Sheila Amera Rashid is a 26 year old self-taught fashion designer based out of Chicago and founder of a unisex clothing brand that caters to comfort, edge, and creative style of geometric symmetric perception. Her signature drop crotch pant can be styled feminine, masculine, and everything in between and outside of.
Androgyny has been defined as “neither specifically feminine nor masculine” OR as “having BOTH masculine and feminine characteristics.” Yet, much of today’s androgynous style tends to be more masculine leaning. Rashid’s drop-crotch pants are not only gender-neutral, but she also incorporates femininity when styling androgynous looks for her models.
Sheila Amera Rashid signature drop crotch pants
We sat down with Rashid to talk more about what inspires her aesthetic and her personal style, as well as what we can expect next from her brand.
dapperQ: Can you tell me a bit about the history and evolution of the Sheila Rashid brand? What motivated you to become a designer and start your own brand?
SR: The Sheila Rashid brand is still evolving, but I started painting T-shirts in high school and selling them to my classmates. I grew a passion for making clothes and wanted to start from scratch so, I bought a sewing machine.
dapperQ: How would you describe the Sheila Rashid aesthetic?
SR: I was drawn to drop crotch pants and it has become my aesthetic. Though it is an old, classic style, I wanted to make different variations of complex but simple designs that I’d wear.
dapperQ: What inspires your designs?
SR: I love details, so I am always designing something that makes the piece more interesting and intriguing like a piece of art. Fashion is my form of self-expression; Therefore, I will always view it as art. I am inspired by geometric details and symmetry and I try to incorporate that in everything that I do.
dapperQ: How does your brand stand out from some of the other recent unisex/tomboy/androgynous lines, such as Wildfang and Veer, that have been launched over the past few years?
SR: My brand stands out because I don’t have a team that is helping me put together these designs or even sew them. Everything I make is made with love. I cut and make all the patterns and sew everything myself. My designs are ahead of their time; You will not find anything like it. One day I may feel like making a bunch of dresses, or maybe you will see me make different tops or bottoms depending on how I feel. Nothing is boring about my work.
dapperQ: How would you describe your own personal everyday style?
SR: My personal style is simple. I like to wear over-sized shirts and skinny pants. I like to wear staple pieces. I love wearing vintage tops. I go thrifting. I buy expensive shoes because that’s one thing I can’t make [laughs].
dapperQ: Who are your fashion icons?
SR: My fashion icons are typical. I like Chanel and Alexander Wang.
dapperQ: What is the one article of clothing you cannot live without?
SR: One article of clothing I can’t live without is my signature drop crotch overalls. I need them! I make them in every color.
Drop crotch overalls
dapperQ: What can we expect next from you?
SR: A brand-new collection that is cohesive and will be available on my website at Sheilarashid.com in 2015. You can expect various celebrities wearing my work to add to the list.