This month on Creative Spotlight we interview Kashif Tejani, creative designer and owner of oneloveislam, a cool street-wear apparel company based in Toronto offering casual wear, hats, outerwear and thobes for men. He shares his story of transforming his one time mainstream brand, featured in a major Canadian department chain, to one that now reflects faith, fashion and fusion. Read on to learn more about what inspires Kashif’s personal and entrepreneurial journey in the world of men’s Islamic fashion.
1. Tell us about yourself (name, location, affliations, your story)!
My name is Kashif Tejani based in Toronto, Canada. I became a Muslim at the age of 12 (parents changed and I was by default). I ended up studying in various Islamic schools in Canada and US.
2. What inspired you to enter the field you work in?
I started a lifestyle clothing brand after completing high school which was picked up by the Hudson Bay Company but was shelved after their company was purchased in 2008. As my consciousness of Islam grew I decided to change the brand into more of an Islamic Apparel line due to the lack of options we had growing up as Muslims for different types of street-wear.
3. How does your faith influence your work?
We released our first line of shirts in 2010 which went into a broader line of apparel from hats to outerwear , casual wear and even some thobes. The brand is essentially a line of cool street wear with positive Islamic message without an over powering feel of Islam so you don’t feel hesitant to wear as its difficult these days in school and workplaces.
4. What was the best gift you ever received and why?
The best gift I receive and have received is du’as and prayers from others, but more on the lines of a gift that I use is the Penwak which made practicing a Sunnah much more easy and practical. I liked the product so much that in 2013 we ended up doing a collaboration and release a line of oneloveislam x Penwaks.
5. What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur means doing all the work yourself. One thing I’ve learned is that if you want some thing done and want it done the why way you want…well you just have to do it yourself and that way you will get exactly what you want done.
6. How do you balance your creative business with personal life?
I don’t…lol. I’ve started to live my creativeness using inspirations from my daily life, and using it in my art and designs. A lot of items usually carry an Islamic reminder more to remind myself as we all need to be reminded (51:55).
7. Where can you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Doing what I love inshallah and that’s designing for benefit, to spread Islam through my design set, and find my way into Jannah.
photo credit: oneloveislam