zaidd'or

By Zaid Taji Farouki

Tag: American University

Graduated!

So a few days ago I can finally say I am done with fashion school. I know this may sound cliché but this year taught me so much about myself. After graduating from university I wanted to pursue my dream so I decided to apply to fashion schools and I ended up in Milan at Istituto Marangoni. The first few months I would describe as the hardest. The stress, the uncertainty, the learning curve- tough demands which can only be met by working through the nights. With all these factors I can definitely say I learnt more than I expected.The sleepless nights & anxiety attacks paid off eventually and I couldn’t be happier, with three collections in my portfolio.

This year wasn’t all about the academics, it was also about growing as a person and facing actual competition among peers. Previously in business school we were very competitive, but we somehow worked together in classes on projects, papers, etc that elevated us all together it was team work. But sadly in the creative world it is everyone for himself and having to constantly watch your back and work. Yes, people always managed to say snarky comments about your work  just to diminish you. A great example was a fellow student that on more than one occasion mentioned that my final painting on my garments was was awful. The first incident was when he said “it’s not the fabric that didn’t work, its your painting which is bad” or the other time where he said “you should hire someone better than you to paint the outfits!”. These comments were not even called for and he wasn’t asked for his opinion in the first place. Others claimed that they were fed wrong information for them to fail the exam. Let’s say we needed a reality TV show, I would love to pitch the idea to Bravo TV.

Some may think why am I sharing this sensitive information with the people reading my blog, well these moments were a new highlight in my life. For the first time in my life, I didn’t wish a person for the best in their lives. It was a new marking point, was I going to be one of those people that were ruthless? Did I loose my personality? Or was it just amplifying something hidden inside of me? But after much thought I realized it wasn’t any of the above. Anyone that knows me, knows how I wish the best for everyone and I would always be there if anyone needed assistance. But this time I had gotten to the point where you are welcome by my side where as friends/acquaintances we inspire each other and grow simultaneously. If that wasn’t the key factor and their main factor was to diminish me, as is I am already a harsh critic on myself so I don’t need their assistance. Although I will need their assistance in one thing, they further encourage me to prove them wrong.

The day after I graduated I had to put on my professional look and head out to try to figure out whats the next step I need to take in order to leap onto my next goal. During my final exam I submitted my Spring/ Summer 2015 collection, but we also submitted finished look from our Fall Winter 2014/15 collection. I hope you like it!! Every piece was hand painted by me after the pieces were sewn to create customizable pieces that the wearer views as a piece of art rather than an average piece of clothing.

Untitled-1 Untitled-2

Inspirations

Below are a few images that I have taken with my IPhone of things that I have seen around Washington D.C. These images inspire me in one way or another. A wall made out of tires at a restaurant, a quote in a Jonathan Adler store, the “Beware of artists” sign at American University, The graphic picture of a man and woman is located on Serendipity 3’s menu, Dope is located on Qst, and F.A.M.I.L.Y is located in CB2.

PS. Click on the images to enlarge them.

About Me – Part 2

Today I am not going to be writing about my daily obsessions, or my finds, or even fashion shows. Today I want the people reading this blog to get to know me better. On Monday I received my acceptance from Istituto Marangoni in Milan to study fashion design. At this point in my life I could not be more true to myself.

I am graduating from American University in Washington DC in three weeks with a major in Business administration, Marketing concentration and a minor in Studio Art. But all my life something has drawn me to fashion and the creative process behind it. How a piece being designed in Milan or Paris translates across languages and cultures and no matter your background you always try to look better. After graduating high school the wise thing to do for me at that time was study business, but during the course of my undergraduate degree I felt that I am ignoring my creative side and that I need an outlet because creativity is part of who I am. Therefore, I picked up my minor in Studio Art nevertheless there was still a void. And I impatiently waited to graduate from university so I can go pursue a career in fashion design. It may sound weird or crazy to people from my cultural background, that I want to be a fashion designer. Nevertheless, I can not imagine myself working in an industry other than the fashion/luxury industry. At this point with my acceptance I feel true to myself and on my way to achieve the dreams I have.