Dreams have a peculiar way of coming full circle, often when we least expect them to. From the tender age of one, I took my first steps down the runway, adorned in a tiny swimsuit. Little did I know that this early fascination with fashion would ultimately lead me on a remarkable journey. Fast forward to the present day, and I find myself not as a runway model in Miami, but as a fashion designer for ETHYC4HUMANITY. This incredible opportunity unfolded before me like a storybook tale, igniting my passion for design and opening doors I had never imagined.
The Instagram Revelation
Two years ago, while I was comfortably nestled on my couch, idly scrolling through Instagram, fate took an unexpected turn. A post caught my eye - a store was inviting applications for designers to showcase their creations. The year was 2021, and in a spontaneous surge of inspiration, I decided to submit my designs. Little did I know that this simple decision would alter the course of my life.
Flying Solo: The Catalyst for My Transformation
Thanksgiving weekend in 2022 brought with it a life-changing email. Flying Solo, the store that would serve as the catalyst for my transition from model to fashion designer, had accepted my application. A dream was knocking at my door, an opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime.
Without hesitation, my business partner and I embarked on a journey to New York City to meet the Flying Solo team. From the moment we walked through their doors, we knew we had found our fashion home. Jacqueline, the head buyer, couldn't help but notice the elegance of my attire: a one-piece designer swimsuit worn as a top, paired with a leather mini skirt and a black blazer. It was a testament to the kind of easy elegance I sought to bring to the world through ETHYC4HUMANITY.
Jacqueline's question took me by surprise: "Rani, why do we not have this in our store?" My initial shock quickly gave way to determination. At the time of applying to Flying Solo, I had not designed this particular piece. However, Jacqueline's suggestion planted a seed of ambition that would soon take root.
Miami Swim Resort Week with Flying Solo
Back home, I wasted no time. I immediately set to work, designing and completing an entire collection. With a bit of magic and a lot of hard work, the collection was ready in time. I vividly remember the moment I submitted my application for Miami Swim Resort Week with Flying Solo, knowing that it was the chance of a lifetime.
With only three months to prepare, I immersed myself in the creative process, meticulously styling each piece for the runway. ETHYC4HUMANITY's vision of timeless, comfortable, and versatile fashion took shape before my eyes. I was not alone in this endeavor; a collaboration with Haute Couture sunglasses added the perfect finishing touch to our collection.
From Model to Designer: The Fitting Day
Fitting day was an intense and exhilarating experience that stretched over 10 hours. Eight models would showcase ETHYC4HUMANITY head to toe, and I couldn't have been more excited. Collaborating with Hautelife World Eyewear added an extra layer of sophistication to our runway looks.
Having walked in the models' shoes before, I understood the nuances of their experience. It was a day of fun and discovery as they tried on the carefully curated outfits. Among them, Lily Ingeldsen stood out, radiating a star quality that transcended the runway. In that moment, I knew that she was destined to become one of the faces of ETHYC4HUMANITY, a role that extended far beyond the confines of the runway.
The Perfect Runway Show
All the hard work, late nights, and creative energy culminated in a runway show that exceeded our wildest dreams. It was a day of perfection, with the Miami backdrop providing a breathtaking view worthy of an Art Basel event. Every detail was meticulously planned, and every model walked with confidence and grace, embodying the spirit of ETHYC4HUMANITY.
A Dream Realized
My journey from a young girl's first steps on the runway to becoming a fashion designer has been a remarkable one. From those early moments of inspiration to the present, I have learned that dreams do come true when you least expect them. Flying Solo, with its open door of opportunity, played a pivotal role in my transformation. Now, as a fashion designer for ETHYC4HUMANITY, I am living a dream I once could only imagine. The runway, the fitting rooms, and the world of fashion have embraced me in a way I could have never foreseen, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
My journey continues, and I can't wait to see where it leads next.