Mecca Allah has an innate elegance and captivating presence. She is a dancer and model and is always involved in several creative projects. We met her in New York a few years ago for a photo shoot and have been following her journey ever since. We took these photos this past September in New York City, where we also had the chance to interview her.

As a dancer, model, and artist, we have seen you involved in many creative projects. What would you say is your favorite? How do you stay inspired?

I don’t think I have a specific favorite. I truly enjoy all forms of what I do when it comes to working with my body, hands and mind. I think life keeps me inspired. Every day is different and each day you have the choice to approach it with a learning mindset. You get to learn something new, to meet another person from a different walk of life, to view art you’ve never seen or watch a documentary about someone you knew nothing about. Even something as simple as taking a walk and seeing how nature is constantly changing. It all inspires me every day.

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is honestly whatever makes me feel good that day. When you feel good in what you're wearing, it really makes a difference. I remember learning that when I was younger doing ballet. When I had on my favorite leotard I performed my best rather than when I had one on that I didn’t like. I also just love to feel comfortable. I don’t like to feel constricted in an outfit with how much running around I do in the city.

We love how you wear our pieces —so effortless. Which would you say is your favorite piece?

My favorite piece currently is the Portonovo dress! It’s so effortless and Chic and can be styled in so many ways.

At Norte, we strive to convey the importance of buying durable clothes—timeless, uncomplicated pieces in your closet that you will reach for again and again. We do this in a conscious and concerted effort to reduce overall consumption, while giving you pieces to cherish and wear many times over. Can you tell us about some pieces of clothing you have that have served you faithfully for many years?

One of my Norte dresses I’ve had for years now and love love. I’d say a lot of my thrifted pieces have lasted me for years and a few jackets that were passed down from my father. You can tell that they are quality pieces that took time to make and they aren’t just mass produced pieces with cheap material.

When you feel good in what you're wearing, it really makes a difference. I remember learning that when I was younger doing ballet. When I had on my favorite leotard I performed my best rather than when I had one on that I didn’t like.

How long have you had these pieces and what significance does these articles of clothing have for you?

Some pieces I’ve had longer than others but about 2-7 years depending on the piece. They mean a lot to me because they have stories and character behind them.

What does sustainability mean to you when it comes to dressing yourself?

Sustainability when dressing myself is just being thoughtful about the pieces I buy and the businesses I support.

Did you always know you wanted to be a dancer? What brought you into this world?

No, I think it was just an outlet to express myself and now my life has formed into many ways of expression and I love that. I initially got into it because my mom took me to a class and it was one of the few activities that really stuck. I couldn’t wait to go back.

Where did you grow up and how did you find yourself in Brooklyn?

I grew up in Colorado and then moved to Philadelphia when I was 10 so mostly Philly. I would come to New York in the summers to dance all the time so I knew I wanted to be in New York from a young age. The people, the culture, it just felt like home.

Do you feel like where you grew up shaped your aesthetic sensibilities and personal beliefs?

I wouldn’t say where I grew up but how I grew up definitely shaped those. It didn’t matter where I was, my family kept certain values and routines that really shaped me.

Can you share a happy memory from your childhood with us?

Having picnics with my family in the park & playing in the creek with my siblings. We were always immersed in nature and I really appreciate my parents for that.

Who did you admire most as a child?

I always admired people in my immediate life & community, my first dance instructor, my math teacher, my grandmother. I could name a lot more people who impacted my life in some way that I admired very young.

Favorite 5 things to do in New York

Going to art galleries, exploring new food spots, laying in a park , riding my bike and seeing live performances

Currently reading:

I just started the Alchemist again. I can’t lie I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to or need to be so I'm revisiting my favorite book to spark a better routine.

Currently listening to:

My music has just been on shuffle lately. Here are some albums & songs that have been playing: Motomami Rosalia, 2000 Joey Bada$$, Honey for the Wounds Ego Ellla May. As for songs: Movin-Mic Jenkins, 90 proof-Smino or Free Mind-Tems.

On a Saturday morning, where would we find you?

Just in my home, taking my morning slow doing a self check in and recouping from the week.