Although enthusiastic about his budding career in the fashion world, Shota Adamia ’15 refuses to let it define him. “I don’t think a career is the most important part of one’s life,” he said. Adamia doesn’t like limits or labels of in any form. “I want to break out of the limits always and overflow,” he said.  He is hesitant to even talk about his dream job or plan past 2016, not wanting to limit his identity or his future to one field in one area of his life.

Last year, Adamia won $5,000 and a summer sales internship with Thom Browne in New York City from the YMA Fashion Fund. He continues to work for Thom Browne occasionally, including an upcoming trip to Milan to sell their newest collection to retailers. He is also in the running for a $30,000 scholarship from the YMA Fashion Fund— a Geoggrey Beene Scholarship for his case study about the potential impact of 3-D printing on fashion. 

“I don’t think career is the most important part of one’s life,” he said. For this reason, Shota hates when people ask him about his dream job.

“My dream job wouldn’t necessary include everything that I’d be doing and everything I am, so by answering that question I feel like I’m limiting myself to a field that’s only going to be part of my life,” Adamia explained. 

“People should not be in the binary of anything whether its profession, sexuality, religion … I don’t like labels because I don’t like the limits.”

He also doesn’t like planning too far ahead. He doesn’t want to limit himself from any of the possibilities in life. He knows he is graduating in 2015, and living out his childhood dream of living in New York, working in the fashion industry in 2016. After that? Adamia has no idea. 

At this rate, he will probably be fulfilling another long-term dream like making a film, becoming a politician, or traveling to every country.  

“In school there’s some people who look at me and go ‘oh you’re the guy who got the fashion thing!’ and then they look at my outfit, and they’re like, ‘um, what?’” Adamia exaggerated, claiming he doesn’t have much time for fashion during the school year. 

His close friend Munis Safajou ’16  shared a contradicting opinion. “He could be stressed out like no other, but still [have his] outfit on point, everything put together. It’s amazing,” she said.  

Adamia grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia as an only child. Tbilisi is the largest city in Georgia—home to 1.5 million people, about twice as many as Boston. “It’s an amazing country. The culture is very rich and old. We invented wine … at least we’d like to believe that we did,” he said. 

Although Adamia was reared in a largely liberal family and exposed to open-minded, western ideas through books and movies, he grew up in a wider context of violent oppression. “The levels of homophobia and persistent sexism are very prevalent and very conspicuous [in Georgia],” he said. A transgender woman was killed and burned on Monday, Nov 10. Adamia is in the Brandeis Students Against Sexual Violence collective, “one of the best groups that has existed,” Adamia said, “ever.”

An Economics and Sociology double major, Adamia has been on the Dean’s list every semester since his arrival at Brandeis in 2011. His other awards include the Wien Scholarship, given to about 10 incoming international students with outstanding academic and personal accomplishment each year and the Karpf and Ari Hahn Peace Priz, which he received his sophomore year. He is fluent in five languages — Georgian, Russian, English, German and French—and wants to learn as many more as possible. Spanish is next on his list. 

In spite of his continued success, people are what matter most to Adamia. “I put my friends and family in the first spot in any list. Whether I have to abandon my work or my classes for a few hours or a few days or forever, in order to help my friends and family, I would without any hesitation,” Adamia said.  

Safajou met Adamia during her first semester on campus. “I think I asked him where the printer was,” she said. She immediately noticed his upbeat brand of friendliness. She then overheard Adamia and another student talking about a ceremony for the new Wien Scholars that night. Safajou mentioned that she was supposed to be at the event, a new Wien Scholar herself. “He was like, ‘Wait, you’re a Wien?’ And he just, out of nowhere, gave me this huge hug,” she said. 

Three years later, Adamia is one of her best friends on campus, and the story of their first interaction is “typical Shota”she said. 

In addition to his work in fashion and classes and his participation in BSASV, Adamia is working on his honors thesis, interviewing prospective students and interning in the Maker 3D printing lab at Brandeis. 

He relishes being busy and loves everything he is doing. “Shota has a lot going on but he’s always there. There’s so much energy and life,“ Safajou noted. He got his dynamic passion for a tight schedule from his mother. “Sometimes she’s even too much for me. Like ‘wait, hang out, take a break.’ And she can’t.”  

“I over-commit myself to everything” Adamia admitted. He hadn’t spoken to his grandma, to whmo he is very close, in a few weeks. “She gave me a call today and she was like ‘Are you alive?’” 

Still, he relishes being busy and loves everything he is doing. “Shota has a lot going on but he’s always there. There’s so much energy and life [in him],“ Safajou noted. 

When he does get a spare moment you are most likely to find Adamia at a museum. “I just enjoy art in any way possible,” he said. He used to work at the Museum of Fine Arts in order to ensure he would go there every week. Over the summer he swapped the MFA for the Museum of Modern Arts, visiting at least once every week.

Although Adamia is also passionate about politics he conceded that art is ultimately more central to him and to the human experience. “They’re not going to be displaying our ideology or our green dollars in museums in 2000 years. They’re going to be displaying our artwork and our literature…Our art is going to stay there always because it is essentially what motivates other people to find their own passion,” he said.

Adamia couldn’t name any of his quirks, which made his friend, Theo Goetemann ’17 laugh. “He couldn’t think of anything?” he said incredulously. There may have been too much to choose from. “Everything about him is quirky and not typical and different,” Safajou said. “He pulls it off in an ultra fly way.” 

Looking at his resumé, it’s hard not to wonder if there is anything Adamia is bad at. “Some weird sound that mammals should not be able to make comes out of my throat and it’s just not fun to listen to,” he said about his singing voice. 

As a rule, he never takes his friends up on karaoke. “Not even a duet. [My voice] is just going to shine through. Like, its’ going to shine through and break glass, eardrums … friendships,” he teased. 

Adamia is zealous about so many things—fashion, film, politics, friends that it is hard to narrow in on what is truly most integral to him. After an hour of animated, fast-talking discussion and lively hand gestures, Adamia came to a fitting conclusion: “That’s what I’m passionate about—people [and] art…so I guess that’s life, right?”