From Timid to Fierce
Courtesy: Sanita Ahmed
I spent 14 years studying in Scholastica where I got in as a toddler and sailed out brandishing an O-level certificate. After completing my A-levels as a private candidate, I bid adieu to economics and mathematics for good and delved into a foundation degree on Fashion Design. Currently, I am pursuing an undergraduate course on Fashion Marketing and Management from Raffles Institute of Higher Education.
I was a very timid character in school and I have to admit that my high school years were anything but a teenage dream. I was not the social butterfly or the whiz kid but I did have my little troop of friends who shared my love for Harry Potter and anime. I remember us sitting on the school staircases, plotting our next Animorph mission during break times and fawning over Daniel Radcliffe merchandise under the study tables. School was also where I met my best friend, Shevi, and the times I spent with her, whether it was bunking classes or rebuking teachers were definitely some of the best moments of my school life.
University life is proving to be very different from school years! I spent so many years wallowing in the depths of history and science and I hated it. University has enabled me to study the subjects I actually enjoy learning about and, thus, it has been a huge creative outlet for me. Most people think that wearing the latest trends and being able to pronounce Givenchy properly is all there is to fashion, but to me there is a vast sea of knowledge one has to swallow and digest!
One important piece of advice that I have recently started to follow is to let go of fear. My transition from high school to university is a perfect example of how I managed to leave the shy and bullied little girl behind, because I learned ways to develop self-worth and confidence within myself. Initially, I was always haunted by the fear that a career in the fashion industry would not prove to be very beneficial for me in this country, but I overcame that and dived headfirst into design school thinking life is full of choices. Indeed, after one year of extensively studying fashion design, I switched to fashion marketing because I came to realise that it is my true calling.
My interest in fashion developed during my teen years when I started blogging online. I came across many inspirational people who posted daily pictures of their outfits that portrayed a sense of personal expression. I would look at them and think one day I'll be making the clothes they wear! Of course, coming to the concrete decision of studying and choosing to work in the fashion industry was a hard one, but luckily my family and friends supported me throughout the entire phase of apprehension. In a country where there is next to zero exposure to fashion, I made the most out of it and have been working as a fashion journalist for three years. Now, I'm moving to bigger and better things and finally working as a designer in a multi-national garments company.
My future plans are yet to be decided. With a vast and dynamic industry like fashion, there are so many careers available and I would like to try them all. Although I love designing, I mostly aspire to become a fashion marketing expert and work for a luxury brand in the future.
My advice to all aspiring fashion professionals is to be headstrong and undergo proper fashion education very sincerely. People will always keep wondering why you are doing this, so prepare to give them answers by not giving up and pursing your dreams with passion and determination!