Meet  Suzette Opara a Nigerian self taught fashion designer and owner of 828_collection
Her work reflects her creativity and her strength.  I recently had the pleasure of attending her fashion show  ”Runway To Reality”.  The fashion show showcased her designs for #Prom2k16.  She not only   designs red carpet prom dresses for inner city youth, she also is a designer to the stars.  She has designed for such stars as Mary Mary, and Whoopi Goldberg.

I had the opportunity to interview this ​wonderful woman.  Check out the Q&A from the interview:

Q​. How long have you been in the fashion industry?
A.  I have been in the business of designing and creating pieces for clients for 12 years now.
Q.  How old were you when you started?
A.  I was 21 I believe.
Q.  What motivated you to start designing?
A.  What motivated me to start designing is the love of art, theater, and music. I have always enjoyed being creative.
Q. Did you go to school for fashion designing?
A.  I studied marketing Johnson & Wales University​.
Q.  What part of Nigeria are you from?
A.  My mom is Yoruba from Lagos and My dad is Igbo from Owerri. I am first generation American born on the South side Of Chicago. It’s a serious blend!!

Q.  How do you manage to ignore the hate from people who didn’t believe in you?
A.  You just have to use that as fuel. My favorite rapper Nas said it best, “Hate is confused administration”.   Something people get mad cause you are doing what they don’t have the courage to do. That’s not my issue. That’s theirs. All you can do is your assignment that God has ordained you to do. Some will like it some wont.  But you will be too busy to notice who is pretending they are not noticing YOU!!​
Q.  Do you plan on sharing the story to the world?
A.  Yes! I’m planning on sharing my story  through fashion! I want people to be drawn to the collection and then they will start peeling off the layers and see its bigger than fashion. It’s a cultural movement and shift in thinking altogether.

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