Nawal Sari is a fashion influencer on social media with a whopping 109K followers on Instagram (@nawalsari) and her content focuses on modest fashion that has its own twist. What Nawal is doing is incredibly important as she is helping diversify representation in the media. Seeing a strong, beautiful and creative Muslim woman own her brand of fashion and have a unique style is imperative for young Muslim girls who will look up to influencers like Nawal as role models. It is crucial to have positive media representation of Muslim women wearing the hijab as a way to promote the multiculturalism of Australia and normalise it, especially in smaller and rural towns where it’s much less likely to meet people with diverse faiths and religious garb. Chattr spoke to Nawal about her goals, aspirations, inspirations and overall message that she is trying to promote to her audience.
What is the message that you want to spread using your social media platforms?
My mission since the beginning has been to send the message of unapologetic creativity, girl power and self-empowerment to my audience. Modest fashion and beauty content although are the creative work I produce, the influence and connection I have with my largely young female audience who lack mainstream representation means the world to me. I want to fill the void of a relatable Hijabi Muslim creative I never had growing up.
How do you balance being a social media influencer with being a full-time university student?
I honestly don’t know myself. I also work a casual retail job as every university student does to support the caffeine addiction. I have a very impatient personality; I always feel the need to be busy and when I’m not busy I freak out. I’m only 20 and I’m very excited for my future so I guess I juggle all my responsibilities knowing it will pay off one day.
What are your ultimate goals you’re aspiring to in regard to both your education and your social media platform?
I’m studying a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Advertising so I find it will one day link well if I wanted to incorporate both my careers into one; I could do something really special with my growing experience. For my social media career for now, my goals are to be involved in international fashion weeks, more travel and creating my own brand or company. But we will see what the universe has in store for me.
What inspired you to get involved with fashion? And who are some of your biggest fashion inspirations?
Like many girls, I’ve always loved dressing up my Bratz dolls, sketching princess dresses and experimenting with my mum’s wardrobe. I have always dressed modestly, so I found it to be more exciting and engaging to stay on trend, but with my own twist. I started my account when there was barely any modest fashion influencers and I knew it would be fun to post my outfits. Now it’s even more exciting and I seem to fall deeper and deeper into the art of it all.
I am surrounded by so many amazing women who inspire me such as my mum and sisters who are always so creative as well as the women I follow online. I do mainly draw a lot of my inspiration from travelling, music and films.
How does your audience respond to your particular brand of fashion? What’s your best and worst moment in regard to audience responses?
My audience are totally receptive to it. I’m so lucky to be able to share my fashion sense with my followers who are ALWAYS hyping me up and trying it out themselves. I always preach affordability over high-end as well as the idea that creativity with fashion always beats an expensive outfit with no flavour to it. I love sharing my thrifted outfits and showing how I can mix a Prada bag with my $5 jeans. Thrifting is fun, good for the environment and I feel better knowing I’m influencing my audience to be creative and not setting unrealistic expectations that can be damaging nowadays. I am constantly receiving positive support and on the odd occasion I do just block trolls here and there but refuse to let it sit with me for too long.
Can you share with us some background on your road to success?
I owe it to being genuine and having a sister relation to my long-time followers. They uplift me and have been with me from the beginning. I especially aim to break barriers and normalise the hijab in Australia’s media; small steps leading to make big impacts. My passion for cultural awareness, fashion, entrepreneurship and my connectivity with my faith has allowed me to be where I am.
We are very excited to see what Nawal will be up to in the future and look forward to watching her meet her goals and flourish as a person. She is such an inspiration with a very bright and happy future ahead of her. Thank you Nawal for taking control of the narrative and showing people that fashion is beautiful in all its forms.