Shadia Awwad Lee was born in Detroit, Michigan to a Filipino mother and Palestinian father. She was raised in Rowlett, Texas where she has lived since she was 5. She has always been deeply fascinated with the global community and has drawn inspiration from the songs, food, dances, religions, customs, costumes and languages of the world.
Shadia graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas in 2004. In her final trimester, after gaining courage to cold call one of Dallas’ honored and renowned industry professionals, Jan Strimple, Shadia became the first student to begin the JSP fashion show production internship program that has continued to grow through the years. As she continued to work, play and occasionally travel with her mentor and “fashion-industry mother,” she found a position with Betty Reiter at her namesake boutique in Preston Center, Dallas where she she is currently employed. In those 14 years, She was also the assistant stylist for Barri Martin on four music videos for Blue October (“Hate Me,” “Into the Ocean,” “Calling You,” and “Home”). She worked with the all-Asian A’capella group “At Last/Tatum Jones” (who were finalists on “America’s got Talent”) on their first tour in Dallas and organized their second trip for a fundraiser concert. She has styled commercials and numerous charity fashion shows, and last year jumped on as a board member for The FIDO (Fashion Industry Dog Org) Volleyball tournament. She is thrilled and honored to be an Ambassador during such a milestone year for ATG.
“To be part of something so precious and mighty, is a dream come true. The foundation and support it lends to so many is not only admirable, but absolutely necessary in our world today. It is with a joyful, hopeful heart that I commit to this cause, and I look forward to see what wonderful things will unfold.”
What going Against The Grain mean to you: “In textiles, the “bias” of a piece of fabric is 45 degrees between the grainlines going each direction. When you cut along the bias/against the natural grainlines, it allows the cut piece of fabric to be more fluid, mobile, have flexibility and elasticity. It reminds me a bit of how we are culturally. Society is woven with the fibers of complacency, prejudice, fear, corrupt politics, inequality and indifference, and cut against these grainlines, we are cutting on the bias, we have the opportunity to become more fluid, more flexible. We are able to find a new perspective, to have a movement that may have otherwise been restricted.”
Quote to live by: “You are your own forerunner. The towers you have builded are but the foundation of your giant-self. And that self, too, shall be a foundation. ” – Khalil Gibran, THE FORERUNNER
Passionate about: Dogs, family, the environment, animal testing in the cosmetics industry and the idea of acceptance for all, regardless of race, religion, income level, origin of birth or love preference.
Food: Animal-friendly food and ice cream
Can’t live without: My daughters (Betty and Jojo), coffee
Color personality: True Blue, Action Orange/Solid Gold