sCore x ILNA Collective: Virtual Shoot
Photographer: Aya Nashashibi
Styling: Nereen Sbeitan
Written by: Salwa Attiga
It started at a young age – my love for fashion. Every Friday, I would wake up, get dressed, and ask my mom to take me to the mall. We would spend long hours shopping, browsing, and exploring the latest trends. I vividly remember how I would walk into the fitting room, try on one shirt, and start to imagine all the different ways I could style it. I remember asking the employees at the shop about the fabrics, materials, stitching, and so much more. I bombarded them with so many questions because I was just so fascinated. My brain entered a semi-euphoric state, and everything else around me was blurred. I was transported to another world – the world of fashion. I then used to go home, cut things up, and manipulate the items to how I wanted them to look on me, and the vision I had imagined for them. Oh, how a piece of cloth could be turned into a dream shirt in just a matter of minutes. What a feeling; a state of intense focus, one that creates an overwhelming sense of engagement. I fell in love. My entire being was involved, using my skills to the utmost.
A couple of years later, that child went on to complete her bachelor’s degree at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I did not think it was possible to be sucked into the fashion world even more than I already was, but I was wrong. There was still so much room to feed my passion for the industry being in such a sophisticated city. As soon as I was done with my classes for the day, I would walk from the university to a shopping center in Boston. I was that child again. I was lost in the clothes and the many different trends on display. I had so many questions, and a motive to want to learn more.
Fashion, for some people, is about looking good for the public eye, buying big brands, or showing off that you’ve got the latest trendy items. But it is much more than that. Fashion, to me, is that thing that you just can’t avoid or fight. It has empowered me to become who I am, driving me to excel to another extent. I dip into another planet and escape the one I’m living in. It is how I express myself and voice my personality without having to say a thing. Fashion does not only exist in clothes, dresses, or runway looks; it is everywhere, in the sky, in the streets, and in our ideas.
After graduating with my bachelor’s, I moved to New York City to follow my dreams of working in the fashion industry. It was, to say the least, a challenge. I did not have it easy as people in the fashion industry are super competitive. Nevertheless, that did not stop me from doing what I loved. Instead, it motivated me to be better. I worked closely on the accounts of Sies Marjan, Christopher Kane, Nina Ricci, and Mansur Gavriel. I worked with stylists for some of the biggest celebrities in the world. I put together an array of looks for many fashion events, and for top clients. After a couple of months, I made a decision to switch jobs where I worked with several different merchants such as Illesteva, IRO, AGOLDE, Rent the Runway and others. I went to every sample sale being offered in NYC. I walked every single block in Soho, meeting some of the most stylish people, and chatting with a group of people who felt the same way about fashion as I did. I was content, happy - I felt like I belonged. It most certainly is not a lie when they say that New York is the city of dreams. It was indeed the city of my dreams.
While I was in NYC, I completed my certification in becoming a Mat Pilates instructor, another passion of mine. I left the city and returned home to the Middle East soon after Covid-19 progressed. I decided to teach online pilates classes on Zoom, allowing me to connect with people from all around the world – some of which I’ve known, some I’ve never met before- connecting them with one another through one method.
Combining my love for both fashion and fitness, I launched my sCore line which started off with customised sCore mats, a necessity for anyone taking classes. I then moved on to designing a selection of unisex t-shirts. I always knew that I wanted to combine my two passions and through my merch, I was able to achieve that. My goal was to create functional, wearable and versatile pieces that people would love and enjoy, and the response I received after my first release was so fulfilling. Riding that high, I launched bucket hats – a statement accessory for any season, and I look forward for the next season of sCore merch.
Fashion is the protagonist in my story. I can’t wait to see where it takes me and the wonders it’ll reveal to me.