From trying on heels and sticking to it since I was eight - to dying my hair blonde knowing it was a mask for something who I’ll never become. Here are a few highlights of my fashion love story.
2010 The year I truly fell in love with Fashion. I was a Corporate Education Liaison for a University based out in the United States and gotten laid off as the organization decided to pack up and be gone with their business in Canada. After months I landed a job. The job? Have lunch and pick out clothes for my sister. She had the means so wasn’t feeling too guilty charging my own blood.
One appointment became two and all of her friends’ calendars had me in it. Years later, I find myself flying east for Toronto Fashion Week, help pack jet setters, becoming the main guy for a local Geologist who called each time he needed an opinion about his shopping needs *literally - cars, couches - was happy to oblige.
2015 Five years passed, #foodnetwork called responding to a submission I sent for MasterChef Canada Season 3. After realizing it was all for show 2 episodes later, I decided to focus back to another fashion channel - Beauty Schools. I worked hard to achieve a sound relationship with an international cosmetics line. A success story, a Parisian cosmetics provide support to a local Academy in Calgary.It was a proud moment - managing, representing and help cultivate students and the Academy alike tapping its highest potential. A proud moment - I felt good enough.
2017 None of it seemed to matter, I felt a need to fill a full calendar and an exhausted body! In April that year, I took a flight to India. Weeks leading to the completion of my yoga teacher training, I shed and cried like how you cry when peeling an onion to its core. The difference was – I was the onion and yes I was peeling my own self! Including the 70 pounds I gained from constantly feeling the need to fill something – a void now I’ve come to realize.
TODAY Reminiscing the times when I dyed my hair blonde or the time, I took my love for Rihanna literal *dying my hair red and copying her pixie cut. I was a boy who wanted to be a man. A man whom I can be proud of. Developed from within - having the strength I say I nurtured. That I am good enough.After my travels, I re-entered the world of fashion, to taste glam again and to experience the luxury of beauty. Soon after, I was sent to indulge with dear clients to shop and enjoy the nine-story retail heaven in one of the world’s fashion capital - NYC!
After years of ‘becoming’ - being called names - some names that were meant to be hurtful, to being featured in multiple publications. Life has a way to circle back! Living the life of being different, the competitive nature leading to feeling not good enough and to strive more so I can be good enough, working twice as much to expect half as much, the need to fit in, the need to mimic others so I could call them friends and need to belong somewhere but my own.
NOW I set my self-inflicted handcuffed wrist - FREE. Embracing the fact, I am a work-in-progress. We all want to fit in somewhere. Realizing somewhere is right here, right this second - of this minute. THE NOW!
I will always personify FASHION, from the way I speak, dress myself to surrounding my material world with creative fashion. I express myself through fashion to promote my individuality. I am different and I am grateful. I am very grateful through out this journey as I am able to use this platform to convey my experiences, my struggles and my pride in who I am today and what I stand for. My only hope is to have others find easy access to individuals like me who grew up strong, independent and indifferent despite being called hurtful names, feeling not good enough and always questioning to no end.
As I find myself doing the same profession 10 years later, fashion made me discover layers of strength within myself. From the boy who was called hurtful names to using same names called to be inspired everyday. I am proud to present the once young Domingo who needed the adult version of myself to finally show up.
In the words of Albert Camus, “in the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
Once again I have found purpose – to help champion others by living an inspired life and to continue to grow through yoga, food, fashion and education.
Thank you for all the things you taught me. Thank you for showing up to my world. Thank you for sharing.
What was your fashion defying moment? Do you know what your purpose is in life? I would love to hear all about it. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org comment below and share to the world.
To read more back story why I chose Stranded Water Valley for Kids Up front this year - click here.
If you or know of anyone who may need retraining or wishing to switch in Healthcare, Business or Technology industry - click here.