Meet the Artist: Interview with fashion designer Marsida Tirana

Marsida Tirana, born in Elbasan, Albania in 1987. Her best memories are from her childhood and says that growing up Albanian was the best thing that has ever happened to her because she believes that Albanian culture has the best values of life. Her mother a fashion designer and her father was the Director for an engineering firm.

Marsida and her family (mother, father, and brother) moved to Worcester, MA in 1999. She was a 6th grader. She describes her elementary days as the hardest time of her life. She was bullied by her classmates because she didn’t ‘fit’ in, and wasn’t saying the right things. In fact, she wasn’t speaking at all in class because she did not speak a word of English. She would observe all the activities that would take place during recess, no one would ask her to play. She hadn’t made any friends. Her friend was her cassette player. Music was one of the things that would give her hope, peace, and courage. Styling was her other go to. She would make alterations to her liking. One day, she decided that she was going to approach her bullies wearing her custom-made ripped jeans. She walked to the basketball court and asked to shoot a hoop. Beginners luck, she made the hoop! They smiled and not because of a joke made at her expense, but because she could play basketball and they also complimented her jeans. New day had come, at recess teams would pick her first. Sports became another outlet. She played basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Her bullies had become her friends. Her grades got better. Her English improved. From that moment on her life changed and she moved forward with her studies. In high school she met her sweetheart, her husband.

In 2010 Marsida graduated UMASS Boston with a major in Business and a minor in Psychology. Since then she has been working for Tufts University in the department of Medical Development. In 2013, she became a mother for the first time to her daughter Joanna Vera. Throughout her pregnancy she worked full time, and took MBA courses. In 2015, she was blessed again. She had her son, Albi Jon. After her maternity leave she returned to her full time job, went part time to business school, took fashion design courses, and in the process discovered that her gym obsession is real. She describes her life as a full life, a busy life, a happy and healthy life.

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NY Elite Interview with designer and fashion blogger Marsida Tirana

NY Elite: What sparked your interest in fashion design and blogging about your life?

Marsida Tirana: People would ask me general, life questions. General things such as, what diapers do you use? What foods do your kids eat? Where did you get that dress? What exercise works best? Why did you become vegetarian? How do you do it all?

I would take my time responding back and one day a light bulb went on. I thought the best way to communicate with people is by launching my own website. My website will be the one stop shop.

NY Elite: How would you describe your personal style?

Marsida Tirana: My style depends really sort of depends. My closet is the perfect mix. It has a mix of colors and very little black. I can dress down:  Jeans, t-shit, and slides. I can dress up: Sexy dresses, flowy dresses, and high heeled sandals. I can dress sport: Yoga pants, Nike top, and Adidas sneakers. I think a confident girl can rock different styles but I do think there is a place and a time to wear certain things.

NY Elite: What’s your latest fashion design project? What design, What trend?

Marsida Tirana: I am working on something that is very dear to my heart. I am working on a T-shirt line. It is a V-neck, t-shit with a side pocket.  Everything I do, I do it with and for a purpose. A percentage of the proceeds will be divided among Albanian community organizations.

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NY Elite: Where do you find the inspiration?

Marsida Tirana: Literally, my children are my number one inspiration. Watching them grow up has taught me so much. I will always remember the time when my daughter who was about 8 months old at that time, started to learn how to walk. She would gather all her strength and try to stand up tall. She would stand up tall for about a half a second and fall straight down. She would look at me right in my eyes, smile, and gather all her strength to stand up tall again. To me, that was the meaning of pure positivity, moving forward and never giving up.

NY Elite: Who inspires you the most in fashion? Anyone who stands out?

Marsida Tirana: My mother. She’s a very inspiring fashion designer. She would put something together from scratch for her friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. Her business grew by word of mouth. Social media didn’t exist.  We still have our childhood home in Albania and every time we go to visit I find myself going through her closet which is filled with her designs which are considered vintage nowadays. So proud of that woman!

NY Elite: What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers and bloggers?

Marsida Tirana: Don’t lose yourself. Never give up.

NY Elite: What are your plans for the future?

Marsida Tirana: I have a vision. I will work on my vision day by day.

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