with the help of her mom, is not only to launch an apparel collection, but to use it to infuse interest in wildlife conservation. The real reason for the launch is to raise money for the cause, as 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of the line will go directly to support the Australia Zoo's conservation programs.

"My daddy was working to change the world, so everyone would love wildlife like he did," Bindi said in an e-mail. She and her mom have been in a remote part of Australia, where their crocodile research will continue until they leave for MAGIC on Aug. 25. "Now it is our turn to help."

The line, designed by Irwin family friend Palmina DiStasi, consists of a full range of product for babies (newborn to two years) and girls and boys (ages three to 12). DiStasi, who has a strong background in the fashion industry, has been designing a Bindi Wear line of apparel exclusively for the Australia Zoo for about seven years. Now that the line is going to be sold internationally, DiStasi said it is much more extensive and fashion-forward.

"Since the line was only sold at the zoo, the clothes were quite touristy," DiStasi said. "It's nice that now we can do a bit more with the line and since Bindi is older, she's done so much for it. We've even taken her own artwork and incorporated it into the designs, and she always tells us what she wants and doesn't want in the collection."

The line includes casual daywear with T-shirts, cargos, hoodies and dresses. There is also sleepwear, swimwear, footwear, bags and hats. Many items include Bindi's own messages that tackle environmental issues, such as deforestation and animal consumption. The messages printed on the products are written in Bindi's handwriting. The line wholesales from $10 to $40."There are plenty of bright colors throughout, when in the past it was all safari-inspired, using olive greens and brown colors," DiStasi said. "It's just so much fun to design."

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