“When I saw that I was in Time Magazine, I thought, ‘This is where I need to be,”
Abibat Durosimi | Creator
In 2011, Abibat Durosimi found herself backstage before a Prince concert doing makeup for the Purple Wonder himself.
After a fateful Portland night hanging out with storytellers in the Portland poetry scene, Durosimi met musician Liv Warfield. Liv enlisted Durosimi to do her makeup for local performances, and that experience encouraged Durosimi to build her own makeup kit and go solo. When Liv subsequently went on tour with Prince and referred Durosimi to do the hair and makeup of various members of the production, she found her moment.
“He was amazing,” Durosimi reminisces. “He wasn’t scary. He was intimidating. He would give you this look, and you don’t know what he’s thinking. And the whole time you’re thinking, ‘I hope I’m put together.’ And if you weren’t he would let you know.”
After getting off tour she came back to Portland and went for freelance gigs and back to Option Model and Media as a lifestyle model. She’s since worked with everyone in the PDX fashion scene from Michael Costello to Nike. In the early days of Portland Fashion Week, she started as a key makeup artist and ended up as backstage director.
“I was able to curate everything from the designers to the models to the hair and makeup team,” explains Durosimi.
PDX Fashion Week eventually ended but from that space grew Fashion NXT, which caught the attention of Time Magazine, labeling the event “the #1 show in the U.S. after New York Fashion Week.”
“When I saw that I was in Time Magazine, I thought, ‘This is where I need to be,’” says Durosimi.
The self-made beauty leader is a first-generation Nigerian-American from Chicago who studied business and marketing in college. But her hobby of creating hairstyles for friends and family blossomed into a passion that led her to travel to clients all over the world.
The discovery that she could blend her business education and self-taught talents into a profession influenced her to create businesses revolving around her decades of knowledge within the beauty and fashion industry.
Her first entrepreneurial endeavor is Tabiba Styles, a styling agency in Portland offering clients a collection of freelance makeup artists, hair stylists and other beauty professionals curated by Durosimi to fulfill their creative vision.
The second effort is the Bloom Beauty Collective, a production agency offering partnerships in mentorship and creativity. Bloom curates events that are geared toward fashion, beauty, and wellness while also nourishing the creative dreams of adolescent youth.
Durosimi says, “There are kids out there who don’t see themselves or other creatives who look like them. They are thinking they are not able to achieve something with their art or make money with it. Our whole goal is to curate a program where kids realize they can do whatever their heart desires.”
Durosimi’s most recent venture is MyHi Yoga, with a mission to infuse beauty and wellness into the healing modality of yoga. On May 18th, 2019 she’ll launch the second annual Bloom Runway show, giving local fashion innovators the opportunity to collaborate on their creative dreams.
Abibat Durosimi continues to evolve as an entrepreneur and a community fixture, while being the mother of two. At the root of all her projects is an intense desire to help the people of color within her community thrive while feeling good inside and out. “My goal is to help others meet their potential,” she says.
Author: Cookie Zovushe
Photos: Intisar Abioto
Published: March 2019