Name: Sekhwa Kado
Occupation: Pharmacy technician
Hometown: Alqosh, Assyria [northern Iraq]. Currently in Michigan.
Why did you move from Iraq? My family was forced to leave their homeland.
How did you get interested in fashion? I always liked different clothes my mom used to sew and I asked her to design different things because I didn’t like what they sold in stores.
What does fashion mean to you? Fashion is something I will never get tired of. I like being different.
Who are some of your favorite fashion designers? I love Zeena Zaki and Michael Cinco.
What kind of clothes do you make? Gowns, bridal wear and Assyrian traditional costumes.
What are some materials you use to make clothes? Lace, cotton, satin and chiffon.
What does being Assyrian mean to you? Being an Assyrian is a pride because after all the genocides that happened to my nation, we are still here.
What is something you miss the most about Iraq/Assyria? Reading, writing and speaking our precious language. We have men who are ready to do anything to not let our flag [fall]. I’m not going to talk about our great empire because I believe we will have our lands back one day. We will all go back to our homeland and live there in peace. I also miss my grandmother a lot and my village. I miss Nala [village] — my favorite place after my beloved Alqosh. I miss everything. I miss home.
Would you ever move back to Iraq? Yes, I would move back because we always have to go back home. That will always be my home.
What is your favorite Assyrian word? Piqkha [Meaning: when a flower blooms.]
Who is your favorite Assyrian singer? Ashur Bet Sargis, Evin Agassi and Walter Aziz. Then Ogin Bet Samo.
How can someone contact you if they want to have something made by you? They can reach me via social media @sekhwaa on Instagram, or email skhwakado [at] yahoo.com.
What do you wish to accomplish in the future? To have couture stores all around the world and especially in my homeland.
Portions of this interview have been edited.