In a society where a woman’s body is objectified rather than celebrated, Menna Hassan, and her mother founded the clothing brand Najlah. It aims to bring women’s bodies into a more positive and accepting light. We talked to Menna to know all about the brand.
What inspired you to create Najlah?
Honestly, I always struggled with online shopping since I’m slightly overweight, whenever I tried to shop online, I just couldn’t imagine myself in that certain item because they are never displayed on realistic body types.
I wanted to make flattering garments to allow body types and remind all beautiful ladies out there that clothes are meant to fit us and not the other way around.
What is behind the name Najlah?
She’s our amazing co-founder and most importantly, my mother. She saw how passionate I was about this whole idea and supported me throughout the entire process of starting up the brand and managing everything.
Why do you think it was important to create a clothing line that does not discriminate against certain body types?
Because I’ve always struggled with my body image, I always thought that I shouldn’t buy a certain item just because I don’t have the body for it, which is absolutely horrible. I wanted to make clothes that will flatter every body type by promoting comfort and inclusivity, rather than complicating our feelings with body image. When you online shop and find items displayed on a similar body type, it definitely makes you feel much better.
‘Celebrating the Inherent Power of all Women’ is your slogan. Tell us more about this!
Well, Najlah empowers those who wear it and those who make it.
Our brand exalts the inherent power of all women, presenting them with a variety of clothes, in which women of all sizes, can wring out and freely express themselves.
Do you think Najlah is going to inspire body positivity for Egyptian women?
I really do hope so, it’s the main reason behind the brand. We really focus on offering a wide variety of sizes for each and every piece. Also, the straps on most of our tops enable you to adjust your top perfectly to your body. If none of that works, we gladly accept custom orders with your own measurements so that your top is made to perfection.
I believe that everyone deserves to wear the pieces they like and should be offered their size. I believe this could have an impact on body positivity here in Egypt and I’ll do everything in my power to try and widen this impact.
Tell us more about the process of the hand making each order? Is it difficult to navigate? Will you likely opt to factories for manufacturing?
To be honest, it gets difficult sometimes, but that is what makes every piece special. I don’t think we will ever manufacture our items in factories, as a brand we love providing handmade garments to avoid mass production and to be able to focus on each piece individually. It also allows us to customize orders according to anyone’s size specifications.
We noticed there aren’t any size measurements or references. Is this on purpose?
Yes! Almost all of our products have only 2 sizes, each size fits up to 3 sizes. We only work with super stretchy material and adjustable designs so everyone could get that perfect fit no matter what their body type is. We also customize products upon request at no extra charge.
How was the support from the people around you?
At first, not a lot of people knew about the brand or even the idea of it. Very few knew, including my mother. They gave me a lot of support and pushed me to pursue this idea and I am forever grateful. As the brand started to grow, I received many messages from people saying they love the products and that always puts a smile on my face and most importantly, drives me to do even better. I’m beyond grateful for the people that supported me and still do.
Will there be a new collection soon?
Yes! We’re dropping a new collection this month in addition to the summer collection that we’re working on right now.