Gold Metallic Jogger.




Gold Metallic Jogger.

Every once in awhile a fashion designer of significance seems to appear out of thin air. Sagirah Dawn is one of those designers. Her designs are at once inspirational, aspirational but also relatable. Sagirah manages to merge a sense of almost couture with an over the moment street vibe. Imagista spoke with her about how she got her start and what’s next for her. 

LT Netted Dress.

Imagista: How did you get into designing and did you always want to become a designer?

I got into designing clothing by chance. When I used to live in Atlanta, I took up African style dancing and would be in awe at the costumes that would be worn for performances. I asked a lady I knew that would design costumes for large  African dance companies worldwide, to show me how to sew. Luckily, She agreed to teach me. I got my grandmother’s home sewing machine out of the closet and would walk about a mile to her house every day, for a few months to her home studio where she taught me some of the basics. When I moved back to NYC, I would just practice what she taught me every day until I got good at it. I did this off and on for a while as a side hustle and then about a good 5 years ago when I was let go from my job, I decided to turn it into a full-on business.

LT Netted Dress.

Imagista: How do think to start later in life has benefitted your designs?

Starting this journey later in life has benefitted me enormously. I started at the age when you are most secure in who you are so you are not worried about following trends. When you are not focused on what’s popular,  you can freely create without worrying whether or not it’s considered the new “In Thing” or “Wave” as the younger generations like to call it. You have the creative control and you are able to creatively express your unique style without looking like anyone else. It gives you the ability to offer fresh and new ideas into the world.

Grey Feathered top & Skirt.

Red, White, and Black Beaded Jogger.

Imagista: What are some of your influences in your design? Where did you grow up and how do you think where you grew up affected your design?

My influences in my designs are from many places actually. I love proms and weddings. I Especially love weddings from different cultures such as African, Indian and Asian cultures where the embellishments on their fabrics are very rich and heavy.  In addition to that, I am also inspired by the streetwear of the hip hop era of the ’80s. I know the two are so different but I love to mix both elements together. Growing up in the Bronx, I would see a lot of people that wear hoodies, bomber jackets, joggers, caps, and large earrings.   Even though those items are timeless and are the culture of the Bronx, right now, in the area I’m from, Parkchester, there has been a big influx of Muslim culture in my area so I see a lot of women who wear sarees, veils, and hijabs. They have rich colors, heavy embroidery, and sequins. I came up with the idea to kind of turn that concept into sportswear. This is why, for example, I incorporate my draped hood on a lot of my designs. It gives the elegance of the cultural formal wear but adds a street vibe to it.

Burgundy Fringe Skirt & Top

Imagista: Does music influence your designs and if so how (and who?)

Music definitely plays a huge part in my designs. I love the glitz and glam of music videos, award shows, and stage performers. Those kinds of looks were always eye-catching and I always wanted to wear garments like those. Michael Jackson was definitely one of my favorites with his full-on sequined jackets, gloves, and socks as well as Mary J. Blige. She has always been what I called Street Glamorous. She still has the best style to me as far as wearing something glamorous but still having some street influence and edge to it. 

Ju Ju Printed Jogger Set.

Imagista: Who makes your designs? Do you make them by yourself or do you have a team that works with you?

All of my designs are envisioned and hand-crafted, by me alone. I am a one-woman sweatshop if you will. I am looking to build a creative design team in the near future.

Grey Feathered top & Skirt.

Imagista: Who would be the ideal woman (or women) to wear your clothes? Who is a “Sagirah Dawn Designs” woman?

The ideal woman that wears Sagirah Dawn Designs is the successful, outgoing, fearless and confident woman who loves to be different. She is unique and bold and has expensive taste. Sagirah Dawn Designs are perfect for the Stage, Red carpet at the VMA’s or just for the woman that demands attention and wants to stand out in a room.

Yellow Money Lace Hoodie.

Imagista: Where would you like to see yourself, as a designer, in say 5yrs?

In 5 years, I would love to be a very successful, Internationally known high-end brand, with my garments in larger named department stores,  while dressing multiple top celebrity clients as well as having a few flourishing storefronts here in the states and worldwide. 

Yellow Money Lace Hoodie.

Imagista: How was your photoshoot for Imagista? Did you feel like you learned anything or experienced anything new?

My photoshoot for Imagista was absolutely Amazing. The team, from the makeup, art direction, lighting, and photography was undeniably the most astounding group of professionals that I have ever encountered. They are a very fun, high energy and hard-working team that does amazing work. This experience working with Imagista has taught me that having the right team players will allow one to produce phenomenal, top quality work. What an amazing time I had working with their team.  I was blown away by them!

Camo Train Top & Camo Pant

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Odell Design Studio NYC


Fashion Creative Director: Lucy Edwards @Lilo10029
Photographer: Michael Williams @michaelwilliamsphoto
Model: Emaani Thompson @emaanithompson
Hair & Makeup: Liam Dunn @liamhairmakeup @hollycorbettrepresents using Oribe Hair @oribe products and Make up products by Clarins @clarinsusa.
Lighting & Digital Technician: Gustavo Rodriguez @quetzal_photography