It all started in 2016 when our co-founder Youssef struggled to find pieces in the fashion industry that truly represented him. When it came to styling his outfits he could only find fashion brands that either represented nothing or pillars of life that didn't align with what meant most to him. Let me hand you over to him so he can complete the story...
Our Story ( Told in Youssef's voice )
Hey Guys, My name is Youssef, Co-founder of Zidouri. Let me tell you how it all began. I honestly just felt a little isolated when it came to the fashion industry. I was finally finding my mojo when it came to fashion but i could never find a brand or pieces that could truly represent me as a teen muslim. I wanted to wear something that said something that held true to my heart and i could speak about it if someone asked. My friends were rocking anime merch or a variety of other pieces that they could truly hold dear to their heart.
The only T-shirt i possessed that truly represented me was a bqr t shirt (See below). BQR were a bmx group and i loved that shirt because i felt like i was part of the bqr team even though i was absoloutely trash at bmxing but it didn't matter. When i wore the shirt to lady bay skate park people loved it and we spoke about bqr with the other friends who rode bmx with me. It was so weird that a £9.99 t-shirt did so much for my confidence and ability to express who i was. Even though that was great, there was never an opportunity for me to express my identity as a muslim. like really express it. We could wear thobes at Eid or to taraweeh and that gave you a little buzz in itself but that was always to other muslims and back in 2016 times were still a little hostile and i couldn't exactly wear a thobe to a skate park and feel confident.
Luckily it wasn't just me that felt this way, all my friends felt the same and even my younger sister had the same problem. That's when Zidouri was born. Well it wasn't actually born, it was just born in my brain, let's say i got pregnant with the idea. I would always picture cool things, mainly to do with BMX funnily enough, like what if a cool bmxer wore something arabic, that would be the marriage of the century for my identity. I spoke to my friends about it and they all loved the idea. We always joked about how Zidouri (my second name) sounded like a brand name in itself. i quickly realised that this didn't just have to be a figure of my imagination and we could actually make it happen if we just put two and two together.
It was internet time for me so i just went out there on a learning spree amongst battling my first year of my biochemistry degree. It was such a beautiful escape to just login and build the website or think of colour schemes for the brand instead of figuring out why oxygen binds to nitrogen in the way it did. I started to think of logo ideas and names for the brand and i just couldn't think of anything too great until a friend of mine asked me what is the brand supposed to do. I said it's to represent us as muslims. He said well call it after your name since its a representing thing, it only makes sense. I quickly remembered us laughing about naming the brand Zidouri and was like hey, lets do it. It sounded right and what was even cooler, is it actually made sense because of the brand identity.
This is where things got busy. My good friend Rusydi (See face below), a seriously good graphic designer opted to make the logo for me, free of charge. I was a bit bamboozled but i said let's do it! I'll tell you the story of the logo another time, as it's quite an interesting one. Aadam got to work on the website and i started sourcing the clothing and what the first collection would be. I kept thinking what identifies you, what is truly a measure of your identity and i couldn't escape the fact it was your name. The custom name collection was born!