April 10, 2010

Akeem Muhammad

In the fashion world there are many ups & downs. They're those who claim to be, and those who are. It takes more than just fabric and a dream to make it in this business. You must have vision, you must have style, but most of all you must class.
Meet Akeem Muhammad, a young fashion designer with all the qualities needed to become one of the next icons in this glamorous profession.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Akeem during his spring break (from one of the top fashion institutes F.I.T). I must say this young man has character and drive. He's quickly on the come up and ready for all that lies ahead.
So sit back & let's get to know Americas next top designer...

The Come Up: First of all introduce yourself to the world

Akeem: Akeem Muhammad from Long Island, New York. Huntington. 19 years old.

The Come Up: Tell us a little about your self

Akeem: I go to FIT, the fashion institute of technology in the city. I'm a freshman. It's pretty cool. It's a new thing for me being on my own but I love it.

The Come Up: So is FIT where you always wanted to go?

Akeem: It was my sophomore year in high school when I found out about FIT and I stuck to it. That's the only college I actually applied to & I got in.

The Come Up: That's hot man! Congrats on that. So I can see you're really into the fashion scene, has it always been your passion?

Akeem: Not always, it definitely grew on me when I got into high school. I just love it now

The Come Up: So how did you get into it? Did you just stumble into it?

Akeem: Kind of. I was always visiting my cousin Jennifer, she was going to a fashion college. So I got into it through her really. And then I started studying it on the internet and in magazines.

The Come Up: Who are some of your inspirations in the fashion game?

Akeem: Definitely Jason Wu, he's one of my favorite fashion designers. I like Vera Wang a lot. I don't know, there's too many designers to name. I can't pick just 2 or 3.

Akeem hard at work
The Come Up: Ok that's cool. Since this site is mainly based around music, let us know who's in your ipod right now?

Akeem: Beyonce, Alicia Keys, umm...Dirty Money. I just got into Dirty Money. Definitely Alicia Keys, she's my girl right now.

The Come Up: Ok time to make a choice buddy! If you can only pick one, who is your favorite designer out right now?

Akeem: Dennis Basso. I like Dennis Basso.

The Come Up: What designer do you think is overrated?

Akeem: Dolce and Gabbana!

The Come Up: Damn that was fast! I thought it was going to take you some time to think about it lol!

Akeem: LOL I'm tired of them! They're just wack to me.They're just too cheesy, with the over sized belts it's over! I'm sick of it lol.

The Come Up: The way you carry yourself one would think you were a model. If you had to choose between a modeling career & a career as a designer, which would it be?

Akeem: Model!

The Come Up: For real??

Akeem: Oh a model definitely! I love to take pictures! I love being in front of the camera, it's just that I'm not tall enough.

The Come Up: So what is the average height for a model?

Akeem: For men it's 6'1" and over. For women it could be from 5'7" and up. Women got the upper hand in that.

The Come Up: So I hear you got to meet the first lady Michelle Obama. How did that come about?

Akeem: Last year when I was in High School, before the inauguration ball my fashion teacher had us design a dress for the first lady. We mailed it out and a week after the ball aired we got a big thank you letter to my school. Then early last month my principle called my dorm & said Mrs. Michelle Obama has invited you & 30 other students to come down for the inauguration dress donation to the Smithsonian museum of natural history.

Michelle Obama at the Smithsonian museum of natural history (which Akeem attended).
The Come Up: Wow that's big...

Akeem: I went crazy!

The Come Up: lol What did you do when you got the news?

Akeem: I was going crazy! My roommate next door was like "What's wrong with you?"
I was flabbergasted, I couldn't even talk lol! I wanted to tell everyone but I couldn't because it was under wraps for the moment. She said I could tell my family but that's all.

The Come Up: Ok so when you got down there did you have butterflies? Were you nervous?

Akeem: I was more excited than nervous actually. I was too excited! I calmed down though. I was nervous at all, I wanted to meet her. I wanted to get some exposure you know? Plus we made a little booklet for her with all of our drawings in it. Mine was the first when you opened it because I was the only one who drew the whole family.

The Come Up: Congratulations man, that's a huge accomplishment

Akeem: Thank you

The Come Up: Let's jump back to the music side of it. You know fashion & music go together big time. Who's the best dressed Hip Hop artist to you?

Akeem: Diddy

The Come Up: Who's the worse dressed?

Akeem: Ludacris! I can't stand the way he dresses! His music is alright but the way he dresses makes me want to throw something at him!

The Come Up: What about swag? Who has the best swag in Hip Hop?

Akeem: I would say Trey Songs

The Come Up: Alright since you're on the fashion come up, who's you're favorite model right now?

Akeem: Chanel Iman. She's a new up & coming model. She's young and she knows what she's doing

The Come Up: We've seen a lot of artist make the transition to fashion. How do you feel about Beyonce's clothing line House of Dereon?

Akeem: Don't make me say it...

The Come Up: lol You have to say it! Be honest!

Akeem: I... I don't like it. Sorry Bee, I don't like it. Not at all. It's just a little too trashy.
But I do like when Beyonce wears her moms designs on the red carpet.

The Come Up: Do you think Diddy's line Sean John is still relevant in 2010?

Akeem: Yes...some of it lol.

The Come Up: Ok it's time to put your fashion wit to use. I'm going to name certain styles of clothing and I need you to tell the people if it's "Poppin" or to "Drop It." Are you ready?

Akeem: Yeah I'm ready

The Come Up: Lacoste shirts?

Akeem: Poppin

The Come Up: Jean shorts?

Akeem: Drop It

The Come Up: Capris

Akeem: Drop It, I'm not sure about those

The Come Up: The 3XL Tee...

Akeem: DROP IT!

The Come Up: LOL! Damn you didn't even let me finish

Akeem: Drop those immediately! lol

The Come Up: Do Rags?

Akeem: Drop It

The Come Up: Basketball Jerseys?

Akeem: Poppin...?

The Come Up: Only if you on a team! lol. How about Air Force Ones?

Akeem: Poppin

The Come Up: Flip Flops with socks on?

Akeem: Drop it!

The Come Up: Ahhh come on! I like that! lol.

Akeem: No!!!

The Come Up: So do you have any hidden talents that we don't know about?

Akeem: I'm into photography. I take really good pictures. I've been doing it since my freshman year in High School.

The Come Up: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Akeem: I see myself in Bryant Park with my own fashion line. Maybe even my own modeling agency. Since I can't model I would like to put my own agency together.

The Come Up: If you started your own fashion line today, what would you name it?

Akeem: A lot of people say I should use Keemo but I think that's weird. You think of Cancer! I am not naming it Keemo lol.

The Come Up: What would your line specialize in?

Akeem: It will be evening wear. Dresses, very stylish.

The Come Up: Well I want to thank you Akeem for taking the time out to sit down with us. You're definitely on the come up & we wish you nothing but the best.

Akeem: Thank you, thank you

The Come Up: Is there anyone you want to shout out?

Akeem: Well definitely my cousin Jennifer Phelps. She's my main inspiration, she's helped me with a lot of things. My whole family really, for all their love & support. And thank you for having me.

 Check out some of Akeem Muhammad's designs...