I discovered Weird Folk Apparel when I saw the brand put a presentation on at Raw Baltimore last June. I think we all go through self-esteem issues as we grow so this brand touched me personally. Of course, I own a few signature WFA garments in my closet. It was an honor to know that the designer behind this brand appreciates all I do for the Baltimore fashion scene. She even made me a custom cami that I will cherish forever. Recently, she released her latest collection, The Love Series Pt. 2 and I hope you enjoy the story of the woman behind Weird Folk Apparel.
Takiara Monet started her journey to becoming a fashion designer at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Before she turned 20 years old, she had already interned at New York Fashion Week, worked with the Oscar de la Renta team and lived on her own. Despite the financial issues that had her in a starting and stopping pattern, she did not stop pursing her dream.
“When I got back to Baltimore, I stop designing for a long time,” said Monet. When you’re destined to do something, no matter how much you try you just can’t stop doing it. So, I actually started designing again when I lost my job. I took my last check and started my T-shirt line.”
When Takiara and her friends were painting the walls of the new building for their church, it sparked them to start brainstorming names for her new line. The original name that came out of the brainstorm session was YFS Apparel meaning Young, Fly and Saved. After much research, the Baltimore native found out a famous gospel singer owned that name. Once again a brainstorm session started, this time between her and her graphic designer.
“My style was very different and I changed my hair color like every week,” Monet said. Then, he said ‘We are some weird people so what about Weird Folks?’ And, let me be honest at first I hated that name. I wanted to create a brand that was centered around God and that had a positive message behind it. All my friends liked the name and I still wasn’t feeling it. After a week of so of praying, I thought about how God dealt with me on issues that I was dealing with within myself. I had self-esteem issues that I was trying to overcome. I was just learning how to love myself and accepting the fact that I just don’t fit in with everybody else. That situation really shaped WFA into what it is today.”
With a name finally in place for her T-shirt line, the WFA designer started to work on her first graphic called “The Being”. It was a cool looking man with a reverend collar, a fitted hat and some shades holding up a sign that said “The Weird Folks”.
“The Being represented my friends and me as we were in church,” Monet said. Living for God, but we still was fun and wasn’t boxed in. We still had our own unique style and the church folks would literally look at us like we were weird. If being ourselves made us weird, hey that’s what we were.”
Since the release of the first design, WFA has showcased her line from the east coast to the west coast. Weird Folk Apparel inspires us all to love yourself and embrace your individuality. The brand’s motto is ‘Keep the Weirdness’. In essence, your weirdness is what makes you different and should not be hidden.
“Some people hide who they are to try and fit in,”Monet said. And, do things that they wouldn’t normally do, just to seem cool. You can just be yourself and not care about trying to fit in. That’s what we try to push through our clothing. If you don’t love yourself, then you don’t know yourself. If you don’t know who you are, you can’t be that person. I’ve watched a lot of people lose themselves trying to be somebody they are not and that’s why we push self-love! God is love and God created us out of love. And he created us to be different and unique. And that’s what WFA is all about, just embracing your weirdness!”
As Takiara continues to spread the message of self-love through her Weird Folks Apparel brand, she is always working towards to perfecting her craft and expanding in other avenues. She is starting a blog called @TheFashionableWeirdo to discuss the organic skincare products she has been producing. Her summer plans include collaborating with a stylist in LA for a professional photo shoot and having a showcase in Miami Beach on July 21.
We live in a world where it’s just like fashion one day your in and the next day your out.. So the best thing you can do for yourself is to do what makes you happy and to always stay true to yourself. No one is the standard the only standard we should be living by is Gods And that’s it ya know. –Takiara Monet