Whenever my parents and I start sorting through luggage, we always come across all of my baby clothes. Just hundreds of pieces from Gymboree and Children’s Place. Nice dresses from Macy’s and other various places. Lots of pairs of designer shoes in mini kid sizes. I always ask my mom why she always dressed me up like a doll. Her answer was always, “I found it fun and cute.”
My mom’s style hasn’t changed that much from growing up in the early 2000s. Although she traded her Capri jeans to full length and her small shoulder purses to midsize ones, she still wears the logo t-shirts and flats for shoes. My style has changed quite a bit growing up. I don’t know what drove the changes, but I think it is the lack of school uniforms I had to wear and seeing trendy fashion on social media. I always found myself sketching out little t-shirt and pant flats on blank notebook pages in between my school notes and scroll through the fashion hashtag when I first opened up my Instagram account.
I never thought I would be pursuing fashion design in college when I was going through my journey of high school. I was taking fashion marketing classes and working in retail at the time. Any time I found anything interesting related to fashion, I ran straight to my mom. She shared my excitement, and we would share a moment. She worked (and still works) in retail for 20+ years. It was no surprise when I got my first job at my local Aerie store, and since it was in the same mall my mom worked in, we would spend our lunch breaks together and walked around looking at different stores. My mom fed into my fashion addiction.
When I was looking at colleges, I made it a top priority to look at what majors are offered. I still had a passion for fashion and a high interest in marketing. I found VCU and was very caught up in the idea of majoring in fashion design. I had applied to Virginia Tech as a fashion design and merchandising major and James Madison University as a marketing major. Neither felt like the perfect fit, and I was still playing around with the idea of going to VCU as a fashion design major. I talked it out with my mom, and she told me to go where I felt like I would be the happiest. I took this as a sign and applied to VCU with my portfolio.
I got the VCUarts acceptance letter in the mail when I was home by myself and called my mom almost immediately. I can still feel the happiness she felt through the phone and of how proud she is. Whenever we went to parties with family and family friends after that, she would be so proud to say I am a fashion design major. As a Desi-American, the stigma to major in law, medicine or engineering was way too real, but those who she told were very surprised and supportive of my major. I am a fashion design major at VCUarts, and it all because of my mom. I can always count on her to heart the pictures I text her of my current projects.