The International Women's Day campaign aims to share the stories of hidden female figures in the digital fashion world.
A CONVERSATION WITH IDIAT SHIOLE
Idiat Shiole, the founder of HADEEART ATELIER, a Nigerian virtual design studio who just recently had her first physical show at Meta’s unveiling of the Metaverse in Nigeria. Idiat Shiole discovered marvellous designer software in 2018 to assist her in creating locomotive 3D models and materials. She initially became a virtual fashion designer since she didn't want to find work after graduating with a Fine and Applied Arts degree from Nigeria's Lautech University.
She has made significant contributions to the fashion XR area with Hadeeart Atelier, gaining multiple featured correspondences in newspapers and magazines where she has made significant contributions to the rising digital fashion in Africa. Idiat is a Tech Nation UK Global talent who has worked with The Fabricant.
Can you tell us about your journey in the digital fashion space?
Curiosity is a powerful force that can drive us to explore new territories, learn new skills, and discover our hidden talents. For me, curiosity was the spark that ignited my passion for digital fashion.
Coming out of school, I found myself with a degree in fine and applied arts, a course that I didn't particularly enjoy. As I struggled to find employment, I stumbled upon the world of fashion illustration and was intrigued by its creative possibilities. I started interning with a fashion designer in Lagos and even tried my hand at freelancing physically, but found that my hijab made potential clients hesitant to hire me.
Determined to make a name for myself in the industry, I turned to the internet and began exploring different tools and techniques. That's when I discovered Marvelous Designer, a 3D program that simulated clothes. With this tool, I was able to take my fashion illustration to the next level and create stunning digital designs.
Despite facing some initial skepticism from others in the industry, I continued to hone my skills and eventually landed an internship with The Fabricant, a digital fashion house. Through this opportunity, I was able to connect with other designers, learn new techniques, and push the boundaries of what was possible in digital fashion.
Today, I am a self-taught 3D artist who is making a name for myself in the industry, using my skills and creativity to create beautiful and innovative designs. My story is a testament to the power of curiosity and determination and a reminder that even in the face of adversity, we can achieve great things if we are willing to explore and learn.
What inspires you every day?
One of my sources of inspiration is driven by a combination of curiosity, a desire for employment, and a passion for my field. Despite facing challenges and obstacles, I try to expand my skills and knowledge beyond traditional methods to stand out in my field. For example, I taught myself how to use 3D software for fashion design and use platforms like LinkedIn to learn about my industry and find inspiration from others. This approach has helped me grow and succeed in my career, and it serves as a reminder that with perseverance and a willingness to learn, we can find sources of inspiration in our everyday lives that can help us achieve our goals.
Have you ever faced discrimination because of your gender, and how did you overcome it?
I faced a frustrating reality when I tried to become an illustrator. Despite my talent and passion for fashion design, my hijab became a point of contention for some people who doubted my abilities simply because of my religious garb. It was disheartening to hear comments that implied my hijab was an obstacle to my success.
But I refused to let discrimination hold me back. Instead, I channelled my frustration into my work and poured my energy into improving my skills. I delved into the world of Virtual designs, which allowed me to create stunning designs that spoke for themselves.
The moment of truth came when I presented my work to those who had doubted me. As they saw my intricate and breathtaking designs, their jaws dropped in amazement. My hijab was no longer an obstacle in their eyes - it had become a symbol of my unique perspective and creativity.
It wasn't easy to face discrimination, but it taught me the value of perseverance and determination. By refusing to give up on my dreams, I was able to prove to myself and others that nothing can stop a talented and driven individual from achieving greatness
How do you empower women in your line of work?
I have had the pleasure of empowering other women in my line of work by leading by example. Through my own curiosity, resourcefulness, and innovation, I have shown other women in the industry that they too can learn new skills and improve their craft, even without formal training. By providing mentorship and training opportunities in 3D fashion, I am proud to be part of bridging the gap and creating more opportunities for women in the field. Together, we are breaking down barriers and paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse industry.
What is your advice to young women who want to be successful in your field?
If I could offer any advice to young women aspiring to succeed in my field, I would tell them to be bold, creative, and resilient. In my experience, those who are not afraid to take risks and think outside the box often achieve the greatest success. I believe that being curious is also essential, as it fuels your desire to learn and explore new ideas.
As a woman who has faced many challenges in my field, I know firsthand that resourcefulness is key. When you encounter roadblocks, don't give up. Instead, find creative solutions and keep pushing forward. And remember, rejection is a natural part of the journey, so don't let it deter you from your goals.
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