The Fashion World Would Not Be The Same Without These Refugees

The reason I started this blog way back when was to show that fashion is more than just clothing, it’s about making a statement.  Even though it may seem longer, Trump has only been president for a month, and so far he’s signed multiple executive orders that have upset Americans.  His most popular being the “muslim” ban.  This ban “prohibits nearly all citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days”.

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Trump did this to “protect” our country.  What I don’t think he understands is that these people are coming to America to start a new life and be safe.  They go through years of screenings and background checks to come here.  Most importantly there has been no attacks made from any refugee entering in the United States.

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The fashion industry has greatly impressed me by the statements and stand they are making with this ban.  Teen Vogue has completely changed and has political articles and are showing young women how to be educated about the topic and make sure they have a voice.

Halima Aden

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Halima Aden made one of the biggest runway impacts this past fashion week in New York City by simply being herself.  Aden stepped out on Kanye West’s Yeezy show wearing her hijab.  She was proudly representing Muslim women at one of the biggest shows.  Aden was born in a Kenyan refugee camp.

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“My goal is to send a message to Muslim women and young women everywhere that it’s okay to break stereotypes and be yourself,” she says. “Always stay true to who you are—barriers can and will be broken!”

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Aden is on her way to break even more of them.  She has a photo shoot with fashion legend Mario Sorrenti. “I haven’t received any pressure to be anything other than myself,” she says, “and for that, I am so grateful.”

Alek Wek

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In 1991 Wek fled to Britain  to escape the Civil War in Sudan. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York.  When she was only 14 she enrolled in London’s College of Fashion.  One day in 1995 Wek was discovered in an outdoor market in Crystal Palace, London.

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She appeared in a Tina Turner music video then signed to Ford Models.  Since 2002 she has been an advisor to the U.S. Committee for Refugees Advisory Council.  That Council helps raise awareness about the situation in Sudan as well as refugees worldwide.

Ataui Deng

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Deng came to the United States when she was 12; she was one of the 3,500 Sudanese refugees that fled their war-ravaged country for the US in 2004.  When she was 16 she signed with Trump’s agency, and quickly was whisked away to walk runways all over the world and part of high profile campaigns.  Corinne Nicolas who is the president of Trump Model Management, told the San Antonio Express-News, “I think Ataui, through the hardships that she’s had in life, through what she’s seen, it’s probably made her stronger.”

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All of the models in Trump’s business are foreigners, and are not permitted to work in the US because they only have tourist visas.  Michael Wildes who is Trumps own immigration attorney, said, “This is not the way you deal with people’s lives.”

Angok Mayen

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Mayen escaped a terrible civil war in South Sudan and setting in Syracuse in 2013.  She started doing some photo shoots, but for money she took part time jobs at Marshalls and TjMaxx.  One day while working she met Cushman and has since been on two issues of Vogue Italia, many American magazines, and Esprit Clothing campaign.  Since moving to America, Mayen has worked for these glamorous opportunities.  As a refugee, her vision of the American Dream involved education and stability.

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Monica Phromsavanh

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Monica is from a small town in northern Argentina where her family lived as refugees after leaving the violence and chaos of the secret war in southwest Asia.  “We lived a life of poverty that only a refugee could know,” said Phromsavanh. “Hundreds of families lived in a warehouse without electricity or running water. Work was sporadic and often impossible to find. We didn’t speak Spanish and the Laotian people were subject to harassment and treated with little respect.”

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She dropped out of school at 14 and began working 60-hour weeks.  She stood on her feet from morning to night in a dusty warehouse in Buenos Aires. Instead of focusing on the small paycheck and the horrible working conditions she cherished the opportunity to be independent. “For the first time in my life, I could afford groceries, shoes, and a winter coat. That meant the world to me, and I was happy,” she said.

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After taking a trip to Laos she decided to start Modabox. “I was ready to create something worthy of the business acumen I had developed over the years, and that matched the potential I knew I had,” she said. “I wanted to reach a greater audience than I could through a traditional retail setting.” Modabox provides the convenience of a personal stylist for online shopping.  Modabox created fully styled outfits delivered to your door.

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