this teen fashionista wants you to follow your dreams

One 15-year-old fashionista and photographer from Dallas, Texas wants you to follow your dreams. Her name is Sabelle Mebane. She recently spoke to asienne about turning both her current passions into careers and how she’s gone about pursuing this. She believes that if she can do it, you can too.

sabelle-web2.pngName: Sabelle pronounced (suh-bell) like Isabelle without the I. It means consecrated to God.

Field: Fashion + Photography

Known for: New York Fashion Week

Star Sign: Cancer

Motto: The international student strutting into first period

Links: instagram

An alternate version 
of this interview can be viewed 
in a digital magazine style 
with the link here.

To start things off, can you give us an insight about your background, Sabelle?

I’m half-Chinese and half-white. My mother was born and raised in Taiwan, and later met my father when she moved to the States. I was born and raised in Texas but I grew up very connected to my culture due to my frequent travels back to Taiwan. My grandparents helped raise me, so I am fluent in Mandarin. 


How did you get started with fashion? Who are your favorite fashion designers? 

I love vintage fashion and finding rare gems at thrift stores. I’m really into bold and colorful looks, my style is very eclectic! I find a lot of my pieces whenever I’m back in Taipei. I love the fashion there! 

Can you describe to us what your experiences in the fashion world have been like so far?

I’ve never taken fashion too seriously. It’s always been a hobby but recently it’s turned into much more. I love styling and putting together outfits. After giving photography my focus, people started paying attention to the clothes I wore in my photos.

Fashion has opened a lot of doorways for me and has given me a lot of opportunities to work with some of my favorite brands like Google and Skechers. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of clothing brands and designers which was a lot of fun. I was invited to my first New York Fashion Week during the SS19 season which was a huge accomplishment for me. 


In your own words, describe your love for fashion.

Fashion is self expression, it’s empowering and an art. Life is too short to dress dull.

An alternate version 
of this interview can be viewed 
in a digital magazine style 
with the link here.

How did you get started with photography? How did you learn? Were you self-taught? Any favorite photographers?

I’ve always been interested in the creative arts and photography has always been something I loved. I started seriously experimenting with photography when I was 13 and I had a lot of wonderful artists to look up to. A lot of my work is inspired by street style photography. 


What do you look for when you photograph things? Any techniques you’d like to share?

I started sharing my photos on Instagram as a way to have fun and although Instagram is more of a business to me now, my methods haven’t changed. I go with the flow when it comes to my photos. If I see a cool background I’ll snap a few photos, I hardly ever plan out a shoot. 

sabelle-web5.pngWhat makes photography and fashion fulfilling for you at this age?

A lot of my peers participate in sports or school clubs. I’ve never been particularly interested in the common hobbies which used to leave me feeling bored and uninspired. Now, photography and fashion keep me busy and I absolutely love expressing myself through my work. 

Do you have a dream career outside fashion and photography or can you picture yourself pursuing this as a career even after high school?

sabelle-web.pngI keep my options open. As much as I love photography and fashion, I’m also interested in a lot of different career pathways. I’m still quite young and I have a lot to figure out in terms of the future. 

What are your thoughts on the importance of Asian representation in the creative world? How do you feel when you see someone who looks like you in the fashion industry, for example?

Ever since my photography transitioned to a fashion-based one, it consisted mostly of my self-portraits as a way to capture my outfits.

You don’t normally see an abundance of Asian models and if I wasn’t taking my own photos I doubt the white majority companies would want me to model their items.

An alternate version 
of this interview can be viewed 
in a digital magazine style 
with the link here.

Being able to portray myself as beautiful and confident regardless of racial stereotype is extremely important.

Growing up I didn’t have enough Asian Americans in the media to look up to. I think with social media and a gradual change in Hollywood we’re getting to a more inclusive place and I’m blessed to be a part of that change

What is your advice for aspiring young creatives who want to be in your position?

You’re never too young to follow your dreams.

Photos were used with permission from its respective owners (the talent and/or the photographer).

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