• Aaishah Perager

Paving The Way For BAME Fashion: Irregullarr

Haida Hamidi, stylist and fashion designer, brings a new reign of diversity and opportunity to the fashion scene in Birmingham and beyond. Hamidi, who is of Afghan descent, described her fascination towards fashion as something that began when she was 6 years old where she would visit Afghanistan to attend weddings and have to design her own dresses. Her journey into the fashion industry has hit many highs and lows as a Muslim POC, however her nurturing attitude towards other minorities within the creative industry is what makes her newest venture more relatable than ever. Currently taking a gap year in between her studies, she is releasing her very own fashion brand, Irregullarr, which focuses on her fundamentals.

Photographer: @olewah

Hamidi envisioning her career in fashion from a young age resulted in her studying various creative subjects like textiles and fashion branding. Naturally, as a Muslim Afghan woman living in Birmingham, representation of the diverse communities she grew up in became her purpose through the means of fashion. However, within her studies she felt constrained by the teaching structure and, as a POC, she felt pushed aside. Determined to make the subject what she wanted for herself, she began to explore outside of the boundaries. Within the last year after finishing two years of her fashion branding course at university, she decided that she will no longer be allowing herself to be kept hostage by a system that didn’t allow her to flourish. Hamidi highlights that going solo and networking through her stylist work with like-minded creatives from BAME backgrounds introduced her to a community which she now wants to help push forward through her fashion brand Irregullarr.

Photographer: @samary_uk

Hamidi’s background resonates with irregularity which has ultimately become her branding style. 2021 has been vital for minorities in light of recent political events, which are now translating into fashion. You could say there was no better timing for Hamidi to release Irregullarr as fashion companies are now being questioned about what they have to offer beyond the surface — and that’s exactly where her brand excels. When speaking to Hamidi she stressed that the success of her line, in its early stages, would be measured by the opportunities given to POC, both behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera. Alongside this, another achievable benchmark is for her branding to be widely recognised, which is most notably used on her iconic monogram print tops.

Photographer: @skengchanphotos

Irregullarr’s first collection ‘The Signature 2021’ is centred around versatility, taking into consideration Gen Z and their distaste towards fixating on one aesthetic. Aimed at both men and women, the collection features fifteen pieces, creating nine looks characterised by street style, smart-wear and modesty. The signature line also caters to couples looking to coordinate and those wanting gender-neutral clothing. The collection ranges from £20-£100, and is now available to pre-order with shipping beginning in September. The pieces have solely been designed by Hamidi, using her stylist knowledge and are available for PR and loaning. Whilst opinions on modesty differentiate, the silhouettes and fabric used in her designs follow the basic guidelines for any look being attained.

As the fashion market opens its arms to diversity, questions surrounding sustainability are now equally affecting consumer buying habits. Hamidi kept this at the forefront of Irregullarr, ensuring all pieces are ethically made in her hometown, which is indicative of a slow fashion brand. Her line may not be entirely sustainable as of yet as this can be difficult for many upcoming designers operating on a limited budget. Nevertheless, when she has the means to access certain resources, the brand will be sustainable; some plans include donating to charities who manage waste sites along with taking advantage of future technology, allowing more convenient materials to be used in production.

Photographer: @saifelsafany

The immeasurable amount of support Irregullarr has already experienced pre-release has almost entirely come from social media platform: Instagram. This traction has resulted in recognisable names, such as Converse, taking an interest in her debut collection. The anticipation leading up to the release has been daunting for Hamidi, however giving the audience an insight into every aspect of the brand is what has been most important. It’s not just about what you are selling, it's about the process and struggles embedded within your brand. Many brands do not show this, whereas Hamidi has made it her priority to voice through her platforms the challenges she faces as a young designer managing a brand on her own.

Irregullarr encompasses all of the values we hope to see from fashion brands in 2021. The world of fashion is certainly moving in the right direction and should thank emerging names such as Haida Hamidi for paving the way for BAME presence in the industry.

Haida Hamidi interviewed by Aaishah Perager.

Shop Irregullarr’s ‘The Signature 2021’ here: https://www.irregullarr.com/

Social Media:

Instagram - @irregullarr

Tik Tok - @irregullarr

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