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Diversity in Business

Empowering Women Through Fashion

Photo: Courtesy of Alissa Lapinsky

Lisa Vogl’s brand is much more than just an online clothing store. Verona Collection is all about taking pride in Muslim identity — something that’s increasingly needed in today’s political climate.

“My motivation stemmed from the desire and passion to give Muslim women, and women in general, the confidence to be proud of who they are, and how they choose to dress,” explains the 36-year-old Michigan native and single mom.

“We live in an era where Islamophobia is on the rise, and many Muslim women have taken their hijab off out of fear. No one should ever feel intimidated because of who they are, and what they believe in.”

An untapped market

In 2015, Vogl teamed with Alaa Ammuss to launch Verona Collection, which offers modest dresses, tops, cardigans and pants.

“A few months before I converted to Islam, I began wearing the hijab,” says Vogl. “I suddenly realized how difficult it was to find clothing that was modest, fashionable and affordable, without having to wear many layers. My struggle went on for several years, and I knew that if I was having this need, many others would be as well.”

Working with a retail giant

Verona Collection was given the opportunity to collaborate with Macy’s after completing a workshop in 2017. The Islamic clothing line debuted in 2018. Vogl says the partnership with Macy’s has helped her company expand and improve.

“We’re very grateful we began our partnership at Macy’s, which has a program aimed at women and minority businesses. Even after participating in the program last year, Macy’s has worked closely with us, and continued to mentor and guide us through the process.”

Supplier diversity

Vogl believes investing in diverse companies is an ethical choice that makes smart business sense.

“Our products are geared toward the Muslim and modest-dressing consumer, which is a minority group in America but has enormous consumer spending power.

“It’s also important, as a company, that we make a conscious effort to market our products with a diverse range of models. Although our consumer is typically Muslim, women of many ages and ethnic backgrounds shop with us, so we try and make sure everyone is represented.”

Cindy Riley, [email protected]

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