Alimah Kasumu was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in a small town outside of the city where she was FIDM Fashion Club President at Abington Senior High School. Since then, Alimah earned FIDM degrees in Apparel Industry Management and Menswear, and now she’s studying Business Management at the college. In 2021, Alimah traveled to Nigeria and sewed personal protective equipment for a Covid-related medical mission team. Learn more about her inspiring FIDM journey.
When did you develop an interest in design? I had been sewing since the age of seven and sketching garments since I was little. In high school, I participated in the FIDM Fashion Club and later became President, while starting my own graphic t-shirt brand called A-Star Galaxy. If not because of the FIDM Fashion Club, I would have not known about FIDM, and would not have gotten accepted into college as a junior in high school. With my Nigerian background, fashion is highly important and that made me express more of my design ideas and creativity.
Describe your experience as a FIDM Fashion Club President at Abington Senior High School: I was committed to diversity and inclusion as the President of my school’s FIDM Fashion Club. FIDM Fashion Club has aided me in my leadership skills since I was President for two consecutive years. With the help of my club Advisor, Vice President, and club members, we were able to host a fashion show which featured clothing and accessories sewn by the Vice President and I. Many students outside of the club developed an interest in participating in the fashion show and it ended up being a success.
How did you come to be in Nigeria for two weeks assisting a medical team? One of the sponsors of the mission reached out to me asking if I could sew their personal protective equipment for the medical mission. In the past years of the mission, prior to Covid, they had run out of disposable gowns for surgeons, and had no alternative. When I heard that story, I was touched and did not want that to happen again for this year’s mission, especially since we are still in a pandemic.
What was this experience like for you? I worked with two small clothing manufacturers and showed them my design and sample of the medical gowns, hats, and face masks. A few of my day-to-day responsibilities included cutting gown pattern pieces, adding labels to PPE, delivering PPE to clinics for sterilization, and guiding patients to their designated station. Overall, I enjoyed my time there seeing family members that I don’t often see, making new friends with the volunteers at the medical mission, and experiencing the fun activities I got to do. After experiencing the medical mission and seeing the positive impact I made, I definitely look forward to volunteering again.
Learn more online at alimahk.wixsite.com/entrepreneur and on Instagram @a1imah and @mujisshea.