“You can’t become a fashion designer!”
It didn’t take long for my 12 year old self to realize that everyone around me agreed with that statement. I was advised to pick something simple as my career. Something that suits a young woman.
When I became a young mother, the negativity around me seemed to double down. “Now you can really forget about fashion designing. Only very few manage to do that anyway, and certainly not a young, headscarf-wearing, single mother with a migration background.”
When I passed the entrance exam and finally enrolled in fashion school a few years later, the voices said “You have no future in Germany. It will be impossible for you to make your mark in this competitive industry.”
To all those young women with big dreams and goals who hear similar voices bringing them down, I would like to speak to them, to you, directly.
Believe in yourself. Even if nobody else does. Never let anyone talk you out of your big dreams. Nobody. Don’t let it get to you. Only you know what you want.
The world has yet to get used to the fact that the willpower of a young student, woman, and mother, should not be underestimated. You’re perfect the way you are. You are a born queen. Today and every day.
Meriem Lebdiri’s journey!
And to my 12 year old self, I thank you for not giving up on your dream. Because in 15 years you will have had your first fashion show in Washington. Then it’s off to London for the top 10 designer nominations. Then to Dubai.
You will establish your second fashion label under your own name MERIEM LEBDIRI. And in exactly 20 years you will receive an award for your work as a fashion designer from the German federal government.
I am Meriem Lebdiri. I am a fashion designer.
Read more about Meriem Lebdiri’s debut collection
The Jijel collection is now available for sale online. Click here to browse through these 10 premium luxury handbags that will go with your clothing style. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for more blog posts in the future.