KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you haven’t heard the name Wasilah Smith, you will soon. He’s being called Kansas City’s next fashion prodigy and he’s only 17 years old.
Walking up the steps four years ago, changed his life. Originally his grandma’s sewing room, Wasilah Smith asked her to teach him, when he was just 13 years old.
“She’s the reason I started. I remember I was like 6,” Smith said.
“I was upstairs sewing or mending… and he said, ‘I wanna do this,'” grandma Susie Goodwin said.
Together, day after day, Smith sat with his grandma. She taught him the tricks of the trade.
“I’m going wow! Man… boy you good!” Goodwin said.
He was a natural and from that day forward, fashion became his life.
“I’ll stay up here for hours sometime. If it’s Saturday night I’ll stay up here and not go back to my room until the next day at 2 o’clock. No sleep, nothing,” Smith said.
In a small room, stuffed with piles of fabric, Smith draws out sketches of pieces he dreams up then brings to life.
“Say I start making these jeans tonight, and I dont finish tonight. When I go to school tomorrow this is all I’m gonna think about.”
The 17-year-old sells his pieces, mostly hoodies and bomber jackets on his website, each unique piece selling for more than $100.
“This is actually one of my favorite pieces it took me two days to make,” he explained.
Although the money is nice, it’s not why he spends hours a day up in his grandma’s attic. It’s the feeling he gets sitting behind the sewing machine.
“Free. Pretty free. Like I don’t have a limit on what I’m doing when I’m designing.”
Already at 17 years old, he has a line that has caught the attention of national magazines. The sky is the limit and he already has his eye on some celebrities he wants to rock his pieces.
“Justin Bieber is a pretty stylish dude,” Smith said.
But more than anything, Smith says his goal for his line, is to let other Kansas City kids know anything is possible.
“You can do it. Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something you want to do,” he said.
After graduation, Smith plans on going to design school. Check out his website at this link.