The Power of a Degree in Energy and a Love for Fashion in a Male-Dominated Industry

 Tell us about you.

I’m a Half Aussie, Half Ghanaian girl born and bred in Ghana. I’m a very quiet person and i would like to think that my voice speaks through my clothing. For as long as i can remember, i’ve always had an undying love for fashion. during my lessons in high school i would often find myself spending half of my time browsing through clothing websites thinking of how i would mix and match the thousands of pieces in my final basket, of course without making any purchases. i started expressing myself confidently through my clothing in my early teen years and through the attention and compliments i received, i realised that i had a supportive audience which has motivated me to take my love for fashion further by launching a fashion blog soon where i can share my style, inspire and influence other girls too. 



What are you going to study in college and why did you decide on that?

 

i will be pursuing a degree in environmental science mainly to study about energy and resource management. before i graduated high school i would always go blank when i was asked “what do you want to be in the future?” i felt completely lost compared to my friends because they all knew the direction they wanted to go in and now, that in itself has made me realise that everyone grows at their own pace and its completely okay to be thrown off balance at any point in time because the universe will eventually pick you up one way or the other. The reason why I’m actually looking forward to working in this industry apart from my genuine interest is because it is a sector highly dominated by men and i would like to break through that stigma and demonstrate that the power that we women hold within us is gold.

It's funny because when I saw your Instagram and VSCO journal I thought you would study fashion or design because you have great style. Where did that come from? Who influences your style?

To be very honest, a part of me does want to pursue a lifetime career in fashion because that is where my beating heart lies. whenever I’m lost in thought I’m always subconsciously thinking about fashion and i do have plans of starting my own clothing label one day, i just hope i have the time on my hands. the fashion industry will always pique my interest and it would be a dream if i could juggle a career both in fashion and energy!  i believe i got the “style gene’ from my mum. back in her day she would subscribe to tonnes of fashion catalogues and would never stop ordering clothes. i highly admire the brands Jacquemus and Zimmerman and both Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadids style, however the main influence would be myself. i think my background has helped in perfecting my eye and has directed me to incorporate my own creative input into what i wear and how i put my looks together.

 

Can you share what it was like growing up in Ghana? 

i would describe it as bittersweet. Ghana is a very small country and what makes it even smaller is that almost all the upper and middle class citizens reside in the capital city Accra. Simply, everyone knows everyone, either by association or name. Growing up where your business is indirectly everyone else’s has moulded me into a more private person and has taught me so much about people and their behaviour. Living in a third world country and being fortunate enough to travel and visit different countries every summer really gave me an insight on life in ghana compared to developed countries at a very tender age. Being Half Australian, i started visiting Australia as early as 9 months old and so honestly, i’ve spent most of my life counting down the days to leave ghana just because i feel like theres so much more out there that Ghana can’t put on my plate and i know I’m not the only one that feels this way. Nevertheless, The hospitality here is so warm and has shaped me into a more empathetic and friendly person. i can proudly say that theres this sort of unity between us all and the communal spirit of the Ghanaian society is totally admirable! 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

As soon as i read this question i got the imagery of myself toasting up a glass of champagne on a yacht sailing through the French Riviera with my loved ones. Hopefully in 5 years i’ll be trotting the globe building up my collection of pictures from around the world as i am extremely passionate about photography as well. Regarding Fashion, i see myself as a successful fashion blogger undertaking different business deals with top luxury brands as well as styling potential customers.

 

If there was anything you could do differently in life what would it be and why?

Communicating more openly with the right people and showing more love to the people around me. i’ve slowly learnt that genuinely taking your time to connect with people on a level that is so pure and honest is the most selflessly fulfilling thing I’ve ever experienced and I’m hoping to establish more true relationships in the future. 

 

 

 

Atira Barber-Ellis