“Being confident in your outward appearance has a way of stirring up the greatness inside of you and making you feel as though you can conquer whatever life throws at you,” the Chicago-native comments. “Your appearance does matter because it affects how you feel about yourself. People won’t take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously, and their first impressions of you are usually based on your outward appearance.”
As a wardrobe stylist and model coach who specializes in image branding, the Columbia College Chicago graduate says today’s youth and how African-American women are portrayed in the media go hand-in-hand.
“I’m concerned about how women in our community are perceived in the media because for many of our young girls, the media has become their teacher,” she adds. “As a woman, I want to positively influence others, make an impact, and pay it forward, which is a concept I strongly believe in.”
Through the fashion industry, Aaja got in where she fit in through styling and production. With an initial interest in performing arts, the stylist admits fashion design and becoming a buyer didn’t suit her. Through trial and error, an internship with Tamika Price of A-Line Style Services and her work with Beau Ideal, Aaja says she solidified her place in the creative market.
“What inspires me about fashion is the ability to reinvent yourself through your personal style,” Aaja comments. “I’m a creator of style and pull from different aspects of the lifestyles of people to create an image that’s unique to them. I like to be different every time.”
Although she admires the work of celebrity stylist June Ambrose and Zanna Roberts Rassi, senior fashion editor of Marie Claire, the young stylist admits she has an eclectic side inspired by each individual she styles for, and not by the work of one specific designer.
“Fashion is like a language and style is how people take trends and make them their own,” Aaja adds.
With aspirations to style A-list celebrities, Aaja also has a clear vision to host workshops and events on the philanthropic end that center on women of substance and honor such women who are role models and make a difference in the community.
“I’m motivated by knowing there’s a greater purpose in my life and God shows me there’s a greater purpose with each opportunity that He presents to me,” she says.
For more information on Aaja’s services and to view her work, visit her website at .
Follow her on Twitter at @AC_The Brand
Top Photo Courtesy of Bernice Fountain Photography
Bottom Photo Courtesy of OfTdubtography