My name is Jasmine “Yasi” Sakak. I’m from Minot, North Dakota, but I now live in Los Angeles, California, more specifically Long Beach. I met Tori through having mutual friends on social media after I moved from Minot. I moved out to LA to study fashion design and heard about Tori’s designing through mutual friends. We reached out to each other over social media and ended up getting to know one another and figured out we share a lot of the same passions and life values. Now it feels like we have been life long friends! She is truly an amazing and genuine person, I am very lucky to have crossed paths with her and call her one of my good friends.
Since I could pick up a pencil, I started drawing. Shapes, colors, and even design always fascinated me at a young age and I would try to draw what I would see. Whenever there was something I thought needed “help” or “work”, I would think about it and sometimes even draw what I wanted to change. At a young age, I thought I wanted to be an artist, now that I am older, I understand that I AM an artist and I have always wanted to be a designer. As I got older, I developed more of a taste and interest in fashion. Due to this, I wanted to become a fashion designer.
I moved to Los Angeles in October of 2014 to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) to pursue a career in the fashion industry. I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Fashion Design in March 2016. I applied and was accepted into (along with 9 other students) the Advanced Studies Fashion Design Program, which is a 3 quarter (9 months) long program that focuses on building a collection from scratch. That includes sourcing materials, conceptualizing, mood boards, inspiration, pattern drafting, draping, cutting, sewing and fitting each of our designs. We each have 12 look collections we need to complete for FIDM’s annual Debut Fashion Show on April 6, 7, and 8 of 2017.
Before I came to FIDM, I was not as into sewing as I was into drawing. However, I had never drawn a fashion figure in my LIFE. The 9 Heads series by Nancy Riegelman really helped me grow as an illustrator (I was lucky enough to have her as my instructor as well). I started drawing and rendering what I directly saw in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and other fashion and art magazines and books. Once I really understood shape, drape and the body I would change the garment in a way that was somewhat different. Once I got better at that I started rendering my own designs.
I have become a lot better at sewing now; I did not have a lot of experience before. I had taken a class in high school and learned the basics but I did not do much on my own after that. Once I came to FIDM I got to a point where I had to have at least one garment done a week. Now I lose track of how many I need done a week. But I am constantly sewing. Pinterest and YouTube are my go to’s whenever I need inspiration or ideas on how to construct something. Even my knowledge of how different fabrics work has extended.
1. Go for it: Moving to Los Angeles was probably the best thing I have done for myself. So many wonderful and surreal opportunities have happened for me here that it’s crazy for me to think about sometimes. However, it took me a while for me to make that big move and step into a world that was completely different from what I am used to. Don’t be afraid of change or being uncomfortable, that is when you grow the MOST. I have learned so much since I moved: about the world, other people, and most importantly, ABOUT MYSELF. The relationship that I have been developing with myself has been the most exasperating (in a good way) and liberating thing for me. Never be afraid of challenges and always look at everything as an experience: good and hard times. There is always something to learn in any given situation.
2. Give what you love 100%: it will give you more back: Do not only talk about working hard, JUST DO IT. Be passionate in everything you do. I always knew I had an excellent work ethic, but I was never doing anything I was extremely passionate about. When I applied my work ethic to my dreams and goals, I wanted to go all in. Whenever I go all in, I see the rewards. One of my dear friends read me a quote once, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” When you focus on the bigger picture, you won’t always reap the rewards tomorrow, but with patience and time YOU WILL GET THERE. When you find yourself tackling those short-term goals to get to the long-term goals, you will feel more and more motivated. That also follows up with surrounding yourself with what you love. A majority of my social media feeds are filled with designers, fashion businesses and news. Even on my down time, I find myself researching and trying to know my industry inside out.
3. Find balance: With all of that being said about working hard and giving your passion your all, you must find balance. Find time for yourself away from your projects. Whenever I am all in for something and I barely come up for air, my dad always reminds me, “Yasijoon, look at your hand. You see the lines? Now move it closer to your face ‘til it hits your nose. Do you see the lines anymore? Take a step back and reevaluate. That’s why painters always step away from their painting after a bit to look at their piece from further away.” He understands because he is the same way I am about his passions in his life. Whenever I need a break or inspiration, or clarity I do a few different things: I am lucky I live next to the beach so I go there for a walk or run. If it’s too cold for that I go out to eat by myself (I found that I often need alone time when I am around people quite a bit). Sometimes if I just simply watch a movie or one of my favorite TV Shows (The Office and A Different World) that is enough for me. During this past year I got so overwhelmed with my workload that I took an entire month off and came home. As much as I love what I do, it is still work and I had a lot on my plate. I had been going through a lot of personal challenges that year and it was hard to cope with everything with my workload and also being so far away from my family. So I just went home and I spent time with my family and dearest friends during the holidays, I rested (which meant lots of sleep I don’t usually get), and I did not touch any of my work. It was the best thing I did at the time. I came back to LA refreshed with new ideas and ready to get back to work. Knowing yourself and knowing what you need does take trial and error, but when you figure it out find that balance you need.
One of my favorite quotes by my favorite poet to live by:
“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy
your reputation. Be notorious.” – Rumi
- Best sewing supply store: WAWAK Sewing Supplies
- Figure drawing guide: 9 Heads
- Favorite fabric stores (you can order from some of them, some are strictly in house):
- Favorite art supply story (besides Amazon): Blick
- Favorite Apps for Inspiration/Ideas:
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