“We’re all so different and yet so beautiful in our own way that there is no reason that we shouldn’t take what’s best of everyone’s culture and be able to implement it for yourself “. The 22-Year-old & aspiring model Keyla DaSilva who took a course at ‘The Art Academy’ in Southwark London refers to herself as a strong-minded feminist finding her way in the creative and fashion industry.
I managed to meet with the student at her previous art school ‘The Arts Academy’ where she was going to be modelling one of her many designs herself. Her outgoing and bubbly personality made her very easy to talk to. It was evident that she was passionate about what we were discussing and she didn’t plan on hiding her enthusiasm in talking to a young journalist.
Participating in marches and protests for female rights and keeping up with her blog also took up her time. She has a blog where she discusses many issues and one of those issues is cultural appropriation and When asked what she thought of cultural appropriation in fashion Keyla wasn’t she hit a key point where she said that “growing up in London and being surrounded by so many different cultures you get to experience and learn from said cultures “.
Keyla was born in Ivory Coast but raised in London, UK. She first discovered her passion for the arts at the age of eight when she “received a sewing kit with a book for drawings for Christmas and began to design outfits”. At the age of 15 she established her interest in catwalk modelling.
At age of 16 Keyla took a design course at ‘The Arts Academy’ in Southwark London, “ a place where your raw talent is taken and turned into a practiced skill.” While taking the course the 22 year old spent her time looking for small events where a designer or model would be needed. “I would look for anything I could find really,” she admitted.
“In the beginning, it was always hard to find something but I never gave up” she said with a smile.
Keyla was paid for doing what she loved for the first time when ‘The 2015 National Asian Wedding Show’
contacted her through her blog where she showcased her many designs and asked for her to be one of the designers in the show. “To a lot it wouldn’t be a big deal but for someone with a love for embracing another culture and representing it through my designs, I was thrilled”. The excitement was evident in her voice.
Today Keyla has designed clothing for three different fashion shows, modelled in two of them and organised two of her own marches for female rights. She says that she wishes to continue with what she is doing now and for the future wishes to become a well-known designer.
“ I want people back home to see me on TV” she admitted and we both laughed.