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Hawwaa Ibrahim on Having Fun with Fashion

Hawwaa Ibrahim is a fashion designer studying at NY's Fashion Institute of Technology. Hawwaa and their work have been featured in Seventeen Magazine, Marie Claire, New York Fashion Weeks 2017 and 2018, and Season Two of Project Runway Junior. Find Hawwaa on Instagram: @HelloHawwaa

What got you interested in fashion?

I first got into fashion and started making clothing when I was around 12; I was really fascinated in how people could create clothing, something that would help them express who they were and how they felt, based on their own personal vision. 


What is meaningful to you about fashion design?

For me, fashion is about creating beauty and expressing it through daily life. My lived experience as non-binary, queer, black, and Muslim is central to the clothes I design, and how I relate to the fashion industry. I make clothes that are whimsical, bright and fun—to bring joy and remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. Personally, fashion has gotten me through a lot and it’s what makes me happy.

What or who do you design for?

Fashion is assumed to be a very serious business and the industry is focused on mainstream ideas — on making money and producing cheap garments — and that isn't what people really need right now.  I’m definitely creating clothes to help other people feel better. Color makes me happy. I don’t want to be walking around in a gloomy black outfit. I produce work to make people smile. I still try to incorporate real life into my designs by using lettering to show how people really feel — fashion can be revealing and provide a window to inner feelings.

Photography: Landyn Pan 

Hair & Makeup: Chris Tabassi 

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