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July 07, 1994|ROSE APODACA JONES

Activism in Style

Though the League of Women Voters of the United States won't officially celebrate its birthday until February 1995, celebrations of its diamond jubilee are already underway. That includes a slew of merchandise commemorating the 75th anniversary. A $10 lapel pin from the Missouri contingent says it best by saluting the suffragists. "We wanted something that would remind people of the history of these women and their fight for health care, the environment and political and social reform--the kinds of issues we're still concerned with today," says Janet Hardy of the St. Louis office. "We thought it fitting we'd honor the suffragists because we were the first city to establish a league chapter." She developed the pin with a local artist as a fund-raiser for the league's lobbying efforts. Not forgotten is that the fight included all women--choose a pin with either a white or black woman pictured.

Copper Plaits

It took more than a pretty penny to decorate Buena Park High junior Lori Osaw's braids--like $1.76 worth of Lincolns. The 16-year-old had a beautician Super Glue pennies to her braid tips. Why? "Because I've never seen anyone do it before," she says. Well, at least no one has done it with pennies. She got the idea from a pal in Palm Springs who stuck quarters to her ends. Osaw has already experimented with dimes and nickels, but figured the copper coin was a better color for summer. They should stay on six months, she adds, and if any fall off, she's got a tube of the sticky stuff at home. And yes, she says, it's a heavy 'do.

Riding the Wave

What started as purely promotional for their surf team riders turned into a gold mine for the guys at CounterCulture. Within weeks after the Huntington Beach street-wear line cut a limited number of rash guards emblazoned with their name and tribal logo, demand from friends, store owners and customers drove them to mass-produce them. The tops protect surfers from skin irritations caused by wet suits, board wax or the sun. Made of 100% Lycra, they dry quickly, says co-owner Mike Schillmoeler. Land-locked hipsters are finding another use for them, too. The modern look of the silhouette and fabric make them ideal for nightclubbing. One Melrose account can't keep them in stock, says Schillmoeler--who frowns in disbelief at the alternative use. "They're intended just for surfing," he says. Available in white or black, long-sleeve guards are $34 and short-sleeved versions are $32.

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