Zakiya Fortner chooses their outfit each morning based on how they are feeling that day. Fortner’s takes on fashion with a flair and enjoys their dress, the most out of their outfit.
Fortner is inspired by hippie fashion culture, the 60s and 70s, and Stevie Nicks. Fortner also takes inspiration from her mom and the old pictures they like of her.
“She always dressed super funky and weird when she was my age,” Fortner said. “As she got older, she dressed even weirder and put things together that didn't match, which is similar to how I like to dress.”
Fortner didn’t always dress how they wanted due to the perspectives and criticism of others around them.
“For the longest time, people would tell me that I dressed weird because I would put stuff together that definitely didn't match,” Fortner said. “It kept me from dressing how I wanted to dress because people would insult how I looked and how I looked.”
Fortner always pairs their outfits with jewelry and a belt or patterned tights.
“There's always belts involved and of course, I always have jewelry on,” Fortner said. “Most of the time [I’m always wearing] a crocheted belt or funky pattern tights.”
The jewelry Fortner wears consists of layered necklaces and bracelets.
“Having layered necklaces or a billion bracelets ties the whole outfit together and I do not feel complete without them,” Fortner said.
Jewelry isn’t the only thing Fortner likes to pair with their outfits — makeup also plays a part.
“My outfit always inspires my makeup,” Fortner said. “I have color coordinating makeup to what I'm wearing.”
Fortner's outfit consists of many different layers from a variety of places.
“[My] black vest is from the Salvation Army. My mom made [this] the crocheted belt for me when I was really little; the tights are also from my mom [and she] made these leg warmers from a sweater,” Fortner said. “The dress [i’m wearing] was also thrifted and I had my mom sew it to fix it up and my sweater is from my mom's best friend who moved away.”
Fortner uses fashion as a way to express who they are to others.
“I use [fashion] to express how I feel,” Fortner said. “I can mix and match patterns that don't belong together and somehow try to make it work.”