Suzan Mutesi – Living Life Unapologetically

Recently Blackbird caught up with Suzan Mutesi, the creative multi-hyphenate who’s journey is an inspiration to all.

Style icon, actress, author, model, singer, producer, activist. When it comes to Suzan Mutesi there’s an impressive number of life accomplishments already stacked high for a young woman. A fearless, determined personality, Suzan has grown from humble beginnings to grace the cover of Vogue France and become an iconic face of Bonds.

A distinctive voice of Gen Y, Suzan boldly stands up for racial equality and civil rights, drawing from her first-hand experience of racism and discrimination. Hoping to inspire others to be unapologetically themselves, Suzan’s energy is infectious and has a raw, unstoppable quality to it.   The team at Blackbird caught up with her between shoots to learn about the aspirations she holds for herself and the world she hopes to create.

You’ve been an important and dynamic voice in current global issues, where to from here? 

I want to be an advocate for truth, peace, justice, equality. I want to stand up for the voiceless, the marginalised and broken hearted. In five years I would love to be making Hollywood blockbusters or producing TV series on Australian TV that (holds a) light to black culture.

Your life has already spanned two continents, growing up in Africa and Australia, how have your experiences shaped who you are today? 

Growing up in Africa in an unprivileged family (with my) two parents working hard to give their children a better life, we never had the luxury of toys so that lack drove me to be creative. I would make dolls in banana fibres and create clothes for them out of the torn scraps of my clothes. I believe the desire to design started there. Then (when we) moved to Australia, as a young girl growing up in predominantly white westernised culture was challenging. I was always the only black family on my block, and the only black girl in class and social gatherings at school. With no experience in Australia the only place I found opportunities to work in high school holidays was at a printing factory in Lidcombe which printed fashion magazines. In the dusty, long graveyard shifts at the factory on breaks, I would scan through the ink printed pages of magazines and I would envision myself being influential, with a voice. Being on a Vogue cover as black woman or cover girl, to me, that was a dream.

Singing, modelling, writing, producing – how did you segue into so many creative talents? 

I am (and) have been a creative since I was a child. But people always place me in small boxes, seeing me as only one thing: a designer (which was my first career path), so when I tried music, acting or writing they couldn’t support me on the journey. I learnt the hard way of letting go and trusting that if they were meant to be in my life, they would have help(ed).

How do you describe your style and where do you look for inspiration?

My personal style is risky, (sometimes) safe – but also on the edge! – trendy and unique.

I love to have fun and play with colour plus textures. I make sure I am comfortable so that my confidence and beauty is seen when I hit the streets.  I am inspired by celebrities like Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Fear of God, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Those are some big personalities!

They are!

To me, fashion is an artistic expression, (it) gives me the opportunity to express myself freely, to find “my sexy back,” (and my) confidence when I need it.

 

.

 

You wear the Dakota jacket in such a fun, unique and creative way! What drew you to Blackbird?

I may not be a motorcycle rider but I have that thrill of freedom! I  was inspired by the name of the brand and what it caters for. I wanted to feel free, playful, feminine but still strong. I wanted to fly and believe the sky’s the limit and no mountain is too high to climb.  I wanted people to see possibilities.

Suzan is an openly confident and self-assured young woman. For many, it can be easy to cast this clarity in purpose as just another a brazen Millennial. But what Suzan offers, to those who listen to her journey of self-realisation, her personal growth and her triumph over fear and rejection, is a voice of liberation. A freedom to express your fears alongside your passion and ambition.

 

What could we each achieve if we lived with the same audacity and challenged our inner fears? 

With Suzan’s boundless energy and fierce determination, we’re sure we’ll be seeing more of her.

 Follow Suzan on Instagram at @suzan_mutesi and keep up, if you can.