- A number of celebrities have taken a liking to the latest fashion item that also addresses their privacy needs.
- The scarf, designed by a London-based company, Ishu, ruins photos taken with a flashlight, making the person wearing the scarf appear as a dark shadow.
- The scarf has since been worn by A-listers including Paris Hilton, Beyoncé, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Cameron Diaz, Chance the Rapper and Trevor Noah.
- W24 chats to one of the founders of Ishu, Saif Siddiqui, about how the scarf came about and the other products the company offers.
It's no secret that the more famous you become, the less privacy you have, especially when you are a Hollywood A-lister. The paparazzi are known to follow the famous, denying them privacy. Hence, celebrities are always on the lookout for ways to enjoy private time away from prying camera lenses.
So it's no wonder the Ishu scarf is fast becoming a celeb favourite, with the likes of Paris Hilton, Beyoncé, French Montana, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Cameron Diaz, Chance the Rapper, and Trevor Noah having tried it out.
The scarf, designed and sold by London-based company Ishu, was also featured by Wendy Williams and Drew Barrymore on their shows.
But what's all the rave about? "Here today, gone tomorrow" is a phrase that comes to mind when trying to explain why the scarf is so important and deserving of so much hype. It's more than a piece of clothing - so much more.
The scarf blocks out your image, causing you to appear as a black shadow when someone uses a flashlight to take a picture of you. At best, the image will be so dark that it will be unusable.
"Night club here we come" could be the new chant from celebs. It costs upwards of $250 (R3 500) for the ready-made range. The prices for the basic range go up to $500 (R7 000), and custom designs depend on clients' specifications.
On its site, the company says it believes it has the opportunity to use its knowledge and understanding of solar power "to help people transform their lives through protection from digital privacy intrusion to clever solar solutions". It uses light in innovative ways to produce clothing and accessories that are stylish and functional.
This is a well-thought-out (and need we say genius) concept that serves an essential purpose for celebrities (besides aesthetics). But who are the brains behind it?
W24 spoke to one of the co-founders of Ishu, which prides itself on being a disruptive technology provider in fabrics, wallpaper and stickers, among other service offerings.
Ishu is the brainchild of Saif Siddiqui and his co-founder Saad Farooq. Speaking to W24, Saif, a Dutch-born entrepreneur who has been living in London for 15 years, says he's been inventing products since the age of 14 and has launched a few businesses since then.
Like most of us, Saif is not a fan of when random people take pictures or videos of him in a restaurant or club.
"I didn't want to be in the background of someone Snapchat or Instagram story that I don't know. I realised we had lost our sense of privacy since the evolvement of mobile phones and social media. I wanted to create a product that anyone could hold or wear to ruin pictures, so they would not be good enough to post," says the entrepreneur.
Therefore, Ishu was conceptualised and launched to address such issues in 2016. The company's products, the scarf in particular, have slowly been accepted by numerous celebrities who understand the value of privacy and experience the problem more than everyone else.
From there on, the media picked it up as a few A-listers started wearing the Ishu scarf when leaving clubs or restaurants.
"The scarves are handmade and are slightly more expensive as products are handmade with sustainable fabrics. We take pride in the quality of the products and offer a lifetime guarantee on the quality. If customers have any problems, they can always reach out, and we replace products for our customers," says Saif.
The brand is more than the privacy, and anti-paparazzi functions, Saif says of his business, which is fast becoming a household name among A-listers.
"At the core of the brand is well-designed technology fashion products. We are not a fast fashion brand with just basic items with prints or graphics. The main aim is to create products that help people more than just [making] a fashion statement," says Saif.
"We believe that technology can be merged with fashion like never before that could help people in their everyday lives. Our new collections [that are] launching will show some cool new features."
Ishu also produces hoodies, T-shirts, jackets, and accessories, such as cellphone cases, bags and hats. In addition, they produce tech products, such as wireless chargers, battery packs and solar products.
"We do a lot of custom items for customers who reach out to us to create one-off items for them," says Saif, adding that they ship globally.
Saif says there's a need to help heal the world of its many challenges.
"There are many problems in this broken world we currently live in. One big problem we aim to provide a solution for in 2022 is providing a solution to a global problem: energy poverty. There are currently 1.2 Billion people suffering from energy poverty," he says.
"We believe with our new products, which we aim to launch in the next 12 months, we can help people in less fortunate regions by providing well-designed lights and solar-powered products for the world."
With every online purchase (www.theishu.com), Ishu donates solar panels and solar lights to regions that need them most.
Would you buy an Ishu scarf? Tell us here.