Photo Credit: Widny Bazile (Widnystudios)
'I Left My Family In Haiti For More Opportunities In The United States'
Widny Bazile came to the United States from her native country, Haiti, when she was only 12-years-old. Since then, she has created her own successful arts collective self-titled, Widnystudios. Now, the 24-year-old model, photographer, and creative director has made her way through New York and resides in Los Angeles where she is focusing primarily on building out her own handcrafted premium furniture line.
Widny Bazile left her small village in Haiti to find more opportunities in North America, leaving her father behind whom she calls frequently. Bazile took the cultural knowledge she learned from her native roots and used her expertise in braiding to build her own business.
She has an innate talent with her crafty hands and creative thinking to put together the most extravagant hair masterpieces which she has used on herself for campaigns, on models for editorial shoots, and now, is constructing mid-century furniture pieces that incorporate the hair-braiding techniques she learned from her upbringing in Haiti.
“The move to America from Haiti for me was exciting but nerve-wracking at the same time,” Widny Bazile told Travel Noire. “I was excited because I was about to make a life shift that was very important to me, but also I was nervous because I didn’t speak the English language. This is a whole different country with different people, different roles, and different laws. I kind of had to put myself in a little tiny box in a way to kind of fit in and adapt, so I could learn my way around.”
From propelling herself to the busy lifestyle many Americans lived in the northern East Coast, Bazile navigated her way around her early years in the United States by taking up minimum-wage jobs to fuel her passions for fashion, modeling, and photography. Then, she became known for her high-cheekbones and distinguishable eyes in the modeling industry that granted her the opportunities to work with popular fashion brands — Dior Beauty, Urban Decay, Puma, and Adidas.
Bazile is taking her years of experience from modeling and evolving that into her photography career where she shoots and creative directs her muses in the greater Los Angeles area.
“Every day when I first moved to California, I was online. I was meeting people. I was at all the shows,” Bazile added. “I was always in Downtown Los Angeles, and I was taking the bus in to try and put myself out there. I have faith in myself and my visions out there. I just knew as a foreigner I needed to meet the right people that understand me.”
After meeting her life partner Tortee Roberts, Bazile and her settled down right outside the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. Roberts and Bazile began creative directing shoots together because both of their past years of experience in fashion, design, and photography has led to the birth of their first pieces of furniture. The African-inspired furniture line infuses cultural shapes and colors from their native roots into high-quality home furniture pieces.
“There was this barrier I kept facing when trying to find my way in America between wanting to stay true to myself and what other people believed I should be,” she said. “I love art, I love creativity. Fashion was more of a doorway for me, so now I am building Widnystudios after having it’s 1-year anniversary, and I am learning how important it is to have control of your future.”
In light of Haitian Flag Day passing, Widny Bazile reminisces on the day of independence in her home country since she hasn’t returned in years.
“Haitian Flag day is beautiful, but I really miss Mardis Gras in Haiti because everyone in the whole country just dances and celebrates. I still make legim, and it is one of the best dishes from home.”