A while back, I was looking into Dallas fashion designers to find out about our local’s best, and one of the designers I found most appealing was Abi Ferrin. She uses fashion as a platform to raise awareness for human trafficking and abuse issues. Through the Freedom Project, she initiated a collaboration with Sak Saum, and “while designing clothing that [make] women feel confident and beautiful, [Ferrin] makes them her partners in educating, empowering and supporting women who need a voice.”
When I saw her in an advertisement featured in the Modern Luxury Dallas last year presenting Verizon Wireless and Modern Luxury Dallas’ 4G for Charity contest, I didn’t think twice about getting in touch with her for a brief interview.
What influenced you in your decision to choose fashion as the platform to raise awareness for global abuse issues?
I started sewing when I was 5 years old and actually won the McCall’s sewing competition at 13. When I lived in Los Angeles, I began sewing my own clothes for Hollywood events, and after moving to Dallas and overcoming many obstacles I developed a passion for helping the oppressed. I always knew I wanted to influence real and lasting change, and it just so happened that fashion was the unlikely vehicle that has allowed me to do this!
On your website, I read that “after experiencing personally what it felt like to be a victim of abuse, [you knew your purpose and are single mindedly pursuing it]. Could you further elaborate on the purpose you’re pursuing?
It is easy to disappear inside yourself after surviving abuse and focus on “poor me…” while losing sight of how blessed you really are. Global poverty and all the issues that stem from it, trafficking oppression and abuse are the only reality for millions and millions. I am convinced that we all have talents and gifts we can use for the greater good of humanity, and I am working with my team daily to continue growing and developing that impact. The purpose I am pursuing is to offer resources and tools to the oppressed and abused victims of poverty. If we can ignite this movement, change around the world can happen from the way manufacturing takes place globally to an educated consumer.
Can you elaborate on the legacy you’re striving to leave behind through your collaboration with Sak Saum on the Freedom Project?
After surviving an abusive relationship I am looking forward rather than behind. Helping people who were experiencing and surviving so much worse than what I had been through, it not only impacts those my project touches, but it inspires their entire community. Working with Sak Saum, meeting these girls and boys who were sold into trafficking by their own parents is a daily reminder that we are able and obliged to help give a voice to the otherwise voiceless, which then sets them on creating their legacy for of freedom for future generations that follow them!
Ferrin’s story in particular is so empowering, because it reflects how she not only turned the bad into good, but helped others do the same, and more.1