Hafsah Mohammed is more than just a designer and blogger, she’s a lifestyle mogul that’s changing the way modest women approach fashion and personal style.
Hafy, as she is fondly called, is one of the people that lead the modest fashion community in Nigeria with her website www.HafyMo.com, and her fast-rising womenswear brand Elora Collection.
Although for a long time, a lot of people ascribed Muslim fashion to traditional kaftans and loose fitting clothing. Recent trends show international brands are taking inspiration from modest styles; higher necks, bulkier sleeves and longer hemlines.
I wanted to design for girls like myself. Young ladies that love fashion and want to be modest at the same time. A lot of brands out there don’t design for modest women and I wanted to change that. I wanted to give modest women everyday trend and fashion in covered clothes.
The rise of social media and the proliferation of the internet have ensured that faith and fashion don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Major media platforms encourage hijabi bloggers, models and designers creating more options for the average Muslim girl.
The Elora collection Instagram page has a growing following of almost 10k loyal customers as such collections sell out almost as soon as they are released. This is because the pieces which range from dresses and scarves to matching sets are unique, timeless and come in ultra-modern designs.
“I consider trends first when I design. I enjoy translating trends into modesty”, says the young designer who started the brand in 2016.
In Nigeria, the industry is still getting familiar with modest fashion, especially from a millennial angle. The time-worn Abayas and Jilbābs may not have left room for personal style or expression, but the Elora Girls have been open to structured peplums and couture pieces in selective silhouettes and colours, rendering a modish twist to the typical Hari Raya dress code.
Hafy recalls her first 3 months: When I first started, I thought I had everything under lock. I already made some pieces, so I decided to have a 40% percent sale. You already know everybody loves a sale. I wasn’t expecting to get as much traffic as I got at that point and looking back now, it wasn’t even a lot. I ended up not being able to send out people’s orders and had to go through messages from angry customers and made a lot of refunds. I had to go back to the drawing board and redraw a whole new strategy. Thankfully we haven’t had such craziness since then.
Get to know more about Hafy with our quick chat.
Favourite Part of Being a Designer
My favourite part has to be seeing the final piece on a customer.
The abaya collection I made during Eid. I put a lot of effort into it and the video I edited for the collection has to be one of my favourite videos to date.
Inspiration Behind the Collections
I get inspired by trends and by the modest fashion women all over the world.
The Elora Girl
The Elora girl is fun, modest and intellectual. She is well-versed on the latest trends and knows how to make them suit her. She knows her decision to be covered does not fit the mould, but she embraces the opportunity to make her distinction beautiful.
Extending Inclusivity to Plus-size Fashion?
I’m all for plus size inclusivity. it’s about time the fashion industry catch up with the plus size market. There is something in fashion for everybody no matter her age or her size. Inclusivity in fashion is very important. I’m glad brands especially big named brands are starting to be more inclusive. We might be reaching a landmark moment in terms of inclusivity.
I want a brand that is 100percent diverse and inclusive. The average African woman is curvy and currently, we run to a size 18 and we will definitely be having a curvy girl section on our website as we grow.
The Important Qualities a Fashion Designer Needs
Patience and passion. Patience because dealing with customers you would need all the patience and grace of God but at the end of the day this is the path you chose and your customer is what makes your business so you can’t afford to treat them badly. Passion because you will be tried by the business and there will be times you want to quit.
Running a Fashion Brand in Nigeria
I run an e-commerce fashion brand and the hardest part about it is getting people to trust you enough to actually go to the website and order directly. Nigerians love Instagram direct messaging.
My personal style has to be whatever it is I feel like wearing at the moment. laughs
When She’s Not Super Busy
I binge watch Netflix series. My guilty pleasure has to be watching dance videos on YouTube.