Unaizah Toffar Modest Fashion Designer – Episode 16

Oct 24, 2018

Episode 16: Unaizah Toffar Modest Fashion Designer

Unaizah Toffar is one of the pioneers of contemporary modest fashion and design in South Africa. She started her business, Seruna Collection, before the time of Instagram and the rise of the modest fashion 'social influencer'. In this episode we unpack what growing a fashion brand entailed before and after social media, she talks about the influence her mother, Fatima Toffar had on her as a designer and business woman; and she shares some of the challenges she faced growing her business as a single mom of an autistic toddler.

Seruna Collection has enjoyed attention from modest fashion publications and within the design world internationally. She was invited twice to showcase her designs at the Indonesian Fashion Week, and has been featured on the cover and as a feature story in the Islamic Fashion and Design Council's 'Cover' Magazine.  IFDC’S Cover Magazine™ is an international publication that brings together global modest fashion and design.

 

At the time of the interview, Unaizah was newly remarried, and was in the process of negotiating with online retailer Zando. She has since become the first modest fashion brand in South Africa to be signed on a mainstream online retail platform. Unaizah was also selected to exhibit at the very first modest fashion exhibition at the Africa Halaal week in association with WESGRO and the Council of Modest Fashion Africa.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you don't take the plunge you will never know if something is going to work or not
  • "I decided that if I wanted to one day have my own business, it was more important for me to be financially literate, because I didn't need to be taught how to have ideas"
  • "I don't think I would have had the strategic business ideas I have now if I didn't study business"
  • When you are a designer you have to be careful to balance accommodating your own design aesthetic, but still always remembering what the customer wants
  • You have to do your research and you have to learn to delegate
  • You are an ambassador for your own brand so you have to be a reflection of what you sell Click To Tweet

Links/Resources:

WESGRO - The Official Tourism, Trade & Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape

Cover Magazine Article 

Seruna Collection Facebook Page

Seruna Collection Instagram Profile

Indonesian Fashion Week

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Music credit:

Opening jingle: Original composition produced by Bradley Peters

Theme music: 'Nice to you' by Vibe Tracks