MANKATO, Minn. (KMSP) - A Mankato, Minnesota teenager recently competed on the second season of "Project Runway: Junior" on Lifetime.
“I got into it when I was 12 because I didn’t like anything else anyone was wearing,” says Hawwaa Ibrahim. "I thought, 'Hey I can do it myself'."
The Mankato West High School senior learned to sew by watching YouTube videos, and later launched her own "How To" blog.
“I said, 'hey I'm going to do some DIY tutorials...even though they were really awful,” says Ibrahim.
“She just was always different from everybody,” says Ibrahim’s mother Dorbell Anthony. “For the most part girls all dress the same. Of course, we are Muslim, and I used to wear these big scarves. And I used to let her use them to make skirts, so she started making skirts at first.”
For years, Ibrahim and her family have watched the reality competition show "Project Runway" on Lifetime. Ibrahim sent in an audition tape after watching the first junior version of the competition aimed at teen fashion designers between 13 and 17 years old. Much to her surprise, she was picked and taped last summer in New York.
“When they said, 'you're on the show,' I was like now I gotta figure out how to sew a lot of other things because what I was sewing wasn't runway,” says Ibrahim. “I was just sewing for myself, so I was like, 'I need to think of some other ideas.'”
The aspiring fashion designers are competing for a full ride scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, a sewing and crafting studio, a feature in Seventeen Magazine and a $25,000 prize.
“I'm so nervous I’m like, 'Oh God what are people going to think of me?'"
More than anything, Ibrahim is proud of her colorful spin on vintage designs that stay true to her Muslim faith.
“I try to basically still stick with my whole religion and not be too scandalous,” she said
She said she's thankful for the opportunity to chase after her dream and said one of the best parts of the experience was meeting other people her age who can relate.
“Definitely, at the end of the day, it was just really fun to be on the show,” she said.
Season two of "Project Runway Junior" airs Dec. 22 on Lifetime.