It’s a pretty tried-and-true saying: Our past informs our present. And this month’s #fashiontruth feature Adisa is no exception. Before she was a mother and fashion blogger based out of Brooklyn, Adisa was a refugee from Bosnia, facing a future that was anything but certain or secure. Yet through her powerfully positive outlook, Adisa infuses her present life with thankfulness and joy, as well as amazing, on-point style.
Hi Adisa! Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in a small country in Europe called Bosnia. During the Balkan war I moved to the United States. Currently I’m living in Brooklyn, New York. I work as an office administrator in a law firm. I know, I know, nothing exciting, but at least at this job I get to wear whatever I want, so I can always push my fashion boundaries without getting in trouble. I was not always an office administrator. I used to work as a hair stylist and make-up artist, but because of the hard schedule and my wanting to start a family, I had to give up on some things in order to gain others. This way I have a “boring” job, but an exciting family, and to me, that is more important.
I love to cook and bake, travel, and lately, blog. Blogging is my fun outlet — it’s fairly new, and I enjoy it a lot. Spending free time with my 4 year old, I would say, is most enjoyable — family is very important to me. My strength is connecting with people. I love to meet new people and love hearing their stories. It’s always good to find a new friend.
One of the first things we noticed about you is your amazing sense of style. What role does clothing play in your life?
My favorite thing besides my family and my son is most definitely fashion. I just love it, breathe it, eat it. I can look at clothes, make-up and anything fashion related for hours. It’s so mesmerizing. Everyone has that story starting with “when I was a little girl”… well, mine is not far from that because ever since I can remember I had a slight obsession with fashion. I used to take all my mother’s clothes and wear them around the house, and my favorite doll was a paper doll.
I had a tough childhood, and it gave me a big lesson in life. I had to wear hand me down clothes. I learned how to thrift shop, since we did not have money to actually go to the store and buy new clothes. I figured out how to dress myself. I was always asked “Where did you get that?” Now I’ve opened up a new chapter in life and started my blog. It’s really new, and it has its challenges, but I want to share that love for fashion and let people know it’s never too late to accept yourself and be body positive. I believe if a person feels beautiful in their own skin, there is no need for any other acceptance except their own. I love the Style Gallery because you can see the happiness of the people sharing their finds, and that confidence shines through. I hope that one day I can inspire other people as well.
What’s your #fashiontruth?
My #fashiontruth is to be happy and comfortable in your own body. When you’re happy and comfortable with yourself everything seems to fall in place. As a person you seem to shine, and whatever you wear with confidence everyone else will want to wear, too. I know lately there’s a big movement in the fashion world to accept being “different”, and I love that. I believe that every person, no matter what their background, body type, body size, should be able to wear whatever they feel like, as long as it makes that person happy. Clothing should not be one size fits all. We are all not the same.
On my Instagram, I describe myself as “curvy” and “in-betweenie”. To me those terms mean that I’m not really a “small” size, and I’m not quite a plus size — I’m in-between size. Sizing labels can leave you out and miss the point. I believe that there should be no labels and that fashion should be available in all sizes. If a person feels beautiful in their own skin, there is no need for any other acceptance except their own. We as women should empower each other and speak positively. I always delete negative comments in my own blog and my Instagram account. I do not accept negativity.
You live in Brooklyn! What drew you to NYC? What are the challenges of living there, and what do you love about it? Do you have any advice for people looking to move there?
What drew me to New York City is the culture, and people generally accepting you for who you are. You can dress up in the middle of the week and sprinkle glitter all over you, and nobody will even look at you twice. I moved because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. There is a saying if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. Well, I guess I can make it anywhere 🙂 My advice to anyone who wants to move to the big city is do it — you have nothing to lose and so much to gain. After all, you can always go back if it does not work out. Living in a big city has some challenges — usually rent expenses — but if you work hard enough, you can make it.
Would you feel comfortable describing the experience of leaving your home country?
As a child I had a wonderful life until the war started. My family and I, as well as many others, had to leave everything behind. Those moments I will never forget, because I was old enough to know what was going on. As an 11-year-old girl I had to grow up really fast. For months we hid in the basement of our house with our neighbors, then we escaped to a neighboring village where my aunt’s family lived. Afterwards we went to Croatia and lived in a refugee camp until we received papers to come to America. I guess the rest is history. I did go back after the war a few times. The country and people are still beautiful. Luckily nowadays there is the internet, so I get to stay close to my old friends and family through Facebook and Skype. Throughout the war, I’ve seen some things that no child should see, but life experiences taught me how to be humble. I went from having everything to having nothing, and then building a new life a few times in different locations. It also taught me how not to be materialistic and to be thankful every day for something.
Positivity, perspective, and a zest for life… we’re so thankful we got to meet Adisa!