Born in The Bronx, NY, Kalitza Pagan is a single mother of Puerto Rican descent. She worked hard to support her daughters while paying her way through college at The Fashion Institute of Technology. Due to her hard work and dedication, Kalitza has spent the last five years living her dream as a fashion stylist in NYC. Terry of KwaK caught up with Kalitza to find out more about her journey.
What motivated you to go into fashion?
I am able to express my creativity through fashion. Fashion styling has been my creative outlet. I do not know how to paint or draw but I am a master at turning human beings into walking art.
What is the most satisfying part of doing the work that you do?
What were the biggest challenges of being a single mom working toward a career? What (if anything) has gotten easier?
Thankfully I work enough now where I am able to take care of bills etc. and my daughters are older now (17 & 8) so their schedules are not as demanding.
I also have a best friend who lives down the street from me. She too is a single mother and we help each other out with the children in any way we can. I have a great support system both at home and at work.
Where did you find motivation and inspiration during the ‘growing pains’ of building your career? What kept you going?
I want to prove to them that they are in charge of their own lives. I want to show them that dedication and passion can take you anywhere in life. And lastly, I want them to be proud of me and look up to me.
What would you say separates you from others in similar situations? Finish this sentence “I couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for…”
My passion is what helped me through classes at Fashion Institute of Technology. It’s what helped me get through the work day at a retail store to pay for the classes at FIT. It’s what drove me to produce incredible shoots to jump start my career. Without passion I had nothing.
What are your favorite types of projects and when do you feel the most ‘in the zone’
My favorite projects are big budget photo shoots. I am most in my zone while pulling looks together for these types of shoots. Turning my thoughts into reality and capturing it on print is most satisfying!
You mentioned that you have been living your dream for the past 5yrs. When did you actually realize (or what event made you realize) that you WERE in fact living your dream?
If you can give a single mom with dreams, any advice, what would it be?
Keep focused and it will all pay off in the end. Everyone should be given the opportunity to do what they love.
What projects are you working on or have lined up for the near future?
Facebook: Kiki Pagan.