Friday, December 2, 2022

Infusing culture & heritage into modern fashion with designer Sanowber Spanta

Southfield (CW50) – Around 1995, when the Taliban were highly active in Afghanistan, Sanowber Spanta’s family had fled the country and became refugees in Pakistan. Eventually, her grandfather’s sister, who lived in Michigan, got a phone call that her niece had passed away and left behind two children. She decided to adopt Sanowber and her sister and move them to the United States. 

Sanowber’s adoptive mother always told her, “Even though you were not born in me, you were born in my heart.”

Sanowber described moving to the United States as, “…kind of like when a baby learns how to walk for the first time.”

She talked about her “firsts” in the U.S., like seeing skyscrapers for the first time, or seeing freshly cut and manicured grass. The biggest shock to her was seeing a woman wear pants. “It was the first time I’d seen my mom come to the airport, wear pants. I’d never seen a woman wear a pair of pants before, and she gets in the driver’s seat and starts driving. And I was freaking out just because I’d never seen a woman drive before and I’d never seen a woman wearing pants before.”

Sanowber had been sewing, making clothes, and creating for years, but that was the ultimate trigger point for her in her head. The inspiration behind the what is now her fashion brand, Sabrina Santa. 

“It’s always what I’ve been through and how far I’ve come and seeing women on the other side of the world and being here and my mom being the source of inspiration to empower women… There’s so many women out there in other worlds that don’t have the opportunity that we have. And seeing my mom in those pants, driving a car, was so symbolic to me. It was very meaningful. And ever since, it’s been my inspiration… my go to for the brand Sabrina Spanta.”

One of the most difficult journeys that Sanowber faced in the world of fashion was her appearance on the fashion competition show Project Runway. 

“…it was the most difficult journey of my life, but also the best journey of my life. It really changed my life.”

Through her journey on Project Runway, Sanowber was able to launch her brand Sabrina Spanta after the show aired. 

To see more of Sanowber Spanta’s designs, go to

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