by Dr. Shellie Hipsky
- What is your background in fashion?
It all started when I was a very little girl growing up with my other siblings. I started making dresses for my sisters. Then my classmates and neighbors began asking me for fashion advice and asking me to create clothing for them as well. Later, I decided to start designing and making clothes for the rest of the world and have been holding fashions shows throughout New York.
- What inspires you as a fashion designer?
As a fashion designer, the beauty of colors inspires me. When I see all these elegant and even vibrant colors, I can’t help but imagine all the different ways to drape them on myself and the rest of the world.
- Why is it important to you to have an ethnic element to your design?
Honestly, I did not realize that some of my clothing had elements from my Bengali culture in them, but I believe that is simply because being Bengali is a part of who I am, even though I have been living in America for almost my whole life. The Bengali elements to my clothing are important to me because they symbolize where I came from and that I have not forgotten this. They are important to me simply because I want the world to know that I am proud of where I came from, but that I am still an American citizen just like anyone else.
- What is your favorite charity and why?
At the moment, the charities I have been thinking about the most are charities that donate menstrual products to women who need them. I think it is absurd that, in this day and age, girls cannot go to school at times because they are not given access to menstrual products or because they have not been made affordable. I feel like menstrual products should be provided to all girls all over the world because it is a necessity. I would like to be able to raise money to donate to charities like I Support the Girls, Days for Girls, and others.
- Your career has not always been fashion. Tell Inspiring lIves Magazine’s readers about your background.
I started my career off as a mathematics professor. In fact, I still teach at Fordham University. I always loved numbers and wanted to teach people. I always loved learning, so I wanted to help others do the same. It has been an interesting and fulfilling career, but I feel like it is time for me to pursue other things as well. I see no reason to limit myself to just one career path if I do not have to.
Recently I have been working on my PhD in Mathematics at Columbia University. I am, however, also a singer. I have learned Indian classical singing, but I also love traditional Bengali music. I should express how much I love Indian classical dancing as well. I am also known as a pageant queen. I have competed in several national and international pageants. I was crowned as MS Bangladesh for 2017, 2018, and 2019. Recently, I have been crowned as MS International 2020.
- How do women describe your fashion?
I have been told many times that my clothing is quite vibrant and colorful, which I honestly appreciate since that is what I love about it as well. I try not to make it overbearingly vibrant, but enough for people to enjoy.
- What made you an empowered woman?
I feel like over the years my growth and confidence in myself is why I am an empowered woman, but I did not start out that way. I don’t know if I would have found my confidence had it not been for my daughter. After having her, I started thinking to myself “What kind of person do I want her to think of me as, and what kind of woman do I want to help her become?” That was when I realized that I want her to be able to become her own confident and strong human being, but to do that I had to show her it’s possible first.