Verona and ASOS announced their long-needed collaboration a few weeks ago and the world is buzzing. Modest fashion wearers have found it difficult to find suitable clothing in mainstream shops for years, but with this powerhouse of a partnership, our difficulties are sure to dissipate.
Verona has been breaking barriers for a while now, starting their first mainstream collaboration with Macy’s last year. Now, their items will be easily available to modest fashion wearers worldwide with the touch of a button. This collaboration is an incredible step into reclaiming our narrative and normalizing modest fashion.
To commemorate such an important milestone, we had a chat with one of the co-founders of Verona Collection, Lisa Vogl.
Muslim Girl: Can you tell us your brand’s mission in a sentence, and what it stands for? What were you trying to achieve through the founding of Verona Collection?
Lisa Vogl: Verona Collection stands for women’s empowerment and taking pride in ones identity, and it was co-founded by Alaa Ammuss and myself in an effort to make modest fashion more accessible. As hijabis ourselves, it was a constant struggle to find fashion that was modest and affordable.
How have you persevered through hardship to create such a game-changing brand?
There are three directors at Verona. We work day in and day out while balancing family life. Our passion for Verona to be successful kept us going through all the ups and downs of running a business. At times, we feel defeated. However, we have a strong bond within our company to keep each other motivated and to help each other persevere.
How did the ASOS and Macy’s collaborations come about, and what do these partnerships signify for you and Verona?
In 2017, Verona participated in “The Workshop” at Macy’s, the retailer’s minority and women-owned business development program that offers key tools for success in the retail industry. During “The Workshop,” we were able to present our brand to buyers and sell our products at Macy’s flagship store in NYC during a trunk show. It was at that moment where the Macy’s buyers were able to see the need and demand for modest clothing.
The Verona x ASOS partnership began with a conversation in mid-2018. We discussed the need for modest clothing and how our collaboration could help make it more accessible.
Hassan Mawji (a director at Verona) says: “Our partnership with ASOS makes a big milestone for Verona and the modest fashion industry. We’ve carefully curated this collection with ASOS and we’re excited for the opportunities this opens up”.
We believe this partnership signifies a testament to the strength of our brand and the need for modest clothing.
Where do you foresee your brand in 5 years in terms of products and its mission?
Our mission will never change. We will always seek to be an ethical company helping to make women feel confident, strong and proud of who they are. As a business, we hope to continue to grow, expand our product offerings, and continue to always improve ourselves as a brand.
If you had the chance to offer your past-self some advice in terms of founding and growing Verona Collection, what would it be?
Become structured from the moment you launch. It’s important to create a strong foundation from the beginning rather than fixing and cleaning up mistakes. However, I’m thankful for the failures and successes as I/we have used every ounce as a growing experience.
Could you give me an example of a time you feel that you successfully accomplished this goal?
A major goal of Verona’s was to be partnered with ASOS. When we launched, it was a special moment for our brand and we’re excited to see where this partnership takes us.
Could you articulate your proudest moment in Verona’s history?
In my opinion, the proudest moment in Verona’s history was when we became the first modest fashion brand to be launched in an American department store [Macy’s]. I remember getting the email when it was official and I began crying. All of our hard work had paid off.
There’s no doubt that fashion goes beyond what someone is wearing. It speaks to what we stand for. How did you ensure that your brand remains more than just a clothing company?
It’s important that we put ethics before anything else. The messaging we put out is extremely important, and we are always looking to find ways to become more inclusive.
Do you have any advice to budding Muslim women entrepreneurs, like myself, who are struggling to grow their brand?
Yes. Learn to fail. Learn, fail, fail, and fail again. And then, learn to pick yourself up. Running a business is not an easy task. It takes dedication, hard work, and perseverance. If you’re passionate and work hard enough, success will find its way to you.