The Star Early Edition - - VERVE - THOBILE MAZIBUKO

IN JUST a year, Tas­neem (Taz) Is­mael is where she never thought she would be. In­spired by her late dress­mak­ing grand­mother, Taz started her own brand, Khalees.

“As a woman in hi­jab, I un­der­stand a modern woman’s needs and de­sires. We all want to look fab­u­lous with lit­tle ef­fort,” she said.

“But to­day, with all that we jug­gle, we tend to ne­glect our­selves. Yes, we’d all love to look like the modern-day Dubai wife, but that’s not so pos­si­ble when you’re also run­ning around like the Mad Hat­ter.”

Khalees, de­rived from the Ara­bic word for only or spe­cial, was started in May last year to bring more style to Mus­lim women who tra­di­tion­ally wear scarves to cover their hair.

“I’m from a Mus­lim com­mu­nity and our women wear scarves ev­ery day. How­ever, my in­ten­tion was to bring a prod­uct that would be good for the hair and skin while keep­ing hair cov­ered,” said Taz.

Be­sides the fact that they are im­ported from Bei­jing and some are hand­made, Taz thinks her scarves are “spe­cial” be­cause they have dif­fer­ent tex­tures with a nat­u­ral feel.

“When I started Khalees, I wanted to bring in a nat­u­ral prod­uct, hence our scarves are not made from polyester. We spe­cialise in dif­fer­ent tex­tures of silk and that’s prob­a­bly our lead­ing prod­uct.

“There are very few peo­ple in South Africa sell­ing bam­boo cot­ton, an­other unique, nat­u­ral prod­uct we spe­cialise in,” she said. With de­sign­ers launch­ing and re­leas­ing col­lec­tions for the Au­tumn/Win­ter sea­son, Taz also has her range ready.

“This sea­son we have a dif­fer­ent range of bam­boo cot­ton in win­ter colours , which are pop­u­lar. We also have cash­mere and hand-crafted women’s neck scarves. Heav­ier fab­ric and nat­u­ral wool that is warmer and thicker are also part of our col­lec­tion,” she said.

For the Eid-ul-Fitr Fes­ti­val, held at the end of Ra­madaan, dou­ble raw silk is on the mar­ket.

“The Eid Fes­ti­val is a huge cel­e­bra­tion for us and, as with any spe­cial oc­ca­sion, we have glit­ter­ing gold, dou­ble-layer, raw silk, which is two lay­ers of silk wo­ven into one fringed end, creat­ing a very unique and el­e­gant look,” she said.

Since launch­ing the brand 12 months ago, Khalees has been fea­tured in a pop­u­lar Mus­lim magazine. The brand also show­cased at South African Fash­ion Week along­side Ate­lier Da­jee, who had his mod­els wear­ing the Khalees dou­ble-layer, raw silk scarves. On June 11, Khalees will be show­cas­ing at a Ra­madaan pop-up at In­dus­try Bak­ery in Green­side.

Tas­neem Is­mail


Am­maarah Mo­hamed and Ta­hera Mengera wear­ing scarves by Khalees.

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