Ismail Mohammed, originally from Sudan and with a chemistry degree in hand, moved to Vermont two years ago. His job at Green Mountain Coffee, his studies at CCV (Community College of Vermont), and his new baby keep him busy. But none of this could stop him from becoming a Karibu contestant this year as he is pretty passionate about fashion.
What follows is a loose transcription of a recent conversation with Ismail.
What brought you to fashion and design?
In Sudan, I used to own a clothing business. I traveled to the Middle East for interesting pieces and I was good at matching colors. Customers loved what I did with colors.
I didn’t study art or design at school. In Sudan, it’s not like in America. People don’t study this kind of thing. You have to create on your own. So I learned on my own; I’m pretty artistic.
What is your approach to Karibu?
I reached out to the small local Sudanese community for help and models. I enjoy the design part but I would like to be on the red carpet too!
I really want to design something unique… But the difficult part of the competition is that you can only create three outfits. It’s hard to show what you can do!