Rising Star: Raeana
NESHA: What is your ultimate goal in life?
RAEANA: To be a fashion designer…
NESHA: Would you like your own line? Or to work for a major company?
RAEANA: I would like to work for a major company first…you learn more about the do’s and dont’s of production…then hopefully I will have met enough people to get financial backing from investors to jump start my own.
NESHA: What things have you done so far to accomplish your goal of becoming a fashion designer?
RAEANA: I graduated from the high school of fashion industries where I majored in Fashion Design… I took classes at FIT while still in high school and eventually interning for two semesters at FIT.
I am currently studying fashion design at Parsons and I just completed the duration of my second professional internship at Tracy Reese. Before working for Tracy Reese I interned at Nautica for a summer.
I joined the Adopt a student mentoring program where I have had the opportunity to meet may successful and instrumental people in the fashion industry like Tracy Reese, Andre Leon Talley, JJ Thomas of Bloomingdales and members of BRAG, the black retail action group.
In my spare time when I was not involved in school activities I took up extra curricular activities like the Teens in Fashion competition which was a nationwide design competition that allowed eight lucky winners to design a 6 piece collection to be seen during fashion week…I was lucky enough to win and go on to compete.
I was also in a MTV competition called project TRL. I was required to design and create a dress for the host Vanessa Manillo and I only had 12 hours. The challenge taught me to work with both time constraints and a budget while still being as creative as possible…I won 52% of the TRL viewers vote and I was flattered that everyone including Vanessa liked my dress…
I won a cash prize and a dress form which was nice but the experience overall was the best prize and more than I could ever ask for.
NESHA: I was going to ask you- What makes you a rising star? But I think you pretty much answered that unless you want to add anything else.
RAEANA: The fact that I am determined…I get knocked down…I have had days where all the money in my pocket is going into my work…but I don’t give up…I get discouraged and I go many nights without sleep but I know that this is the storm and If i want to see the sunrise from my penthouse I better keep at it!
Of course keeping a light heart about it and just having plain old fun helps…its hard at times when you always have work…you tend to get very serious about things…but at the end of the day, I remember why I love what I…do how lucky I am to have received a gift that can reach virtually everyone in the world…cuz everyone needs clothes right?
NESHA: Who has motivated you?
RAEANA: The great designers especially of color who have done it before me…Tracy Reese …Willie Smith and of course the great teacher I have had from High School who are always there for me…
NESHA: Who has helped you on your journey?
RAEANA: My family. All of my family and by that I mean my family, friends, hs family mentors who have taken me under the wing along the way from Nautica. The Adopt a student program.
NESHA: What projects do you have coming up?
RAEANA: I am working on a collection inspired by the life and style of the late great Josephine Baker for my concepts class.
NESHA: Okay is this for a class? what do u plan on doing with the collection once it is finished?
RAEANA: Yes…concepts is a class where we develop our vision and trademark as designers…for this project i will be creating a couture collection and I will be using it to enhance my portfolio by showing my illustration and design skills for future interviews and business ventures.
NESHA: That’s excellent! So how do u feel being a teen girl from Brooklyn having accomplished all u have so far?
RAEANA: I feel good. I’m aspiring to achieve more that what I have and exceed the expectations. I dont want to be ordinary never have been and I hope that my drive inspires other young women to find their calling and go with it there are too many young people out there sitting on a talent instead of cultivating it.
NESHA: Definitely! And also other young people are not exposed to things to motivate them or show them that it is possible…so hopefully promoting young people doing positive things will serve to touch others. So any shout outs you want to give??
RAEANA: yea..the socialites. The Tracy Reese Interns and design Team, the nautica design team, students and faculty at fashion high annnnd PARSONS!
Keep Checking for more updates on future Rising Stars. If you are a Rising Star and would like to submit to be featured or nominate someone to be featured email me the appropriate info to NESHA@NooneEverSlowsHerAgenda.com