There is Beauty in Simplicity

HANEEFAH  haneefah3

Age: 23
Occupation: Currently a Student of Pharmacology and Drug Discovery
Hometown: Ilorin, Nigeria

 

How long have you been designing?

I’ve been designing since I was really little. I loved to draw and doodle so I drew designs, but I started it as a small business about a little over two years ago.

 

What kind of women do you design for? How do you want women to feel in your clothes?

I design for the average modest woman. I have had to incorporate my faith into my designs and interpretation of those designs. I want women to feel covered, comfortable and be able to further express themselves with my clothes on them.

haneefah8

Who are some of your favorite designers?

I do not have a particular designer in mind, but I do admire a few design houses, like aab and iamISIGO.

 

How would you describe your style?

I usually have difficulty describing my style really. It projects who I am, it is comfortable, it is versatile and most importantly, simple, because I believe there is beauty in simplicity.

 

What motivated you to pursue this passion?

When I was wrapping up my BSc, I had to spend an extra semester in school, so I had lots of time on my hands. I decided to open a blog and open a portal for discussion for women all over the world; somehow, it evolved into me sharing my work which included the arts and crafts I dabble into all the time. So, with most of the nice comments I got and encouragement, I continued updating the blog at least once a week. Then my mum got me a sewing machine around that time for my birthday, hence started my sewing journey. As I am self-taught, I had to check, learn and re-learn a lot of things online because prior to when I got a sewing machine, I was always looking for no-sew projects I could easily do. I started sewing for myself at first, then friends and family asked for details and wanted to wear my cloths too! I provided the designs people saw on me on request and then went ahead to launch a collection later on. Production is currently on break now because of school. haneefah7

 

What is it like being a brown girl in the fashion industry? 

haneefah6I have not fully incorporated myself into the fashion industry yet but I already know the intense competition out there. Networking is not hard if you have a well-developed and unique brand.

 

Where do you get your ideas on what styles to make? Where do you draw inspiration from?

Mostly online. I love watching E! a lot so I get some ideas there, I love to draw inspiration from nature especially when it is pertaining to colors.

 

haneefah4What advice do you have for other girls who want to pursue designing as a career?

To never give up. Lots of time, I’ve almost quit, but I didn’t, it could get frustrating at times, but the beauty of that is you get to enjoy the good times due to perseverance and hard work.

 

Want to get in touch with Haneefah and see her designs? Check out her blog  www.muslimahanie.comher clothing website http://www.haniecollection. com (not up to date),  follow her on twitter @ms_hanie and instagram @muslimahanie

Additional info: I’m currently in the UK now, for my haneefah1masters degree programme therefore I had to take a break for about a year so that I can focus on my education because I think that is important too. During that period, I would plan better ahead for the future. haneefah2

 

 

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Making A Statement Using Fabric

ANGEL Angel1

Age: 29
Occupation: Self Employed/Full Time Medical Student/Mentor
Hometown: Baltimore

 

How long have you been designing?
4 years

What kind of women do you design for? How do you want women to feel in your clothes?

I design clothing for men and women. I design clothing based off the needs of my clients, if they are looking for trendy, traditional,high fashion, I pride myself on listening to my customers needs. I want my clients to feel like they are expressing themselves and feel confident in my items.

Angel4Who are some of your favorite designers?

Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli

How would you describe your style? Angel3

I describe my personal style as artistic and without boundaries.

What motivated you to pursue this passion?

I have always loved fashion even as a child, I think that Tyra Banks motivated me to want to be the person who could allow the model to make a statement using fabric.

What is it like being a brown girl in the fashion industry?

Being a brown girl of different ethnic backgrounds and moral backgrounds has made it difficult. Being any kind of true artist you are never really understood for the craft that you love dearly. The journey has been difficult because of me majoring in the medical field. I have two skills that require a lot of my attention, which makes it hard on my social awareness scene. Thus its hard to attend events that could give me exposure so my marketing methods have to be a little more traditional then others. I think the most difficult part about finding support is finding genuine support. A lot of people in our era do not value the concept of continuous hard work so its difficult to find people with the same work ethics as you.

Where do you get your ideas on what styles to make? Where do you draw inspiration from?

I get my ideas from artists. I go to art galleries and sit with art students from across the United States and get a feel of what art is eye indulging. I am also a great fan of DIY projects.

Angel2What advice do you have for other girls who want to pursue designing as a career?

My advice is to learn about fashion, study your target, learn about being in business and always conduct yourself as a professional woman at all times. Integrity, consistency, and hard work is the key to success always.

Want to get in touch with Angel? Check out her Instagram @Aye_itsangel_, her LinkedIn: Angel King or her meet up page: Angel King!

 

As always, if you want to suggest a topic, wish to be featured or have any other feedback, feel free to contact me at raven.best5@gmail.com

 

Our Style, But Where Are We??

So a little while ago, I got a DM on instagram from a lovely lady named Angel King who was inquiring about how to be featured on the blog. She is an upcoming designer in the DMV and is looking to get her name and brand out. Now I jumped at the request because she is the FIRST person to reach out to me and suggest a topic, therefore October on the blog will be showcasing and celebrating brown Female Designers!

While thinking about the types of questions for this set of features, I realized how necessary this theme was, especially considering the numerous fashion weeks taking place across the globe during this time of year. I’ve been noticing a lot of people commenting on how (once again) many components of black culture are being adopted into the fashion industry. For example, all of sudden baby hair, durags and head wraps are in style on the runway. What may seem to be “new” accessories or hair styles to some, these trends have been a part of black hair culture for decades. But all of a sudden they are now high fashion and deemed “urban fabulous” because they’ve been attached to white bodies.

It never ceases to amaze me how much of our culture is appropriated without due credit, representation or respect. How many black fashion designers do we see during the fashion weeks in New York and Paris? How many black contestants are included on tv shows like Project Runway? But our styles and concepts are quick to be copied, rebranded and resold while we are excluded. So in an attempt to increase visibility and appreciated for black female designers, the features for this month are of women trying to make a name for themselves in fashion; to share their stories, designs and passion.

 

As always, to be featured or to suggest a topic, feel free to email me at raven.best5@gmail.com!

 

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Thanks for reading!