Meet Cleo Hot Shot 2018: Tati Hani & Farah Hani
TATI HANI & FARAH HANI, 27 & 25, Brand Director And Creative Director of Hani Mokhta
On Farah: Earrings, Bremen Wong; top, Farah’s own. On Tati: Printed sweater, GP & J Baker x H&M; velour pleated skirt and earrings, Tati’s own.
Malaysian fashion duo Farah Hani and Tati Hani are redefining #SisterGoals with their goal to bring a new breath of femininity and a modern touch to traditional bridal-wear with their brand, Hani Mokhta. Sisters at heart and partners by vocation, they ventured into the world of fashion at a young age—now they’re ready to embark on a new chapter, doing what they love, together.
Tell us a little bit about what you do. Briefly tell us about the journey to – and within – your own brand?
Farah Hani: I went to fashion school knowing that fashion design was what I wanted to do — it was an exhilarating and exhausting 3 year experience. After graduating with a diploma in Fashion Design & Technology, I continued to gain experience with the likes of Alia Bastamam and Mimpikita, as well as Hawthorne & Heaney in London. As the Founder & Creative Director of Hani Mokhta, my goal is to bring a new breath of femininity and a modern touch to traditional bridal-wear.
Tati Hani: Upon graduating from Raffles Design Institute with an Advanced Diploma in Fashion Marketing, I went on to work with fashion powerhouse, Louis Vuitton before my 6-year stint with homegrown local brand, Mimpikita. As Co-Founder and Brand Director of Hani Mokhta, I’m responsible for conceptualising ideas to visualising Hani Mokhta’s brand identity and the creative direction of the brand. It’s still a work in progress but our goal is to establish Hani Mokhta’s name in the industry as a bridal fashion house and a womenswear brand with a woman-centered design aesthetic.
Since venturing into the world of fashion together at a young age, our respective fashion journey has empowered us to share our passion and story through renewed energy and spirit. Now, we’re ready for the next chapter of growth, challenges, the wins and losses, and everything else in between.
What has been the most rewarding thing throughout the process of starting up your own brand?
TH: The brand means everything to us. It’s our name AND our dad’s name on the door, so I guess it’s like having an extension of our family. I’m very protective of what we do but I always allow myself to grow as an entrepreneur in order to let the brand flourish and explore new ideas.
FH: Happiness is essential to us, which is why we chose to do what we love while making a bride’s dream come true. It won’t be easy but we’re happy, because we wake up every day knowing that no matter what happens, we are doing our best.
How can a person in your position, press for progress in an industry like yours?
TH: Our goal at Hani Mokhta is to be transparent and share with other women how real brides can or should look like. We hope to share our own struggles and insecurities, in hopes of creating a common ground and a shared experience, thus redefining the idea of traditional bridal wear.
Who are your favourite female authors? Why?
FH: My current favourite female author would be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie is real and she addresses many current issues and stories on human and gender rights that I’m sure a lot of women can relate to.
But to really understand Adichie’s point, you’ll have to read ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ . In this personal yet universal book, Adichie lays the groundwork for a new, more inclusive form of feminism—one that doesn’t leave anyone out.
TH: Too many! Emma Straub, Lena Dunham, Jami Attenberg and more. I’m a sucker for female reads and fiction, especially the new generation of fiction depicting women in their careers, juggling work-life balance just like the rest of us!
What does empowerment mean, to you?
FH: To forgive your past, and know that you are enough and capable of spreading good around you. And by spreading kindness, know that it’s not about what you can expect in return but rather about how it will affect those around you positively.
One flaw you’ve embraced and turned into strength?
FH: Taking criticism personally, instead of constructively. I’m slowly learning that criticism can lead to lessons, but I must remember to not let it crush me. It’s a continuous process of telling myself to be resilient enough to keep moving forward no matter the personal setbacks, and even insults, that come our way.
TH: Women often struggle to embrace their identity but empowerment to me, is being able to celebrate one’s unique self and your undeniable bravery.