From Law School to Fashion Design, Whitney Reminds Us to Trust the Process


Outfit:

Jacket, Pants, and Shoes: @H&M

Top: @Zara

Watch: @Fossil
 

So, the first question is the question of the month and it would be, who’s your black woman icon and why?

Black woman icon? Oh, I know who it is! Serena Williams! I think she’s just a beautiful person. I think she’s really grounded in her values and you know she’s really focused. Even just by having her on snapchat you can feel how genuine her spirit is and I really really love that. Obviously, Serena Williams has won so much. She’s a successful black woman as well. I think it’s nice to have someone that you can look up to that isn’t moved by “the trends of the world”. Like they’re just genuinely themselves. If they like sleeping in a paper bag, they’ll sleep in a paper bag. As opposed to someone that sees everyone trying to do this and they just want to follow the crowd. I just like that she’s her own person. And you know when you think of other black women that you can look up to like Oprah Winfrey, you see that they kind of have the same vibe about them. They’re just attentive to themselves, they’re really focused, and they achieve great things. Even if it’s in the littlest way, there’s just something about them that you aspire to be like or to have. Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey are just two people I absolutely love.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I hate that question lol… I don’t like labels. I prefer when people ask, “What are you into?”

Ah okay so something more specific?

Yeah. It’s much better than you just saying you’re this girl or that. It’s like you’re labeling yourself. But anyways, back to the question lol. I’m Whitney Madueke. I’m a Nigerian. I moved to New York last year in January. I currently study Fashion Design after studying Law for three years in England and passing my bar exams back in Nigeria. I moved here to really pursue my passion for Fashion Design and to become a designer. I also do YouTube full-time, I’m a blogger, I model and I do public speaking. So, yeah, I’m a lot of things lol.

So, what are you doing now to pursue your career in Fashion Design?

I am going to Parsons. I’m taking classes and that’s one major thing I’m doing towards that. But also creating a brand through my personal self by building my following on Instagram. Just growing to learn myself more because that eventually will translate into your brand and what you want it to be. And, you know, being a blogger opens doors as well, so it’s all connected in some way. Also, I’m doing YouTube and I’m blogging full-time which helps pays the bill for school fees! So, you know everything balances out.

What do you feel most accomplished for in your life right now?

Wow that’s a big one.I think moving to New York was a very huge move. I think when I was moving I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. When I would tell people that I was moving to New York they would look at me like “Oh my gosh! You’re moving to New York?! By yourself?!” And I would look at them like, “Yeah, it’s not a big deal.” But, like, now that I’m here and I sit back and reflect, it’s such a huge deal. Now, when I think about it, I think, “Wow I actually moved to New York City... To a new country!”

What is your greatest struggle?

Ooooo that’s a tough one. What’s my greatest struggle?... In what way? In anything?

In any way! Yeah, it could be a personal struggle that you’ve been dealing with for a while or a struggle in your career…

I think my greatest struggle would probably be appreciating the time it takes to grow into yourself. If that makes sense. You know, like one example is my Instagram. I’ve always had this image or style of how I want my Instagram to be. It’s been such a journey to get here. Even when people would be like “Oh my god! Your Instagram is so nice!” I would be like “Not really.” I didn’t personally feel like it was where I wanted it to be, but I got there this year because I finally figured out how to achieve what I wanted. And now I’m super proud. I love my Instagram. So now when people say, “Oh my god! Your Instagram is so nice!” I’m like, “Thank you! I think so too!” lol. So yeah, just appreciating the fact that it all takes times is my greatest struggle. If you don’t get to where you want to be when you want, it doesn’t mean you should stop, it just means that you should continue going and eventually you will get there. It’s just about having the patience for when will I get there.

If you can do one thing differently again what would it be and why?

I feel like answering that question takes me back to “Regret Lane”. Whenever days are tough I always think that if I didn’t study law, by now I should have my brand. But then again, I need to appreciate that just having that Law life took me on a great path and it’s a part of my journey, so I shouldn’t feel like it was a setback. I should see it as something that has always been a part of my journey. So, I wouldn’t like to answer that question because I don’t think I should regret anything.

What is your favorite quote and why?

I found one recently! It was by this author, Najwa Zebian. It basically says, “These mountains that you are carrying, you are only supposed to climb.” And that was beautiful because that day I was just feeling like life was very heavy, or like dreadful, and like what’s the point of everything that we are doing in life? Why is everything so hard? You know, I was just really weighed down by “the weight of the world”.

I feel like this is a common struggle for a lot of people our age. I can totally relate with what you’re saying right now.

Right? Then you just wonder like why am I feeling this way? How can I stop? I think I just typed in Google just a few key words and I saw this and it struck me so well because then I realized like “Yeah the world is crazy and it weighs a ton, but are we really meant to be carrying it?” This talked to me. It reminded me to let go and I think that sometimes that can be the problem. We’re all still holding on to so much, meanwhile we should be letting go. And then it goes back to the regret question and why you shouldn’t be answering that in the first place, because then it triggers you to hold onto those “if-nots”. So yeah, that is a quote that beautifully sums up life and I think that’s why I love that quote so much.

 

Atira Barber-Ellis