• Mara Speech

Dose of Daej: Daej


"Black women created the world we know as fashion."

- Daej

Editor's Note

From modest beginnings to conquering the world in heels, Daej is well on her way. The multifaceted, 19 year old has managed to reach new peaks that most couldn't dream of, with House of Daej and Travel Daej this fashionista is hitting six figures. In a world of haute couture, she's paving way for all black women with a passion for fashion.

Interview

So who is Daej  and where are you from?

Daej: My name is Daeja Eunique. I just turned 19 years old February 9th. I'm from New Orleans, Louisiana. I went to Isidore Newman Private School. I am an Aquarius. I'm a very emotional being, however, my junior year in high school, we had an assignment that asked us to figure out what was our scarlet letter, and I chose E. for my middle name, Eunique, that is pronounced unique, and I chose E for emotional. After writing my paper, I grew more of an appreciation for being an emotional being because it helps me creative. Before being a bookworm, musician, painter, fashion designer, or entrepreneur, I consider myself to be a creator/creative. My brain is always running. I am someone that once I set myself on an idea, I can't unsee it, until I achieve it.

What is your story? Where did your aspirations of being a fashion designer sprout from?

Daej: Growing up, I was the girl who took dance lessons, singing lessons, piano lessons, played volleyball, ran track, 4.0 honor roll, science fairs, you name it. I did not know fashion nor travel would be apart of my career. As a family, we traveled often. I started traveling at 4, and starting traveling by myself at 13 to go off to "nerd camp". On these trips, I remember going shopping for outfits, however, once we got on our trips, I would just fall in love with my aunts outfits. From the way they styled their hair all the way down to them not ever wearing makeup. That was a big thing in our family. Makeup was for old people, and it ages you poorly. Which is why now I'm in the fashion industry and still don't know how to do my own makeup and I overdress for all of my trips. From then, I would ask my mom to bring me to the thrift store to find jeans to cut into shorts. I would bleach and tie dye shirts, however, after a while, I was over that and wanted to do more. My mom bought me my first sewing machine for Christmas in 2012, however, I didn't touch it until 2014 when I realized my heart was into making my own pieces. I didn't like going out and seeing someone else with something I had on, so I started making my own pieces. I hosted my first fashion show at the age of 15 years old and was the youngest person to be in New Orleans Fashion Week in 2015. In 2016, I participated in New Orleans Fashion Week again before going off to study the history of fashion in Paris where I hosted a fashion show and my first photoshoot. In 2017, my grades started to jump and my mom told me I needed to decide, school or fashion, and of course I picked my business, so she told me it was time to release my website and to start getting paid for my work. I released my website March 9th, 2017. This year makes 2 years that I have been selling my work.

What's your biggest seller?

Daej: My biggest seller has been my Christmas sets, which were such a last minute idea after my stalker broke in and trashed my condo. I had promised my followers a collection for months so I had to deliver, and it turned out the be my best collection during the scariest time of my life.

What is your favorite season to make a collection for?

Daej: I started off making swimwear, however, that got old fairly quickly, so now my favorite season to make collections for is the winter. I'm a winter baby, and love the snow so I think that might just have something to do with it.

Growing up were there any brands or designers that you idolized? Whether it be high-end or street-wear.

Daej: Growing up, we lived modest lives and never got caught up in designer clothing. Now that I'm older, I treat myself to haute couture, however, growing up, I literally did not know that the brand of clothing actually matters to people. It's weird. I always tell people I lived in a bubble.

Any brands that you would want to work with in the near future?

Daej: I know most people want to work for a larger brand someday, but I don't. I feel like that's what larger companies want because they don't want competition, however, black women created what the world knows as fashion, and yet you don't see any black, female owned haute couture brands, that's what I'm working towards. I don't want a seat at their table, I've been creating my own these last 5 years.

Now as for Travel Daej, I think that's really dope, tell our viewers what Travel Daej offers.

Daej: Travel Daej is my new baby. As of July 9th, she is 5 months old. Through Travel Daej, you are able to book discounted flights, hotel rooms, activities, and have your trip wardrobe planned out for you. Travel Daej now offers group trips, that allow you to travel the world for a cheaper price, make new friends, and memories! Travel Daej also offers payment plans to make saving for your trips easier. I didn't know that travel wasn't as accessible to people of the black community because for generations we have been taught to believe that it was so far out of reach, so to be able to provide that life log memory or fulfilling such life long dream trips for people feels amazing. I am so proud of her because she's surpassed my gross income from Daej the clothing brand, in under 6 months, so I'm really excited to see where this business takes me.