As student director of the Shekou International School annual fashion show, Hajira Kamran is no stranger to fashion and the limelight. The 17-year-old has been involved in the event for the past three years, and the show is a big event that is attended by school community and general public, and raises money for worthy charities. The participants, from models to designers, take it very seriously. So how does a high school student pull it all off? Urban Family recently had a chat with this entrepreneurial student. Let’s hear it from Hajira!
Hajira, Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Pakistan and moved to Chicago with my parents and sister. Later we moved to Malaysia with my parents, sister and brother, then to Singapore and finally to Shenzhen when I was 13.
How did you become interested in fashion? What are your main interests now?
I think I got into fashion how every other normal teenager does: through watching Gossip Girl, Project Runway and all of that. My main interests right now are more geared towards politics and literature. Not the most exciting stuff for everyone, but I think I got into it because of its relation to society (or fashion). Understanding how certain things work has helped me develop more of an immunity to certain pressures. How girls dress and how it is perceived has always been a topic that I’ve been interested in, like some form of a societal issue I guess. I guess being more accepting of all dress senses and types of people through this interest in political/social issues has helped me expand my own fashion.
How has your fashion sense evolved?
My dress sense has definitely evolved into a much more original one, versus the generic tween fashion I followed as a freshman. As I matured, and my interests did alongside, so did my fashion sense. Currently my dress sense is best described as artsy, probably. I’ve gone from skinny jeans and awkward crew necks, to flowing tops and boyfriend jeans, or I try to change it up with skinny jeans and floral tops. This will evolve after I graduate because being in Western countries, the US/England, will give me the opportunity to adopt their type of fashion. This basically means that brands like Topshop, Forever 21 and independently owned thrift shops will be of easy access.
How did you become the director of the Fashion Show?
I have been involved with the fashion show since I was 14 years old. I'm 17 now and managed to somehow make my way up the ladder to become the director of the show. As fancy as the title is, I definitely don't do all the work. Currently, I am lucky enough to be backed up with a team of creative students who have similar goals to me when it comes to the show. As for the directing, I guess it comes pretty easily to me because I did step my way up the ladder – from designer, to photographer, up to what I am now. I also know what I need out of this year’s show, so it's just a matter of ensuring it all comes together on the big day. I have been involved with the show since I was 14 and seen the failures and successes. My favorite part of the event is always the last few weeks, which are an accumulation of stress and excitement and runway walks and arguments. I am determined to make this show more than just clothes that will later be thrown away. I am excited for it to have a greater purpose and impact beyond one night.
What do you mean? What is your ultimate goal for this year’s show?
My first goal is to have a completely student-run show: models, designers, photographers, set, everything. My second goal is to give back to a larger community. That is obviously the larger, more important aim. I am currently looking into multiple national and international charities. My focus is on education equality/supporting women's entrepreneurship. This is a really big issue in Pakistan, where I'm from. Young women are forced into marriages and when they eventually get out, are unable to be self-sufficient. It's something that I think needs to be both helped and also publicized; the show will be a platform to achieve both things. Even though it's still early days, I am already planning the next fashion show in February and look forward to doing much more after I graduate from school.