Heblayo: the online start-up revolutionizing Somali fashion retail

Heblayo2Summer 2014 has seen the official launch of Heblayo, a London based online fashion and lifestyle retail brand aimed at fashion forward women with a love for traditional Somali clothing.

The team behind the brand have set themselves a challenge to shake up the traditional clothing industry by combining technology and modern retailing to bring the Dirac shopping experience to the 21st century. The online retailer has launched their new website with a collection of Diracs and Sheed/Baati’s.

A Dirac (pronounced Dira’) is a vibrant and colourful garment traditionally worn by Somali women for special occasions such as weddings and parties. And Sheed/Baati, depending on the regional Somali dialect, is the everyday version of the Dirac worn at home.

The online retailer was the brainchild of a cluster of Somali entrepreneurs with industry expertise in retail, finance and eCommerce.  These individuals were intrigued that in this day and age, with an ever-growing presence of the Somali Diaspora in the UK and the rest of the world, household brands in the fashion and retail sector that cater to this untapped establishing demographic are non-existent.

Heblayo webpage

With the abundance of high street brands offering modern western fashion with an overwhelming choice of styles to suit all tastes, the founders realised there is a gap in the market catering to the Diaspora Somali women who would like to buy a Dirac from a shop that offers similar standards to those famous high street retailers. Thus the idea of Heblayo was born.

Heblayo is a Somali word, which is used as a term of endearment when referring to a common female friend without mentioning her name.

Heblayo5The mission was to do without the need for expensive shopping trips to Dubai or long commutes to unglamorous parts of town and deal with nature’s elements of rain, wind and pollution to markets and small fabric shops.

The team understands the challenges faced by Somali women when shopping for their traditional clothing and were determined to change the status quo.

Their in-house buyers source and hand pick the items sold on Heblayo, so their customers can sit back, relax and browse in comfort and have their items delivered to their home or work within a couple of days.

Heblayo caters to the modern Somali shopper, the forward thinking busy woman who is internet savvy and could do with the simplification of her shopping experience when it comes to traditional Somali clothing.  Somali women deserve a place that they can buy all their Diracs from, without having to step out of their homes. The aim is to be your hub of Somali fashion.

If the prospect of buying contemporary Somali fashion at the click of a button entices you, hop on over to the website. Heblayo.com offers a range of Diracs that will have you wondering why you ever left the house for wedding shopping in the first place.

By Heblayo