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Mischka Velasco: A Fashion-Brand with a True insight to what Good-Fashion is:

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Author’s note:

In October, of 2013, I had my 1st professional photo-shoot done, with Mischka Valesco, a daring, hip, vibrant, fresh, fashion-company, committed to innovated ways of redefining what we deem fashionable, trendy,chic, cool, etc. I had went to one of their fashion showcases, during the ew York City’s Fall Fashion-Week. I was very impressed by their collection, and wanted immediately to do more work with them, hence this article, and, hopefully, with Allah’s help, more projects to come. Their designs, professionalism, positivity, ambition, and love for what they do truly compelled me to respect their brand, in very important ways. In addition to being able to shoot with them, I’ve also agreed to write an article, fr them, about them their company.

About Mischka Velasco, Founder, Mischka Velasco:
Mischka Velasco pic 1
Mischka Velasco. Born in Panama, lived in all over NYC including Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Beach NY, Seattle, Washington. Traveled to Asia and Europe. Studied in FIT but mostly self-educated in the reality of life. Driven by passion and the desire to create clothing that makes the wearer feel at home with themselves.

About Natascha Merchants VP Operations and Marketing, Mischka Velasco:
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Natascha left New York to attend business school at Northeastern University in Boston majoring in marketing and management and graduated magna cum laude. At Northeastern, she brought her New York style mixed with European, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern influences of her youth. Upon graduation she moved to New York to pursue a career in marketing, sales and pr in the fashion industry. Natascha had other offers on Wall Street and in banking but anyone intelligent knows when to jump ship. Not only is Natascha a natural astute business woman; she is creative, beautiful, and is a humanitarian. She shows us that you can have fun and still make a difference while successfully running a fashion start-up.

G.B: What gave you the inspiration to even go into the Fashion-Realm?
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M.V.: Fashion was always part of my life without thinking like food, music, art, paintings, and music. Just another simple extension and reflection of humanity.

G.B.: What did you expect from the Fashion-World, which didn’t/hasn’t happened, or didn’t/hasn’t happened yet?
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M.V.: I did not expect anything really at all. I am 300% into it for the experience and adventure. Most of all to learn.

G.B.: What did you not expect from the Fashion-World, which has happened, or continues to happen?
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M.V.: I did not expect to meet different people from buyers, to tastemakers, to media to be so interested in what a small label in Soho would think. I did not expect so much love and encouragement from my community.

G.B.: What is your tell-tale vision, and reasoning for staying in this industry?
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M.V.: My vision is to ensure that my investors, customers, patrons, colleagues, suppliers, and sewing contractors are happy including me while building this business. I visualize that our fashion line will be part of the ever growing trend of locally created and sourced clothing who profit. Love to be across the street from Earnest Alexander and Vivienne Hu!! My reason to stay is to be one of the successful people who want to be of use to empower other people to reach make their dreams to come true.

G.B.: How cut-throat is the Fashion-World, from a Designer’s perspective?
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M.V.: The only reason for the fashion world to be cut-throat is the lack of understanding. When everyone is willing to work hard as a team and focus on the big picture, it is rather harmonious. When we have a weak link, we definitely can feel it. So is it cut-throat? It is what you make of it. The New York fashion industry can cut you some slack if they see you working your damn best. It’s not something you can say, they can feel it. So if you are lazy and self-entitled and complain a lot, New York fashion industry has no tolerance for that.

G.B.: How rewarding is the Fashion-World, from a Designer’s perspective?
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M.V.: Despite many sacrifices, and its never ending needs to ensure the health of a growing fashion line. And some nights I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.I tell myself it could be worst. I could be living peacefully without fashion and that sounds likes a living hell. In the grand scheme of things, dedicating my entire life 24-7 to fashion until my brain rattles at night, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. At the end of the day, when I see a customer loving themselves in what
we created, it is what makes it worth all the while.

G.B.: Where do you see your company, within the next 5-years?

M.V.: I see a company that is well built, where we refined some of its own signatures in style. Somehow we perfected the craft of creating an environment where people love to work. We are profitable and our local community benefits from the knowledge of a challenging industry. If you can figure out how to make money off of fashion. One can make money out of anything. We hope to be lenders of ideas and catalyst for empowerments for all sorts of entrepreneurial ideas.

G.B.: Do you envision your company, eventually, becoming as legendary as the classic brands the likes of Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen, Valentino, Prada, Versace, etc.?

M.V.: We have visions of leaving a legacy like so many passionate fashion designers. However, we have great hopes for our company to prove that one can be a human being first and still be a good business acumen as well. My visions are not of this earth. I feel I am on the path of the spiritual. A greater calling, I feel true greatness is how you treat yourself and others. How loving can you be to another human being when under pressure? How much you can help other people succeed and push people to be better than they imagined with some direction? How patient can you be?(Lol) I can be pretty damn patient. But I can get annoyed when I work with people who don’t care. I will give a few chances, but, fashion has no room for mediocrity. How much are you willing to give and receive? Most people who give have a hard time taking. People who take never want to give. I dream of that perfect harmony of giving and taking.

For more information on the Mischka Velasco clothing brand, please, visit them online @:

http://www.mischkavelasco.com

Also, check out their kickstarter @:

The Tattoo-Issue: An Islamic-Perspective

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tattoo pic

This is a fairly controversial-subject, within the Muslim-World, historically as well as contemporarily, something that I had only found out recently, the issue of Tattooing: to do or not to do. Honestly, I, myself, early on, as a New-Muslim, had actually, seriously, considered & was prepared to get a  Tattoo. But, once I learned the general Islamic prohibition against it, I was very unsettled: I had wondered to myself why would something like a Tattoo be such a religious-issue. It has taken a considerable amount of time for me to actually come to the correct-conclusion about this issue, and the conclusion is fairly-simple: Tattoos are Mahrum/Haram (Prohibited/Unlawful). Now, there are a lot of people (both Muslims & Non-Muslims alike) whom will in fact take issue with this particular stance, regarding this issue, and that’s okay…I’ll explain why I chose to arrive at this conclusion, after considerable study, textually (via the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition).

Allah states, very clearly, within His Noble-Book, “There is no justifiable change for the creation of Allah.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.30, V.30). Now, this means that we are to be grateful for how Allah has fashioned our bodies, and to not attempt to make “improvements” or “adjustments”, based upon our selfish egos/desires. When you get a Tattoo, you’re basically stating that Allah didn’t complete you, that you know have to spend money, endure unnecessary-pain, etc., in order to gratify one’s self, instead of just being grateful for the way that Allah has already formed us.

Then, there’s also this: Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has stated that we are not to cause (unnecessary) Harm, either upon ourselves, nor upon others. And, also, Muhammad quotes Allah, as Allah has stated, “Oh, My Property/Servants!!! Verily, I’ve made Oppression prohibited upon Myself, as well as between you (the Creation). So, do not oppress one another (yourselves)!!!”.(an-Nawawi)

This Verse (from the Qur’an) & these Prophetic-Narrations show us that any type of Oppression (large or small), either to one’s own self, or to others, is completely (Islamically) prohibited. Because, the Islamic definition of Oppression is actually: to place something where it doesn’t belong, where it can damage, or cause Harm, and it’s Islamic wrong to harm people, unless Islamically justified, and there’s never any Islamically justified reason to harm one’s own self.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/The Language of the Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language)

Let’s stay on-topic with the self-harm: When getting a Tattoo, what happens? Well, you get stuck with a needle-machine, for quite awhile, depending on how sophisticated the Tattoo in-question actually is: there’s significant, (unnecessary) pain/blood-loss, that one endures, for no Islamically sound, or universally-intelligent reason, at all. Then, there’s the (very-high) risks of getting infections, diseases (most common HIV, Hepatitis, etc.). You then have the ink of this Tattoo tainting your blood, which could, in the near/distant future, cause many (potential) health-complications, as a result of this ink inserted into the body.

Now, it’s obvious why people would have a problem with what I’ve thus mentioned, especially if they are among those whom profit from the Tattoo Industry: people like me are bad-for-business. And, also, for those whom may or may not even be Muslims, they would obviously have a problem with my statements, because they view it as a valid element of either individual, social, cultural, expression. But, let’s focus on the Muslims, for just a minute: who created us? Who sent-down/revealed Guidance to us, via Revelation, Textual-Scriptures? Who has the ultimate right to dictate to the Creation, Humanity, etc., what is right, wrong, proper, improper, etc.? Yeah, you’ve got it: Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe: it is He whom has [provided us with existence, life, family, Guidance, etc. And, likewise, it is He, alone, whom is worshipworthy & it is He, alone whom has the ultimate-right to dictate our beliefs, statements, actions, behavior, conduct, etc.

So, with that being said, regardless to whether you’re a Muslim or Non-Muslim, proponent or opponent (to Tattoos/Tattooing), Scholar or Layman: just, please, simply digest what I’ve mentioned, just for a few minutes or moments, then, if you really feel like I’ve not made my case concrete enough, then, you definitely have the full-option to ignore what I’ve presented. At the end, it is Allah whom will judge us all, according to His own standards & we all will be held accountable for what we’ve done & what we haven’t done, what we knew & what we didn’t know, what we adhered to & what we ignored…May Allah guide us all…Amen

GarethBryant/2013