Interview With Divasty Founder: Ammar Mohamed

Interview With Divasty Founder: Ammar Mohamed

Recently, I met with Divasty founder, Ammar Mohamed, to discuss the ever-changing atmosphere of the Islamic modest fashion scene.

In recent years, Muslim YouTubers and social media influencers have been rising to fame, fast. There’s a worrying trend happening, where as one’s desire to be marketable rises, the pressure to ‘downgrade’ one’s level of hijab also increases. It seems that followers are beginning to jump on the hijab removal bandwagon too.

With increasing sexual objectification of women and use of female physical attributes in selling products and services, a growing number of Muslims feel that the concept of real modesty is fading and needs redefining.

Ammar’s vision behind Divasty is to establish a clothing brand that serves as a source of strength, power and encouragement to Muslim women. Divasty aims to reinvigorate the long-lost Islamic teachings of morality through modest dressing.

Let’s read what Ammar has to say about real modest fashion and how his brand, Divasty, is aiming to bring real modesty back.

Can You Tell Us A Bit About Your Backstory?

I grew up in Sri Lanka, where Islam is practiced by a minority of people. During my childhood, modest clothing was hard to come by.

I was around thirteen years old when I first encountered a modest clothing store. It was in a house, where they had a room full of abayas and shalwars. My mum would go there every fortnight and spend around six hours choosing her designs. I would help her too.

After a couple of years, the room where they sold abayas upgraded into a large store. I no longer went with my mum to purchase abayas. My interest in modest clothing slowly started to fade.

Fast forward to 2016, I migrated to Australia to go to university. I went out for a function one day and while I was at the car park, I saw some sisters wearing modest clothing, which wasn’t the type I’d seen back in Sri Lanka. Soon after, I went home and researched about current modest clothing, only to find that fashion trends worn by the Muslim community didn’t capture true modesty.

Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

What Did You Want To Accomplish?

Initially, I wanted to start a blog. I had in mind that I could write in order to help bring back respectful modest clothing, but I was afraid that no one would read it.

Financially, I was struggling. University pressure was getting to me. I had this feeling that I needed to do something, but I felt like my hands were tied down. I didn’t even know where to start. I talked to many people about my vision, but they simply said to me that I can’t change anything.

Did You Face Any Obstacles Along The Way?

Starting a clothing brand from scratch takes time and money. At first, I didn’t have either of those things. Working seven days a week to pay my bills and university fees was challenging. So I knew that I had to wait until I’d completed my studies. Whenever I had spare time, I would plan and conduct research.

Did You Have An “Epiphany Moment”?

I really wanted to do something good in order to help serve the Muslim ummah.

I found that there’s actually a lot of sisters out there who really aren’t a fan of the growing hijab removal trend. They share the same concerns as me and have really encouraged me to set foot on this journey.

What truly hit me was the time when I got introduced to charities helping victims of abuse. After having a chat with a charity manager, I made up my mind there and then that I’m going to help sisters in need through my brand.

What Plan Did You Have?

I studied the whole process of online marketing and building a strong brand. I’d planned to launch before Ramadan 2019 and alhamdulillah, we achieved this.

Did You Face Any Trials?

I faced a few conflicts along the way, including:

  • Web developer cheating and not providing quality content
  • Suppliers backing off
  • The social pressure of finding a job

What Have You Achieved Thus Far?

With gratitude, I can finally say that things are getting better and now I’m on my way towards:

  • Launching Divasty
  • Building my desired brand
  • Promoting the Islamic principle of hijab

Has This Journey Lead To A Transformation Within Yourself?

This journey has transformed me into a more spiritual person and has made my relationship with Allah even stronger. It’s shown me a bigger picture of the struggles certain women go through and has given me a higher level of respect for them.

How Do You Define Real Modesty?

Sisters wearing hijab
It’s about being obedient to our Creator

Real modesty applies to both men and women. It’s not just the way in which a person chooses to dress, but it’s also about being obedient to our Creator.

Real modesty is when someone:

  • Lowers their gaze
  • Strives to keep their heart clean
  • Avoids speaking in a disrespectful manner

Modest clothing can be used to represent one’s haya. It’s a statement that says to others that you dress in a respectful way, which is taught by your religion. It’s an act of worship which you’ll be rewarded greatly for.

Do Hijab Fashion And Real Modesty Mix?

Hijab fashion is a very broad subject. There are certain types of hijab which are approved by scholars and then there are some which are prohibited.

The ones which are approved would certainly mix with real modesty. The disapproved ones won’t.

Is Fashion Causing Real Modesty To Fade?

Rather than fade, I’d say that fashion is causing real modesty to rust.

I accept that often, there’s elements of fashion trends within modest clothing. But with the way that most brands are operating nowadays, real modesty is likely to rust away with the influence that they have.

Does Modest Fashion Need Redefining?

Certainly, yes. Put simply, they need to keep up with the latest fashion trends while at the same time, allowing men and women to remain “respectfully covered”. At Divasty, we want our customers to be able to shop for clothing that meets this need.

How Is Divasty Helping Redefine Real Modesty?

Islamic modest wear has been around since the time of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Back then, modest clothing aided Muslim women in keeping safeguarded from attackers. Today, Divasty aims to maintain the legacy of Islamic modest dressing with a modern twist added to it.

We’re a small startup company with a big dream, but with your continued support and du’as, we can achieve our mission and continue to grow.

Divasty

We’d like to thank brother Ammar for joining us and sharing his story.

Next time you’re in need of abayas, hijabs, maxi dresses or maxi cardigans, be sure to keep Divasty in mind.

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Interview With Divasty Founder: Ammar Mohamed