Twenty five year old Shazia Ijaz is a very proud Pakistani-American woman from Dearborn, Michigan. She feels that it is the Muslim capital of America, with over thirty percent of the population Arab.
Wherever she goes in the city she sees Islamic landmarks and celebrations of the culture. All of these things together has inspired her to create the first line of modest streetwear named Seek Refuge. The mission of her brand is to empower and represent Muslim women, especially millennial Muslim women.
She also had a personal desire for more modest clothing that would also be similar enough to her work uniform at Poshmark with skinny jeans and a black leather jacket.
Fashion brands have traditionally always stayed with certain feminine designs, such as long floral dresses. There are very few brands that are suitable for various levels of modesty. There is nothing really made for the fashionable Muslim girl.
Seek Refuge will start with an initial collection of four different pieces. One, an oversize graphic t-shirt priced at $30, available in either black or white with a turmeric-colored woman captured on the skyline of San Francisco.
There’s also a light denim jacket priced at $100 that is loose and long and covered in an Arabic poem that contains the words seek refugee.
The third item is a black sweatshirt priced at $60 that is similar to a cape in it’s design. It is the No Nazr sweatshirt with the meaning of keeping the evil eye away.
Ijaz is aiming through simple streetwear to help empower women, refugees and Muslims, three groups that have recently have been targeted.
The name Seek Refuge is to show that it is a form of expression in a safe place. And very literally as well too with 10 percent of the proceeds going to Humanity First, a nonprofit that sends money to schools in Jordan.
This project can be fully accredited to the hard work of Ijaz and her passionate activist parents who have participated in elections, provide refugee aid and build hospitals. She feels the same need to take a stance on the refugee crisis.