Cool Girl: India Salvor Menuez, 17, of The Uniform Project

Last year, we wrote about The Uniform Project, started by Sheena Matheiken to raise money for Akanksha, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping slum children in India afford a better, more well-rounded education. Sheena wore one little black dress dress -- a simple uniform styled various ways each day -- for 365 days. The project was so successful (over $100,000 raised for Akanksha) that they are now asking pilot models -- regular people with causes they'd like to help -- to wear their own little black dress for a month at a time. The first pilot is India Salvor Menuez, 17, who's half New Yorker, half Icelander. Uniform Project in-house designer Tara St. James (of StudyNY) created the dress in a collaborative effort with India, who's splitting the month of August between her summertime trip to Reykjavík and her first days at Hunter College in NYC. The look pictured here is August 8th. Check out her whole month of style (you'll be able to buy her dress at the end of the month if you love it too much to let go).

We talked to India about why she's giving her August to the Uniform Project.

I Heart Daily: How did you get involved with The Uniform Project? India Salvor Menuez: After being featured on the Stylelikeu blog I was asked to participate in a collaboration with the Uniform Project where I and others from the SLU site were asked to style themselves in Sheena's LBD [Little Black Dress] in a shoot to be featured on the site. This was when I met Sheena and the uniform project team.

IHD: How were you chosen as the first pilot to wear the dress? ISM: I don't know exactly why I was chosen first, maybe because I was young and something completely different from Sheena. [Meanwhile, The Uniform Project folks say, "Effortless, artsy, slightly subversive, and ultra mellow India Menuez has an unaffected cool."]

IHD: How did you choose the cause that your month would benefit? ISM: I went on a trip with NY2NO two summers ago, down to NOLA to work in the lower 9th ward. Shortly after my trip, the School at Blair Grocery was founded by one of our chaperones. When I was asked about where I would want the money to go my thoughts went immediately to the school. I think alternative education is something worth investing in because the regular system is a broken bureaucracy. I also think the lower 9th ward holds a community worth educating well, especially considering the devastation they have already gone through.

IHD: How have you been wearing your little black dress each day? ISM: I'm not used to wearing so much black, but I'm just trying to wear the dress with whatever feels comfortable. My style is a cross between whether I want to be fashionable or not.

India is rocking this month, and raising money for a great cause. Maybe you can donate a little to the School at Blair Grocery, or snag India's dress at the end of the month (it comes with 30 free styling ideas, after all).

We love the Uniform Project!