Episode 3 is about Filipina fashion retailer Norhani Pacasum.
Norhani is the CEO of Ziya Inc., a fashion retail business in The Philippines.
Ziya is one of the pioneers on the bohemian fashion concept, fusing ethnic and contemporary elements into wear and accessories.
In 2012, Ziya bucked the trend of sourcing clothes from foreign countries by pooling together a creative team with one goal – to design and produce original Philippine-made collections reflecting the global market today.
Norhani started her business when she walked into a mall and asked if the mall had space that she could lease and that was how Ziya, her fashion business began in 2004. She started with a clear and distinct vision of what she wanted the style and concept to be. She didn’t want to play it safe; she wanted a bold and strong style that didn’t blend in the with the crowd.
In this episode, you will hear how Norhani and her business were in a dark place when the coronavirus lockdown started in Manila.
Personally, she was fearful but she decided she was going to find the silver lining in this period of uncertainty. Eventually, Norhani and her team found ways to overcome their fears and even started to put effort into sewing PPE suits for their medical frontliners.
Interestingly, they even launched a new range for women who were working from home. Their online sales surprised them and sustained the brand during this pandemic.
Norhani also does things a little differently from other fashion retailers – she maintains her own sewing team which is uncommon.
Hailing from Marawi City, at the southern part of the Philippines, she initiated a fundraising sales for the victims of the 2017 Marawi siege. For her company’s efforts in serving the internally displaced persons in Marawi City, Ziya was given recognition by the provincial government of Lanao del Sur in December 2017.
Norhani also started the Ziya Artisan project, a design collaboration with Maranao women weavers from her hometown who were affected by the siege. She is extremely proud of the langkit, a colourful fabric woven by the Maranao women which she uses in her fashion, accessories and products.
Norhani often wears her own bohemian attire and she is truly the brand of the company.
She is a business management graduate of the University of the Philippines, Diliman with a visual merchandising certificate from the Retail Academy Singapore and has visited Malaysia, having represented The Philippines at the DMDI Islamic International Fashion Festival in Melaka in 2010.
Follow her and her brand