From fashion tips and beauty tricks to dressing modestly as a married Muslim woman, 27 year-old Aqeelah Harron-Ally is one of South Africa’s first fashion bloggers who has genuinely stood the test of time. What started in April 2010 as a simple fashion blog, Fashion Breed was a platform for the young fashion and makeup enthusiast to document her interests, activities and travels. Witnessing everything from her graduation to her marriage as well as her achievements, the blog held up a mirror to her life. Seven years later, the blog and accompanying social media accounts have become a full-time business for Harron-Ally who routinely shares relevant and thought-provoking content with her audience totaling over 49,000 and counting. In 2016, Harron-Ally introduced her followers to her YouTube channel where she also uploads fashion and beauty tutorials.
Describing herself as fashion-forward and well-travelled, it was her very travels to over 30 cities around the globe that directed Harron-Ally to develop and nurture her faith as a Muslim woman. And it is from those experiences that she developed the popular YouTube series titled ‘Cover, Girl’, which offers styling tips and advice for women of faith wanting to dress modestly yet still remain fashionable and on-trend. “While I am not in hijab, I felt I wanted to cover my body more, and as someone who really loves fashion that was really hard at first. But now I love and embrace my style, and through this series I aim to help other women who are starting to cover up to feel the same way,” explains Harron-Ally. “There isn’t nearly enough content online for the girls ‘in the middle’, so to speak, and I wanted to change that. Despite being so niche, it hasn’t held me back in any way and my followers equally consist of modest-dressers and women with an unrestricted sense of style.”
Very much a believer that one should seize every opportunity given them, Harron-Ally is not only a fashion guru, andprofessional makeup artist but also an entrepreneur. Once again following her passion, she designed her own false eyelash range Lashes by Fashion Breed, consisting of six different styles of reusable, false lashes; catering for every women’s lash preference. Harron-Ally says of her business venture: “As a qualified makeup artist, I noticed South Africa was really lacking high quality international standard false eyelashes. Three-dimensional design lashes are fiercely popular overseas and I wanted to be the first to independently introduce them to South Africa. So that is exactly what I did, at half the price, cruelty-free and in a design that can be used around 20 times with proper care.”
With a Media, Film, Writing and Drama degree from the University of Cape Town under her proverbial belt, and after acquiring a makeup qualification from the Smudge Makeup Academy, Harron-Ally gained all the necessary tools of the trade to command her strong online following. With a skills set that covers fashion, beauty and travel advice to lifestyle writing, editing photography and makeup, to TV and radio appearances, it’s no wonder why she’s become so popular with not only her followers but brands alike who appreciate her ‘real girl’ perspective.
Harron-Ally has collaborated with brands such as adidas, Cotton On, Country Road, Refinery, Clinique, KLM Airlines, Five Roses Tea, Sunglass Hut, RimmelLondon, Old Khaki, G-Star RAW, Canal Walk, Cavendish Square, Yardley, Revlon and Optrex; to name only a few.
And if there’s one piece of advice Harron-Ally’s would willingly share with anyone, it would be: “Never before has there been a better and more liberating time to be unapologetically exactly who you are. It is often when we embrace our differences that we are at our best version of ourselves. The world needs real people and real perspectives.”
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