I often speak a few words that a majority of the time falls on deaf ears amongst my peers. I passionately voice that there is a lot of hidden treasures here within my city of Baltimore, let alone my home state of Maryland. Many brush this off as me being an oblivious naive person because I fail to acknowledge the already popping popular talent. If you know me and what I am about, then you should know after three yrs of blogging, I always seek out those unseen gems. And for the last two years, I have been following one of those.
We are currently living in a new age, new time period, and a new culture. A new culture where the millennial generation is setting a new standard and tone for the art, fashion, and the societal world. They are changing the standard norm of a nine to five, from cubicle life to doing something you are passionate about. Many of them are embracing new awareness of self-worth and dedication to their craft. Some are even taking on crafts they never expected to be good at. And that is what Maryland native Kiera Henderson did.
I had the opportunity to correspond and to interview Kiera. We began the interview with me asking my famous question, “What makes you love what you do?” She talks about being able to be creative and to inspire people in so many ways. My second question was asking her why did she choose Syracuse as her college of choice, and did that play a factor in her future career goals. She wanted to attend Syracuse solely because she wanted to experience the “college experience”. She goes on to add that, she missed so many opportunities because of that choice but did not want to miss out on this moment in her life.
In the early days of her college career, she was, like many of us was not sure what she wanted to do with her life. Let alone make a major decision on what career path she wanted to take. In her choosing Syracuse, she majored in Fashion Design and minored in Retail Management. She states that she did not start designing until college and that she never expected to be so amazing at it. In her words, ” I just jumped into it on a whim”.
During her college career, she had the opportunity to travel to the London, England. In talking, she mentions how the vibe of the city had a tremendous effect on her. She appreciated how the city opened up her eyes to how limits can be pushed. She referred to the city being more out there and bigger than life. I then asked her would she ever go back to Europe to start her career? She eagerly said that she would love to go live in London for a year or two. She goes on to state that the energy is nothing like she has ever experienced before.
I shifted the questions to focus more on her up and coming senior collection. The concept of her collection is about the average women in our generation who is completely comfortable with herself. The collection itself is meant to reflect youthful nature with different elements that portrays confinement that is progressively broken down. With most senior collections, there is always some sort of obstacles and challenges that one must overcome. For her, the biggest challenge has been more of an emotional one. Even though her collection is small, she adds that this was her first time producing a full collection in a short amount of time. Working with multiple fabrics of different textures was her biggest difficulty. Unlike her peers in this particular field, she is not influenced by other designers, and or fashion collections. ” I really don’t like to be influenced by others, because I feel like that subconsciously fuels your designs and you end up seeing different elements from other people in your own work”, she states.
As the questions continue, I moved on to ask her what are her goals in the next five years? Where does she see herself? What does she want to be recognized for and the legacy she wants to leave behind? For one, she hopes that she is still doing what she loves, and continuing to build her brand, all the while inspiring others to do the same. With her motivation and life mottos in the forefront, she will never give into doubting herself and what she is destined to become. She knows that life will throw some curves and she may not understand why, but in her mind it’s really for best.
In conclusion, she is not setting out to be recognized for anything, but just to enjoy what she does. Never waste her life on what ifs and regrets, but if in the end if it leads to some sort of recognition, then it was already planned. I hope that one day, when I am sitting in my studio writing yet another article like this, I hope to hear one of my employees say, ” May we attend fashion week, designer Kiera Henderson is releasing yet another phenomenal collection”.
“I’ve never really thought about leaving a legacy, but I would like to be remembered as someone who was genuine and touched the lives of others, whether its through my designs, an interaction, my work ethic, how I see the world, whatever the case may be I just don’t ever want to lose myself” – Kie
Disclaimer: All photography is the property of The Kie Piece and Setor Tsikudo.
Visit Kie| www.thekiepiece.me