// Shop Season 5 // Shop Zargara
// Ottawa Presentation Recap Video + Pics

This concept originated back in August of last year during my month long annual pop up shop in Toronto. One day, a lady came by my booth to buy a few posters and asked me about the story behind the one titled “Beauty” in which a girl is portrayed whom is full of tears with a butterfly on her head (since she connected with that one the most). I gave her a little bit of the back story and insight into the art like who she was and why was she crying, and that's when she felt comfortable enough to share the ending of her last relationship with me. At the time she had gotten a job at a restaurant which her boyfriend was against; she decided to keep the job but was constantly being verbally abused by him afterwards; that’s when she decided it was time to move on. This might sound like a generic story, but hearing it first hand through her trembling voice and sensing her vulnerability as she struggled to finish her sentences triggered something in me that I had not felt in quite some time. The feeling was so intriguing that I had trouble falling asleep that night. I knew I wanted to make her feel something as powerful as I had felt, which was no easy task. I thought of a way to make my gesture more of an experience than just words or visuals to have the most impact on her. After some research on inspirational quotes about inner beauty, I came across “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”. I ended up writing that inside one of my postcards, which has two birds intertwining in the shape of a heart, putting it in an envelope and sealing it. Right before I send it off, I wrote “when it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, please open me” on the envelope; then it was shipped. A month goes by and I finally hear back from her; she had finally opened the envelop after an awful day filled with negative energy. She said the rush of emotions she felt right after she opened the envelop, saw the graphic and read the message inside was something she hadn’t felt in a long time. She felt so thankful for the letter and was so shocked by how something so simple that could seem generic if presented at the right time could have such an impact on her in a positive way and completely change her vibes and re-direct her emotions. After she told me all this, I had no choice but to develop a concept around the pillars of it as I truly felt the need to make as many people feel the emotions that they usually choose to ignore in their daily life. That’s when the "Be Your Own Kind" concept was born. In order to achieve this experience, I knew I had to tap into other forms of art besides clothing such as, visual art, music, poetry and video direction. The story intends to take you on an emotional roller coaster with some vague chapters in order to let your creativity fill the gaps within the story and some very specific chapters that will re-direct your emotions and make sure you are on the path that I had hope you would be.

The concept has evolved overtime and became its own story line that consists of 3 acts. Each act has 5 chapters. Each chapter has its own dedicated art piece and outfit. The story line is a dramatization developed based on my personal experiences and the things that I've been exposed to in the last 8 months, and the presentation is the narration of it all.

 In order to experience every act to the fullest when u view this online, please play the video first and listen to the poetry as it will give u direction into the story line, then play the soundtrack while you view the pictures and the visual of every chapter of every act. Enjoy the experience and please reach out to me by email as i need to feedback on this project.

Photographer: @the.architxct // Models: @vibinsoul @cassiusheights @patriceraikova @nouhajulienne @mozy_fitness @qgrotte // Words: @iiimauricio // Video Direction: @osmo_capture // Soundtrack: @ianlorts // Concept + Direction: @amirzargara