This is Hamail Paracha.
Hamail, tell us more about how you got started.
Coming from a South Asian background and based on how my parents have raised my brothers and I through hardship, I have been moulded with a "blood, sweat and tears" mentality. I am a true believer of hard work and dedication.
Since a young age I have always been driven to create something in my life that would impact others. I saw fashion as a language, a new way to communicate, and a way to tell a story of individuality. Simple yet powerful, fashion is a tool used to develop a voice for those who struggle with discovering an identity. In order to support myself, I used to model for brands which in turn helped me build my own brand.
Two years ago, I remember sitting in one of my lectures and I came across one of my buddies sifting through a clothing site and purchasing a basic Balenciaga T-shirt for £295 with minimal branding. I was stunned at how easily one could make the commitment of purchasing such an expensive item that could similarly be found at a price much lower and affordable somewhere else.
Out of curiosity, that same day I decided to visit the High-Street store and see for myself what is it about certain products that can hold such high value compared to an identical product with just a different name tag. Seeing basic hoodies and sweaters with price values of over £700 with virtually nothing different to the one I purchased for just £15 definitely intrigued me. It was the brand name that people were paying attention to. It was the name customers were buying and not necessarily the product itself.
I am in no means an expert in fashion; Neither have I ever studied fashion before. But what I do have is a strong interest in business & entrepreneurship.
I would buy items like paper clips, studs, buttons, chains and threads and use my brothers old hoodies from his wardrobe to start attaching the accessories together. I would tell my brother to wear them and almost instantly I noticed the attention to the hoodies when my brother and I would go shopping. He would receive a lot of attention and would get asked by several people where he bought the hoodie from. We didn’t have an established brand, website or any sort of social media account we could refer them to. This is when the concepts of NADOR started.
After going back home and reflecting on my experience at High-Street, the entrepreneur in myself switched on and the light bulb moment for me to start a brand that fuses luxury, confidence, and aesthetics at an affordable price tag finally formed.
I’ve always firmly believed in the power of storytelling. I think storytelling is a powerful tool that the human species have but it has yet to evolve in today’s society; this tool is neglected way more than it should. Still in my train of thoughts I wondered to myself, why do museums hold so much value? I don’t think it’s because of its literal history, but it is the story that’s attached to that history that brings so much value. The reason of why I started this journey can be reflected back to the moment during my class lecture when I was with my friend. I have an untold story that is revealed chapter by chapter from products that I create and unveil to the world.
This is when NADOR was established. Deriving from the old Arabic language meaning “to be seen,” NADOR exemplifies everything I want our customers to experience when they are dressed in NADOR. To feel noticed, to feel different and most importantly feel regal without any sort of regret.
What has been the most difficult aspect about launching NADOR?
The most difficult aspect of launching my business was taking the first step. Being a fashion brand owner is not exactly what my parents envisioned me to be. My parents envisioned that I would someday become a doctor or a lawyer. My brother achieved a master’s degree which sort of set the bar high among the younger crowd in my family; especially through my parent’s eyes.
I was never particularly passionate about furthering my education. For me, University was more of an excuse that led me to believe that I am doing the right thing, but I never truly listened to what I wanted deep inside. I think a lot of people struggle with this and it's particularly dangerous to live someone else’s dreams and not your own.
Ever since my adventure with NADOR began, I eventually started to skip University lectures and shifted my focus towards my brand. This led to many complications like receiving emails from the University warning me about my lack of attendance and possible expulsion. Although this was serious matter, it still felt right at the time. I would leave the house at 7A.M. to tell my parents that I’m studying from 9-5, but when I would arrive on campus I would isolate myself in the library and work on NADOR for 6-8 hours.
I just had this feeling of adrenaline when I would work on NADOR that I’d forget to eat or take a break because it almost felt like if I stopped I would lose an idea, design, detail or valuable train of thought which was something I was very fearful of. I was constantly observing every piece of clothing students wore, every businessman/woman would wear to work, and every accessory a cashier would wear as well. I was addicted to the process of creating something out of nothing. I was unconsciously responsible of bringing this brand to the table and introducing a new wave to the generation out there.
Another aspect I struggled with was finances. For those who know about the clothing business, ordering one clothing sample would cost you between £70-£100.
I had so many ideas and samples ready to make but I wouldn’t be able to generate enough cash flow to order them. So I used my Instagram as a modeling platform to gain clients/companies like watch brands, perfume brands and mobile phones (like Huawei) that I could model for and pump cash that I’ve earned from those deals back into NADOR.
I struggled with living the lavish young life. I wouldn’t wear designer clothes or accessories or have the newest shoes, I still had a very old iPhone; not because I was financially unstable but because every sort of income I would get would all be put back into the brand to make it more real than it was yesterday. At this point in your business, you have to give your business priority over yourself for the sake of your brand.
NADOR – What sets your company apart from the others?
Our slogan reads “WE ARE NOT THEM.” Every time I would open my Instagram I would see a new clothing brand on my feed. Whether it was just t-shirts, hoodies, or bikinis. There was always a brand jumping the bandwagon.
But what I realized is that after 2-3 months or so, most of these brands would stop posting and they would stop selling products or become less active. This was very common and even till this day most clothing brands would appear with a funky name and a funky design and then disappear. This is because the owners believe that this is an easy industry to enter with a quick turnover and are not willing to take the long-term route.
The flame they once started is quickly burnt out because they aren’t willing to suffer the struggles for their brand. Everyone had this craze to write on their Instagram bio – “owner / co-founder of X" to somehow give themselves an authority or establish a certain image of themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but if you are naming yourself an owner of your work, then you should go beyond the countless failures and disappointments in your brand before even seeing the first ray of light at the end of the tunnel. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” NADOR sets apart from the others because for the first time it takes into consideration the latest trends/fashion accessories and fuses them in daily clothing garments (whether that be using paper clips, metal chains, studs, buckles, zips , paint splatter to trialling the best material such as wool, linen, satin and leather). All the designs are in-house and sourcing the best fabrics and not only just men’s or just women’s we design for both women and men giving us the flexibility to ensure everyone can be a part of NADOR; from men’s tracksuits to women’s bodysuits and dresses. We use the similar materials that many other big brands like Balmain, Alexander Wang and Prada use. Careful inspection of each product, hand packed and delivered without the hefty price tag. That is NADOR. We pay a lot to attention to the social media side of things. We ensure the content we create is something different yet urban. I tell our models during video shoots not to smile and to maintain a stern face during the video, to show dominance, prestige, and strength. Something that I strive for our customers to feel.
Prices vary from product to product but we ensure that when we price our products they are affordable whether you are a student or whether you work part time hours.
We set a price where one doesn’t need to break the bank to look regal and luxury. We offer free worldwide shipping on orders over £35. We portray the luxury look for everyone not just the minority. Everyone deserves that feeling and we are a brand that provides that emotion to every single person.