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Conversations with Saniyyah Bilal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Saniyyah Bilal.

Hi Saniyyah, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started out in March 2015 selling accessories and some special occasion apparel. Over the years, I started to feel disconnected to just selling items other companies could buy from wholesalers. I wanted to see products that were more personable, one of a kind and that I get connected to. In March of 2020, I started the phases of re-branded with a new logo, motto and a completely different product type/process – tie-dye. As a child/teenager, I always re-constructed clothing, playing around with puff paint, bleaching items but tie-dye stuck with me the most. I loved it!

As I brainstormed the direction I wanted to take my brand, I felt tie-dye made the most sense for how connected I was to it, I enjoyed it, plus it was a major comeback trend for Spring/Summer 2020 and onward. I personally love the process of tie-dyeing – it’s very therapeutic and I enjoy waiting to see the end result. I chose to open an online store with the concept of tie-dye because of my love for the technique and its historical significance. This is an everlasting look that will always be in style. To represent my identity as a black Muslim woman, I specialize in tie-dye hijabs, which I am the first Muslim American brand to do so.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As an entrepreneur, there are always challenges. Specifically for me, it’s staying motivated and consistent even when I may not sell out of everything at a collection launch. Also, having funding, finding domestic suppliers with quality and budget-friendly products. I am the owner, dyeing specialist, marketer, fashion model, spokesperson, photographer, creative director, financial consultant etc. I do it all, so ensuring I do not get overwhelmed from wearing many hats can also be a condition to want to slow down but I have to keep pushing and look forward to the day where I can hire a team!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I have experience as a wardrobe stylist. I have worked on movies, TV shows, short films, with music artists, fashion shows, fashion brands etc. I have an IMDb, which I am very proud of from being a wardrobe stylist and building my career from nothing after graduating college. From there, I continued my childhood love of fashion modeling as a black Muslim woman, which in itself is challenging. Thankfully I have been able to have great successes working with Ambi Skincare, Pyer Moss & New York Fashion Week. I am most proud of so many things but overall being able to have a platform to inspire, motivate and change the industry narrative of who is represented in the fashion/modeling industry. My new collection of items will be released on December 19th!!!

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
The industry of fashion is involving to be much more inclusive and accepting to non-traditional trends. This is the space where I see myself thriving in, having a tie-dye company that specializes in hijabs and is inspired by modest fashion.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The photo with the model smiling in a head scarf: Model: Khalida Abdul-Muhaymin. That was a self shoot image The rest of the photos I took and those ankles/feet are mine.

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