Fashion design Life Ep 4: First Year of Fashion School

Today’s post I wanted to share what my first year of college was like. I created a video filled with different clips from vlogs I created documenting my freshmen year. I hope you enjoy!

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

Why I Chose Kent State’s Fashion School |Fashion Design Life Ep 3

Today I wanted to share why I chose Kent State University’s Fashion School.

For those who don’t know my name is Halimah. I’m a student and designer of fashion and I want to use art to spark change- Change in myself. Change in my community. Change in the world.

Styles gives me an outlet to express myself. I love creating work that means something. I want to build a brand that speaks to the desire and hearts of young women. That produces clothing that allows them a means to dress themselves how they desire to and not how they feel they have HAVE to. I want to show the potential, beauty, impact and power of modest fashion. I want to tell stories. One day I dream of having children of my own and I like to think that I would be conscious enough to tell them things like, they’re certain decisions you will make in your life that feel as if they will change everything. The type of decisions that ignite something in you no one is capable of dimming. That propel you forward in a way that make you feel in the zone. That remind you that you have a purpose.
I told myself my junior year of high school. that I wasn’t going to go along with the plans I had to study law and go to college with my friends. No. “I’m going to go to fashion school. I don’t know where, and I may be a lone. but this feels like a calling… it feels like destiny feels like God. Feels like a call I don’t have a choice not to answer”.
So on this journey choosing Kent State was one of those life changing decisions. I wanted to go to a school that specialized in my major. Hey, college would be a sacrifice and if I was going to go for fashion. I wanted to go all out and make all the support, sacrifices and overtime hours invested worth it. I wanted it to be close to home. I’ve always dreamed of traveling but the farther away the more expensive.
and hey why give your Dad a heart attack if you don’t HAVE to. Cost was very important. Cause where I come from college is a privilege, financial aid is expected to apply for and scholarships are not a bonus but a necessity.
Once I started researching fashion schools I realized that portfolios were important things and talent and skill in drawing and construction were important. I felt very uneasy and frustrated. I asked myself, “how are you going to do this? You can’t draw or sew.” I wanted to sulk in the memory of how early I knew I was passionate about design. I wanted to sulk in all the moments I could have learned the skills necessary to be ready for these fashion school applications but, I couldn’t get sucked into all that. Regardless of the lack of experience or preparation I knew I could be a fashion designer! I knew I could do this! God told me that!
But no matter how many times I told myself that it seemed like everywhere wanted a portfolio. A portfolio I didn’t know how to make and would probably set me back at least a year to gain enough skill to figure out how to even complete.
Then I came across Kent State University it was really close to home, it was on the less expensive side, because it was a public university and it simultaneously managed being a public university with an incredible fashion design program. So it afforded this best of both worlds college experience with a “real” fashion school art experience. I loved the curriculum of the design program. I appreciated how your freshmen year you jump right into your design classes. The application process didn’t require a portfolio and I loved how that consequently afforded a girl like me with a dream but not a breathtaking portfolio the opportunity to train and study their a shot. I was in awe of the fashion library in high school. I would spent countless hours in my local library scoping and finding fashion books to read and study from so the idea that they had a library on campus solely devoted to JUST THAT gave me goose bumps I was so excited. It was a fashion museum where my love of history and fashion blended right next door. There was a fashion school store where design students got to experience producing merchandise for sale and merchandising students could experience selling merchandise. They had several study abroad programs in places like Hong Kong, Paris, Florence and New York City.
Having campuses in Italy and New York allowed an accessible international or NYC fashion school experience even while attending a school in OHIO.  I was excited about the serious nature of their required internships and how the students are supported in preparing for their professional career with great connections and a specific internship liaison. I loved the products coming from the school.
Then I finally had the opportunity to visit the school. My junior year I went for a multi-cultural visit day. I think the stars must have been aligned or something like that because of course my tour guide was a black girl like me, she was a fashion major like I wanted to be, and she was even from my home state! I learned that although I was willing to go to a completely unfamiliar new environment, no matter what challenges that would bring there was a community of people who were willing and able to support me. Once I stepped foot on campus I knew I was going there. I didn’t need to visit any other school on my list. I was in love and when I say in love I don’t mean it was perfect. I don’t mean that I didn’t think I would encounter lots of challenges. I just mean that I had a sense of confirmation that this experience was FOR me.That whatever would come as a result of this decision good or bad was FOR ME, that it was ordained, that it would grow me in all the right places I specifically needed. I took off all my other choices. and for the remainder of my junior year and all of senior year of high school. I set out to prepare myself as best as I could for my dream school. I couldn’t wait!
and 3 years later this school still never ceases to amaze me. Last year we were ranked 3rd in the country for fashion merchandising and 4th for fashion design and while I’ve learned that numbers are a limited definition. It’s a very simplistic reminder that I attend a school that is constantly innovating, growing and striving to provide not only the best opportunities in the country but the world. Kent State’s fashion school’s success and story resonates with me because it reminds me a lot of myself. The school is a reminder to me that spectacular things can definitely come from underrepresented, unexpected, slept on places. That you can make the absolute most of what you have, despite the odds and still be competitive. That you should never allow factors that you can’t control to define you. That you can shape your own narrative and accomplish whatever you will. I’ll always remember this decision. I wanted to go somewhere that had an environment where the subject of my passion was center stage, somewhere that would challenge me tremendously and bring together the type of talented students I felt were like myself. With no portfolio, no middle/high school prep, access to programming for my major, and no outlandish money to be in New York…the dream of attending a fashion school like I had in mind, began to seem far off until I met Kent State…. and the rest is history!
Thank you for tuning in and if you’re interested in watching the visuals that correlate with this piece click the link below!

Traveling the Country in 18 Days!

In 2016 I had the honor of going on an 18 day road trip across America with a powerful organization named Mishkah. Here’s my reflection after finishing the trip.

Travel is incomparable to any other experience. Travel has this unique way of changing you. It allows you to learn the otherwise unteachable. It causes you to look outside of yourself in a very real and honest way examine who you really are.

You begin to ask a course of deep questions. You start asking the real defining questions. The questions thats answers will only truly be revealed at the end of ones life.

Where, who and what did her identity lie in? Where did she come from and where did she ultimately go? When she was given to was she grateful? When things were taken away was she grateful? Were her eyes and heart most fixated on the positive or negative. Ugliness or beauty? Did she love more, than others hate? Wherever she went did the beauty of what she experienced become apart of her or a fading memory, picture or story? Did her absence of certainty look like faith or did it look like doubt? Was her heart attached to worldly things that which could never give her life? When she was given to and blessed did she transform her blessing to another for someone else?

Was she a member of her community… taking, taking, taking, or a valuable contributor striving to allow what was given to be given back ten fold? Did she hold a genuine unconditional love for her people or did it waver leaving and coming as swiftly as a quick wind. Was she striving to grow into the manifestation of the soul God created her to be or was she walking in fear to pursue her purpose? Allowing the phone of destiny to ring and not answering the call? Was she a humble person constantly learning and being open to others experiences or lifestyle? or did she think she knew everything?

Did she understand that any praise she was given for a talent or gift or skill wasn’t given as simply a symbol of her greatness alone but rather a symbol of her responsibility? Did she embrace the unexpected with open arms realizing she was walking into the beauty of God’s plan and not her own? Did she walk in confidence and certainty as God’s creation bearing witness to the beauty of the mountains, ocean, desserts, plants and animals and realizing that out of all of those beautiful beautiful magnificent creations that in a way he made the human being the greatest? That he bestowed her with the privilege of free will. Did she understand that as the mountains, ocean, plants, and animals were gorgeous and constantly in a state of submission acting in accordance with their nature that she could too? That she could be gorgeous and magnificent too?

Was she gorgeous? Was she magnificent? In a world where unhealthy living was the
norm did she personally aim for a healthy life? was she an advocate for health, wellness and holistic living? In a world where the environment is treated
with the absolute lowest of disregard, sanctity, and sacredness where environmental harm, racism and injustice running rampant was she mindful of her actions and relationship with the environment? Was she an advocate for change?

In a world where racism is a milli-second to second constant reality was she found constantly fighting for the liberation of her people? In a country where we walk on the blood of the genocide of an entire group of people and culture did she act as if she didn’t know of the Native American plight? When she witnessed oppression did she turn a blind eye?

As a fashion designer did she color inside the lines? Did she submit to the culture of the industry good and bad out of fear? Or did she embrace the good and boldly embrace a new standard?

Did she love? Was she a loving daughter? An encouraging and trustworthy friend? Did she marry? Was she good to him? Did she grow with him? Did she treat love as a noun or verb? Did she help make him a better man? Did he rise and grow into a manifestation of who God created him to be with her? Did she truly love him? Did their love change the world?

Was she a mother? Through her mental and physical womb were ideas, realities and servants of God and his people brought forward? Was she good to them? Did she nurture them? Did she reflect the beauty of her mother, and her mothers mother and mothers mother’s mother’ and her mothers mothers mothers , mother and so on…. and did she in her own way do more than they did?

Did she allow herself to become overwhelmed with the work, finding it so cumbersome that she did nothing at all or did she live and walk with an understanding that miracles can happen if you simply take it one moment at a time? did she do her best?

I encourage us all to ask ourselves our own deep questions and become intimately acquainted with the work and faith necessary to allow those answers on that final day and on to be ones of power and beauty. I encourage us all to live for causes greater than ourselves. I encourage us all to find meaning, and power in God and his word and not that which is contrary to him and leaves us chasing, chasing, chasing and broken broken, my so broken every single time. I encourage you to live like there is no tomorrow, because it isn’t promised. I encourage us to believe in the seemingly
impossible, because miracles happen every day. I encourage us to reach for that which our fear allows us to believe is far too big, far too tall, and distant to be feasible. I encourage us to not be fearful of hard work. I encourage us to love, love love with our whole heart never being fearful of what a brutal world can do to a soft and vulnerable heart because nothing is stronger and powerful than the strength God has the ability to provide. I encourage you to give and to give and to give until you think you don’t have anything left and then to grow and give more. I encourage us to live light and to be unbothered and untouched by material possessions and attachments that value is constantly fleeting and isn’t everlasting. I encourage us to be committed to what it means to be ourselves, your true self and to walk in peace. I encourage us to live like the most heroic people of our time lived…. like a traveler…..

If you would like to see many of the great things I saw click the link below!

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

♡ Other Places To Find Me!
TWITTER-https://twitter.com/Halimahnia
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/HalimahNiaM
INSTAGRAM- http://instagram.com/halimahnia
http://lookbook.nu/halimahnia

 

First Short Film: The Day My Life Changed Forever

In a matter of seconds my life was turned upside down.

Alright maybe that’s a bit dramatic but all I know is it was just like any other day. I had got home from college after ending spring semester with the intention to stay for a week and then go back to school for summer classes. A few days into being at home I wake up, cut the alarm off, something said check my email so I did and just like that I was notified that my summer class was canceled.

What? no no no no no no no no not canceled? no not the drawing class I need to stay on track for graduation. no no. not the class that was allowing me to take
draping to get a head start on sophomore year no no no not the class that caused me to get housing to stay in Kent. No I had fun exciting plans in Kent I was going to have a kitchen and my own bathroom. I had goals there, my whole summer was planned there what? wait? so what am I supposed to do now?

It made me think about change and how much control we think we have, when what we think is happening or will happen is constantly changing constantly fleeting from our grip.

Flexibility.

Why does change scare us? We run away. We get uncomfortable. We get angry….but why not just get still and adjust? Why don’t we just embrace it? How about we
breath in, breath out and set a new goal? We often forget that God know us better than we even know ourselves. We forget that there are different forms of prayer, that there are things we actively, traditionally pray and ask him for and there are things we want but never converse with him about and then, then, then, then there are those deep seated desires, those things we have prayed for so many times in our hearts so much so that the prayer kind of just becomes apart of our being we don’t even realize we want it oh but we do.

So what we do is we forget that God hears and sees all. He knows it all. So when we are faced with situations of confusion or discomfort rather than asking God why me? with an attitude why not humbly ask him “hmm why me?”

He is constantly working for the greater good. GOOD not the good we think is good not your good, not my good he’s always working for the greater good…. just THE good.

He’s always answering our prayers. If only we paid attention enough to the intricate details of our soul, life and relationship with him to see it.

Stop being scared. Don’t be scared of when and how you will make up that class. It’s in divine order so you are on track. Don’t be scared of heavy course work . God sees you and he will get you through be it his will. Don’t be scared of what the future holds when you weren’t able to properly plan and curate it.

There is a beautiful saying in the Holy Quran it says we plan and Allah plans and surely Allah is the best of planners. Indeed he is. The only question is will we have the faith to believe in the beauty of a thing before we can see it. Will we have the faith to choose love and I mean always always choose love over fear? If so there are nothing but miracles that await us.

“That you face nothing alone anxiety stems from asking the wrong question. If such and such happens can I handle it? The true question is not whether you can cope
with whatever happens but whether you and I together can handle anything that occurs. It is this ‘you and I together’ factor that gives you confidence to face the day cheerfully.”- Reading from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

These words were used in a short film I made about the concept and beauty of change all sparked from my sudden major change in plans at the beginning of the summer of 2016. If you would like to check it out click the link below!

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

♡ Other Places To Find Me!
TWITTER-https://twitter.com/Halimahnia
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/HalimahNiaM
INSTAGRAM- http://instagram.com/halimahnia