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Abibat Durosimi is the President and Creative Director of Tabiba Styles, an agency in Portland specializing in makeup, hair extensions, and natural hairstyling. She has more than 20 years of experience in the makeup artistry and hairstyling industry, and more than that, it’s some killer experience. She toured with Prince on his Welcome 2 America tour as one of the lead makeup artists and hairstylists, and traveled with bassist Esperanza Spalding and singer Liv Warfield. You’ve also seen her work on the runway of Portland’s Fashion Week, at Oregon’s annual bridal shows, and for the likes of Nike and Reebox.
Awarded Oregon’s RAW Artist of the Year Award in 2013, Abibat is able to transform looks into distinct personas that span styles. Inspired by individuals, inspired by moods, inspired by places and sounds, the work is ever-changing. And her newest venture, BLOOM Beauty Collective, is lifting up fellow creatives while giving back to the community. We learn more about Abibat’s process and her plans for BLOOM’s big runway show at Design Week Portland this April.
What’s your process for determining a look for a project?
I've always been known for having a design mentality. My parents used to tell me that I had a great imagination and ideas. Somehow, I just know how to implement them. But I definitely need a clear mindset to be able to look within myself to figure out the process. I generally talk through it out loud with a close friend or colleague, then I write it down in an outline. I look for any resources I need to help me execute the look and feel in all of my projects. Asking for advice and opinions from others has always been my tactic to see if my projects will be appealing to the masses. Then…I JUST DO IT! I pride myself on living and learning through my mistakes, and whatever the outcome I produce, I will make sure I do it even better the next time around.
How much of a style is pre-determined for a shoot when you're doing makeup, and how much changes depending on the person's specific features?
Depending on who I’m working with or for, I normally will get a vision board of what the client wants and/or needs for the shoot. The board will be about the story they want to present—the lighting, the fashion, then hair and makeup inspirations. Normally, I will get a photo of my subject, too, so I may know what skin tone and features I will be working with. I have been blessed with years of study and practice in color theory, skin textures, skin types, and product knowledge. It has been easy over time for me to think quickly about what I should use to achieve the look that is needed. As long as I have all the products and tools to create a perfect masterpiece, I’m golden!
What are some of your most memorable creations?
My most memorable creations are bringing fashion and art to life! It is always fun to create a piece of art, something everyone can remember and resonate with, and it can be on any canvas—a human being, a building, or just an open space. Whenever you can tap into your creative psyche, you can manifest anything.
I have always loved avant-garde pieces, where you are able to create and transform. For example, having to transform a historical European style ballroom space like the Sentinel Hotel into the streets of New York. The space and vibe set the mood of walking down one of New York’s most influential historical towns, Harlem, where it felt like passing through the unique boutiques, with sounds of live music coming from the famous Apollo Theater.
In what ways do you hope BLOOM Beauty Collective makes a mark on the industry?
BLOOM Beauty Collective is a collaborative group that is joined together by their love and appreciation for all things beauty, style, and fashion. My mission is to create a space that is lucrative to the next generation of creative entrepreneurs who look like me, to mentor and guide them into financial literacy. At the end of the day, BLOOM is about collaborating with like-minded individuals who are in the arts, fashion, music, styling, and production. It’s about creating ways to uplift our youth who have trouble accepting being different, so they can utilize their gifts to help heal the world by design.
What's the inspiration behind BLOOM Runway 2020?
BLOOM 2020 presents a clear vision of who the designers are as creatives, by bringing their version of what the word BLOOM means to them. We are celebrating a new decade and encourage bringing the new YOU (a better version of you), presented through fashion. We are elevating the Pacific Northwest design community to forge something amazing in one epic gathering of influence, culture, and contemporary urban lifestyle. It’s about showcasing Portland’s most creative fashion talents and entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds and nationalities, while giving back to the community through mentoring and internship programs for our peers and our future generations.