Babes & Gents

Mirian Njoh: Profile + Interview

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Mirian Njoh: Interview

The first words that comes to your mind when you hear Inspiration, Passion, and Strength

Inspiration: Life, love

Passion: Always, all ways

Strength: Resilience, vulnerability

Who are you? (Answer how you interpret this question)

Constantly curious. Immensely imaginative. Lifetime linguist. Alliteration advocate. (Teehee, see what I did there? #NerdMoment) I’m dichotomous. Sometimes a shy observer, sometimes the life of the party.  I’m highly emotive and cerebral, which tends to be a gift and a curse. I’m all about self-expression and self-exploration. I love to laugh. I love to love. I’m still figuring it out…check back in three months.

Why do you do what you do?

Because I don’t know what else to do, LOL. Because I don’t want to do anything else. Much to my family’s chagrin I simply refuse to get and maintain a “regular job” ;). My heart is in art. And honestly, the people who make it aren’t always the most talented or what have you, it’s the ones who are the most persistent, who just won’t give up the dream. 

When did you know this is what you wanted to do, and what events led you to choose it?

I can’t even act like I knew I wanted to go into styling from childhood because I didn’t truly know for sure until about two years ago. I knew I loved fashion since I was very young but it took me going through many different artistic paths and trying on a variety of different careers until I finally got over my fear of failure and dove into styling.  I took the scenic route, LOL. The biggest influence which finally made me say “OK, I’m going to try this,” was working for an artist agency that represents some of the biggest stylists in Canada. Being that close to such veterans who had accomplished so much in the industry finally made it seem possible and not just some long-shot fantasy. Being able to see their careers and trace their paths awoke this fire in me that wouldn’t let me sit still until I gave in to it.

Toughest thing you had to overcome to do what you do? And what/who helped you?

Overcoming my own self-doubt. Self-doubt is a motherf-cker!  You really have to be one-third hard-headed, one-third optimistic, and one-third glassy-eyed fool to keep doing something that makes you no money when you have bills to pay and other external pressures weighing on you. That was the climate I was navigating my first year as a stylist. Naturally, insecurity and self-doubt were never too far away. I’m still far from where I want to be so it’s still a regular challenge for me. Fortunately, I have a few close friends who I can come crawling to with my head down and my tail between my legs. They listen to me cry, offer me perspective and encourage my crazy dreams. When all else fails, I ask myself: “Well, what else would you wanna do instead?” As I’ve yet to come up with a fulfilling answer, I keep styling.

Has anyone/anything ever inspired you to become who you are (to follow your dreams)? Have you ever inspired anyone directly?

Like I mentioned before, seeing other stylists who have built successful careers and having them in such close proximity to me really inspired me to pursue my dreams. Additionally, I happen to know or know of a lot of successful artists in my network who have made great strides in their respective fields and it really drives me. DJs, producers, writers, you name it. I look at these people who are the same age as me and in the same social environment and think to myself, “If they can do it, I don’t see why I can’t.” Instead of getting jealous, I let others’ success fuel my own. I have had people tell me I inspire them. Some I know like old classmates and some are strangers. It seriously humbles me every time someone tells me that. It blows my mind. What an honor to have the ability to strike inspiration in another person. They inspire me back.

One mistake that you made in your journey? How have you learnt from them?

I could go deep with this one but since the rest of my answers have been pretty serious I’m gonna keep this one light though it’s still really important. If you’re a stylist doing buy-and-returns from retail, it’s imperative you memorize the policies of the stores you’re pulling from before you even get there. Know them like the back of your hand, stay organized, and no matter what, get that sh-t back to the store in a timely manner. Do not wait until the last minute!  I’ve made the mistake of not doing that and it’s most regrettable :(.  I’ve learned from that because experience is quite a teacher.

Upcoming projects? Plans/goal? (about anything, if you have any)

The main goal for me right now is just working more consistently. Producing more, producing better, and getting to the money.

What advice would you give to other people? (Just about life in general - It could be about anything)

One of the recent life lessons I’m learning is that confidence truly is key. I honestly think it matters as much if not more than anything else.  Faking it ‘til you make it is hard and disingenuous so rather than following that mantra, I think anyone that doesn’t have it is better off looking within themselves and doing the necessary work to acquire real, lasting confidence. People will always have opinions but you don’t need to follow their advice if you don’t also plan to follow their path. People are going to talk about you for a variety of reasons but if they aren’t saying it to you then none of those reasons matter. People respect people who respect themselves. Love without ego and without apology. Sometimes choose being happy over being right. Trust your instincts. You will make mistakes, learn to forgive yourself. “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy”. :)

Say anything you want, about anything (Last words)

Thank you for giving me the chance to spill my guts, LOL! There is always so much going on in my head, it’s nice to empty it out every now and then. :)

Mirian Njoh: Profile

Full name

Mirian Onyeka Bewetti Deconte Njoh

Age

Guess… ;)

Place of Birth? (city, country)

Monrovia, Liberia

Where you live now? (city, country)

Toronto, Canada

Origins (where parents are from)? (city, country)

My mother is from Liberia and my father is from Nigeria

First Language?

English

What do you do? (Profession/Occupation)

Fashion Stylist

How long have you been doing it?

A bit over a year

Fav Song

I’m a huge music snob and it would be impossible for me to pick just one. Some of my favorites are Eminem’s “The Way I Am”, Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”, TLC’s “Waterfalls”, Lee Ann Womack’s “Something Worth Leaving Behind”, Shawn Colvin’s “Sunny Came Home”, and Danny!’s “I Want H.E.R. (She’s So Heavy)” because it was inspired by me

Fav Musician/Vocal artist/Rapper/Singer

Eminem (pre-2002), Lana Del Rey, Brandy, Fleetwood Mac, TLC, James Fauntleroy, Sophia Somajo, Fever Ray, Kanye West, Drake, SZA, Pusha T, Destiny’s Child, My Chemical Romance, No Doubt (pre-2001), Katy Rose, Sade, Fiona Apple, Pretty Girls Make Graves and so many more. I also love listening to Nigerian artists like Wizkid, Ice Prince, P-Square, and Tiwa Savage. I love music from all genres with different styles being the soundtrack to different stages of my life.

Fav Movie

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Jawbreaker, Kill Bill (All three volumes), and Alice in Wonderland.

Fav Actor/Actress

I actually don’t have one but I admire Lupita Nyong'o and I’ve had a thing for Leonardo DiCaprio practically my whole life so we’ll go with those two.

Fav Clothing brand

I have no brand loyalty, LOL! I mix and match from anywhere, high and low. I tend to really gravitate to brands from the UK and Australia though.

Fav Visual artist/Photographer/Filmaker/Dancer/Choreographer

Ellen Von Unwerth! God, I love that woman! I loved reading about the Baroque and Rococo artists in my art history textbooks and in the past two years I have also been gaining an appreciation for modern art and street art. I also think Quentin Tarantino is an amazing filmmaker.

Fav Sport to watch

I’m not even going to pretend I concern myself with sports.

Fav Sport to play

Does hula hooping count? It should. I’m pretty gifted with a hoop.

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