by Sarah Schwarz

Fatima Naveena Abdurajak (photo by Navz)

Glittery, Velvety, Shiny materials with Intricate, Elaborate print patterns are distinct of Tausog fashion and unmistakably a Navz fashion identity.

Fatima Naveena Abdurajak, a Sulu native, embarked on a journey pursuing a career in fashion design leaving behind her desire to be a Nurse.  Perhaps, her artistic inclinations are stronger than the latter.

Growing up, Naveena or Navz already exhibited an interest in the arts. Her fondness for clothing and anything that displays a beautiful aesthetic, was nurtured when she used to hang out in her grandmother’s place.

“What inspired me to become a fashion designer, was the art of applying the design and my own aesthetic to the garments.”

“…my Grandma who was a seamstress where I maybe got my intestines in sewing since my younger age 10. She was the one who taught me how to run the old and manual sewing machine.”

Sahaya, a collection by Navz (photo by Naveena)

In fact, while studying nursing, Naveena indulged in making and designing fashion accessories which turned out to sell well among the girls in the campus, and eventually built an online business which later gained few customers from other provinces.

She decided to shift from nursing to fashion design.

In her graduation fashion show from the Fashion Design School, Navz presented a re- imagined Tausog traditional clothing; beaming with pride, the Sahaya collection is an embodiment of a stylish contemporary Tausog woman. The interesting part of the collection is that they are wearable pieces that can be worn any time, anywhere by any girl.

Carrying her identity as a Tausog, she is enthusiastic about introducing and merging her people’s fashion style with the rest of her countrymen. She aims to preserve their culture through the modern lense. She prefers to make her own print on fabric to make it more unique and personal, at the same time giving her ample freedom to express her artistry.

Naveena, is also a talented photographer and stylist.

“I also find interest in Fashion and Food Photography. Since when I was young, I always love to take photos of my siblings or close friends back then, after doing some fashion styling with them. Yes, I do like styling too.”

Today, Naveena is a member of FaDal or Fashion Designers Alliance (Mindanao); a platform for marketing new and seasoned designers. It also has a unit in Luzon and Manila.

With a good kick- start at her career in FaDal, Naveena envisions herself as a designer representing her province Sulu, and hopes for the future of Southern Philippine ethnic fashion spirit in the country of where they are a minority, to the world.

Sahaya set by Navz worn by model (Photo by Naveena)

“My artworks features fashion designing, styling, and accessories-making inspires me and somehow I’m still dreaming that it would lead me to my dream place—France’s capital city, PARIS not just to visit the place but also to get more inspirations too. I love how their fashion senses, trends, and industry were inspired by art, history and culture which also what emboldened me.

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