BY Siobhan Calafiore
No experience in fashion? No problem – at least not for advertising graduate Azahn Munas.
His brand MOGA not only provides an eclectic, electric fashion option for women through its collection of headscarves and shawls, it’s also a social enterprise aimed at helping girls go to school in countries where education opportunities aren’t equal.
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Azahn says his foray into the industry was a natural progression after he noticed a gap in the market.
“A lot of my friends wanted to experiment with fashion and wear the headscarf but they couldn’t find anything that was bold and daring to suit their personalities. They wanted something that was very bright, bold and colourful,” he explains.
“Headscarves in particular have been a rather controversial topic as of late. We want to remind people that a headscarf or a shawl is a rectangular piece of fabric and ultimately everyone has the right to wear it in whatever way they choose, whether it’s around their neck, on their head or round their waist.”
The headscarves, which are due to be released next month, can currently be pre-ordered online.
Azahn put together a look-book of colours that catered for his friends’ wishes and then narrowed them down to the five colour combinations currently available in his Spectra collection, a line inspired by Melbourne street graffiti.
He funded the business himself while juggling a full-time uni course and says that he refused to compromise on his product.
“I thought it would be this overnight thing but it took the better part of two years. It was very challenging at times, we even changed supplier because we couldn’t get the quality that we wanted.”
The final result is a diverse collection that uses the latest digital printing technology to give the scarves their stunning colours and is made from 100 per cent silk (Crepe De Chine) sourced from China’s silk capital, Hangzhou.
MOGA’s social enterprise component sees 20 per cent of its profits go towards helping girls attend secondary schools in countries where they do not have equal opportunity to learn.
“The social aspect of the brand was inspired by my father, who passed away three years ago but always instilled in me the mindset to give back to those who are less fortunate,” Azahn explains.
He hopes to eventually make a short film or documentary exploring the social enterprise aspect of his brand.
“It would be really cool if we could see where the money goes, how many people this can help and the incredible stories that come from these women around the world. I think it is a really important thing young people need to see.”
Azahn has already received a great response from not only Australia, but countries such as Sri Lanka and Malaysia, as well as interest from international retail juggernauts such as ASOS.
“Our customers not only look and feel good about themselves, they know they’re helping other women who aren’t as fortunate as themselves have a chance at a better life.”