Black Muslim Designer Taps Dominican Orphan Model for Fashion Week
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

From the Grio.

Black American Muslim designer Nzinga Knight, a native New Yorker of Trinidadian and Guyanese decent, gave one young girl a dream come true: a chance to walk during New York Fashion Week.

When looking for models for her fashion show, Knight said Fior Mendez, who had been living in an orphanage just two months prior, was a natural beauty. Mendez, 22, had relocated to New York from an orphanage in Dominican Republic after aging out of the program. Mendez was abandoned by her mother and lived at the orphanage since she was 13.

Knight’s designs mixes high fashion with her Muslim faith. “The look of my work is sensual, mysterious, innovative without being overly revealing,” she said. Her decision to choose Mendez as a featured model was life changing.

“I’m overwhelmed emotionally, it’s a dream,” Mendez said.

Read more at the Grio.

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Gerren Keith Gaynor (@MrGerrenalist) is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He has been published in the New York Times, ESSENCE magazine,, New York Amsterdam News, and Gaynor received his master degree in Journalism from Columbia University and his bachelor's in English from Morehouse College.