-By Jade Nicole
Latiya Gholar comes from humble beginnings in the Southside of Chicago. Her life’s story has been about overcoming adversity and never forgetting about her dream of becoming a fashion designer for women around the world.
Latiya is a survivor of domestic violence, a teen mom, mother of special needs child and aspiring Global Fashion Designer. Latiya’s mom and daughter as been a great support system in nurturing her dreams.
Between the age of 8 and 9 years old, the seed was planted in her heart to be a fashion designer. It all started when her mother took her to a Convention with their church. The kids were all together in the room, away from the adults. They were given the task to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up. One kid drew a motorcycle, and everyone voted for him, he was the cool kid. Latiya drew herself working on a women’s dress while sitting at the pedal stool hemming the bottom of the dress. Only one kid voted for her picture, it made her believe in herself and she thought that if one person liked her picture, how many other people would like her work. It was in that moment, that she understood the power of numbers and believing in herself.
At the age of 16, Latiya became a teen mom. As she has reflected, her growing up too early was affected at an unconscious level by role models like Alliyah and R. Kelly, if you can recall the hit song “Age ain’t nothing but a number”. Fashion was always a part of Latiya’s life, even after she became a mother to a daughter and two sons. Her middle child has a developmental disability and has been one of Latiya’s greatest teachers in overcoming adversity and one of her biggest challenges in recovering from heartbreak.
Two years ago, Latiya made the most difficult decision of her life when she called C.P.S. to pick up her son. He had become too much for her and her children to handle alone. It was the only way that her son could receive the services he needed to learn to manage his disability. She followed what God guided her to do. What carried her through her darkest times was when she heard God tell her “If you show me your faith, I will show you a miracle”. As a mother, this was Latiya’s darkest hour but was her spiritual awakening. She was learning to surrender to God and she had to die to be reborn by God.
Shortly after signing over her parental rights, she left Sacramento to live on the beach with the homeless community for months. It was the homeless community that restored her faith in humanity and God. She saw God every day in the homeless, in how they nurtured her and looked out for one other. One moment on the beach forever changed Latiya, when she realized she was never alone and God was always with her when she was praying. Soon after, someone walking by handed her a brown bag of food.
When Latiya returned to Sacramento after being homeless on the beach, some of the seeds she planted with American Umma, started to come back to her. It wasn’t a struggle for her to manifest her dreams. She realized that sometimes it takes time for the seeds you plant to grow and the more she let go, the more miracles happened. “If you show me your faith, I will show you a miracle” became a way of life for Latiya. Latiya stayed focused and committed to healing through counseling, her strong commitment to her Muslim Faith and consuming as much positive information about her business and the fashion industry during dark times. Her support system in Sacramento, kept her in Sacramento, reminding her that she is a leader and is here to break down walls for women in our local and global fashion industry.
Today, Latiya’s dedication to her personal healing and commitment to growing her brand American Umma has paid off. She is the first designer from Sacramento that will be a part of the House of Ikons Show during London Fashion Week February 16, 2019. American Umma is the Grand Finale for this show. The House of Ikons has a reputation in the Fashion Industry discovering emerging fashion designers, that are ready for mainstream success, some of their designers have gone on to dress top celebrities like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Michelle Obama.
From London, Latiya will travel to Scotland, where she is a part of a fashion show at the Glamis Castle. The Earl of Glamis Castle had to approve Latiya to be in the show due to the Burka Ban in Scotland. Latiya will be the first African American to showcase her collection at the Glamis Castle, some royals are expected to be in attendance along with elites from around the world. The Glamis Castle is the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother who was the wife of King George VI and is the current home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne.
Her brand American Umma’s message is, for all women of all backgrounds and her brand is uniting women in Sacramento to change the Global Fashion Industry. Her collection is for all ages, her brand appeals to young women who want to be fashionably covered and do not want negative attention from men walking down the streets. Her collection is for modern
business women running behind in the mornings, who want to cover their heads, any woman having a bad hair day, her line is fashionable for any women and all races of humanity. American Umma is Universal.
Its time Women’s Rights has its place in our fashion industry. Currently, men are controlling our fashion industry in Sacramento as well as Globally. This movement is about women being in control of how we dress our bodies and giving the power back to women. The man’s way has taught women to degrade ourselves through cheap fashion for negative attention, that destroys our planet and does not empower women. Its time we raise the status of women around the world and show women you can be sexy, covered and empowered with American Umma. Modest Fashion is the future of fashion and American Umma will put Sacramento on the map Globally. Join the AU NATION MOVEMENT!