Hodo Musa is a Los Angeles based, Somalia born fashion stylist.
Hodo originally comes from Malmö (Sweden) and has been Astrid S‘ (a Norwegian singer) personal stylist for several years.
Musa has been interested in fashion and clothing for as long as she can remember, but it was when she started working with Astrid S years ago, that her career really took off.
Even if she’s credited for the singer’s style transformation, she certainly can’t say she created her style. While she wants to live by what she does, it’s important for her not to take away the artist’s personal expression, or take credit or ownership for something an artist does.
She stepped into styling when she was just a child, constantly dressing up her seven younger siblings while growing up in a ghetto in Malmö. She cut and sewed her traditional Somali outfits and found new ways to style her clothes all the time.
When Musa turned 16 and dreamed of working in a clothing store next to the school, it became more difficult. Malmö was very segregated at that time. Only the Swedish girls with blond hair got to work at the cool shops. She remembers being upset and angry when she was told that she should have rather taken a job at Burger King or McDonald’s.
In her early 20s she had enough and moved to London. The first thing she did was deliver her resume all over Oxford Circus, and before she knew it, she was living her teenage dream at United Colors of Benetton. At Zara in the same city, she learned about merchandising and styling until she was discovered and signed by IMG–one of the world’s most prestigious model agencies.
During her modeling career in London, Musa discovered that the work of the dressers appealed to her more. She felt uncomfortable, especially when she was asked to lose even more weight. She was starving herself, and she recalls it as by far, the worst time of her life.
No one at home in Malmö supported her career choice and working as a model was considered bad stigma in Somali culture. Luckily, her family had distanced itself from other Somali large families who raised their children in the 80s and 90s.
Her mother had always been a strong woman and let her do things that the other Somali girls were not allowed to do.
Subsequently she moved to Los Angeles with her fiancé because he worked for Music Norway and she took this opportunity to start taking on bigger clients.
Her work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Guardian Weekend, TIME, Billboard, and Variety.
Everything led her to work with Lil Nas X, one of her biggest clients to date.