Next-Gen 2020: Hodo Musa
Every January, Milk.xyz announces the 10 people we believe will have the greatest impact on the art/music/fashion/activism spheres in that year.
Hailing from Somalia and Sweden, Hodo Musa has styled people across the globe. Her first steps into the fashion world began in London where she modeled and worked in retail merchandising. From there, she studied at ESMOD Oslo where she started styling for some of the biggest names in the Norwegian music scene. In the US, she made her big break styling Lil Nas X for cover shoots on Billboard, for the VMA’s, and the CFDA’s. Taking the western style and mixing it with funky street style, Musa has dressed one of the most talked-about people in fashion in the past year. Her magic touch has also extended to the likes of Noah Cyrus, Astrid S, and Julie Bergan. Elevating her looks and those around her, Hodo Musa styles from her heart.
What’s your 2020 vision?
This year l want to become nothing so l can become everything. The separation many people feel is just an illusion. l need to break that so l can vibe higher and help others do the same. This year l want to become a kundalini yoga teacher. I have been healing myself from life long traumas from war, racism, addiction, and unworthiness of being a creative woman from my culture. Life is not always fair, but you do not have to be stuck in a victim mindset and energy. There are tools you can use to release that and then vibe higher and become the best you. For me, it has been this yoga form, no more darkness, and sadness, in addition to my creativity flows.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I want to inspire happiness and positivity and remind other girls, like me, that they are worthy and able.
Give us a bit of background – how did you get into styling?
My first introduction to fashion was working in retail merchandising and modeling in London. As a nomad, I have been living in four different countries to find myself. Ten years ago, my journey took me to Norway where I went to the ESMOD fashion school and worked as a stylist for some of Norway’s biggest names in the music industry. There are less than a handful of brown stylists working full time in Norway. It’s a small, hard, and very closed up community to get into if you are from my background, so you really have to take advantage of your superpowers. In my case, it was my immigrant hustle mindset.
Why do you do what you do?
I really love helping others to fulfill their dreams to become their best selves. My work is not really about me, l am just a part of somebody else’s story. I just want to create love that becomes beauty. This gives me pleasure.
Who do you collaborate with and why?
l got my US work visa in 2019, all praise to the highest. I’m a legal alien. One of my first major American clients was Lil Nas X. Thanks to our collaboration, and his openness and trust we quickly made many fashion memories and moments. He really took my career to a new level, and l am so grateful it’s him that did it, a young king.
As a black woman, it’s not often people want to lift you up, and many people want to take ownership of your hard work. I’ve been really lucky because the universe sent me an egoless person who believes in me. Also, he looks like a model so double luck, haha.
As a stylist, do you have a go-to outfit?
Oversized men suits. Anything oversized and big. I love to hide.
What’s your favorite pair of shoes?
Yeezy 500s are my favorites. I love the design and color waves. Kanye West is one of my biggest inspirations. People will get mad at me for saying this, but who cares, he is a genius. I hope North West needs a stylist one day, she will be the black Kate Moss. Fingers crossed!
My wedding ring. l do not need many accessories to feel beautiful.
What designers are you excited by right now?
The designer I’m wearing on the video, Selam Fessahaye inspires me so much. She is a Swedish-Eritrean designer from Stockholm that makes clothes that I love. Everything is oversized, edgy with bold colors. I am so excited for her future. I am always looking for new emerging designers we can put our light on. This is the way!
Highlight of your year?
There are too many, it has been surreal. l am very grateful for all the opportunities that Lil Nas X has included me in. There are already so many memories, and at the same time we still have a long way to go. I’m excited! The TIME magazine cover shoot was a very special shoot by Stargirl Kelia Anne MacCluskey. That’s a magazine my parents read and finally, they understood what l do.
To girls and boys from the same cultural background as me, do not let other people’s self-beliefs project or control your emotions so you get paralyzed and cannot act out your dreams. Sadness and negativity are a form of addiction and sometimes family or close people can be your biggest STOPPERS. Misery loves company. I have been around many that tried to make me doubt my dreams, my goals, my style, my looks, my hair, etc. I am happy l did not listen and kept a positive mind, but l know that many stay in fear of what others think of them. You only have one life and you do not want to become an old and bitter human that blames other people. Break the circle.
DIRECTOR + PHOTOGRAPHER + EDITOR: Madeleine Dalla
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russell Tandy
MUA: Eliven Q
STYLIST: Hodo Musa
MUSIC + SOUND: Take a Daytrip
FEATURING: Lil Nas X
Stay tuned to Milk for more from our Next-Gen.