Female entrepreneur Hayat Rachi is on her way to becoming a big name in fashion, but her path to success has not always been clear and free of obstacles. The young Moroccan woman‘s drive as Founder and CEO of feminist lingerie brand Neon Moon has resulted in a successful project aiming to empower women.
Hayat grew up on a council estate and was bullied in school. Ignoring her peers’ hurtful words, the young woman became the first person in her family to go to university, getting a First Class BSc from Kingston. Upon graduation, she worked hard to get into the fashion industry without any formal education. However, Hayat soon grew tired of the sexualisation and objectification of women, as well as the shameless overusing of Photoshop in advertisements. She got the idea to set up her own brand, Neon Moon, to challenge the standards set for women in the fashion and lingerie industries.
Neon Moon aims to overcome the issue of bullying that Hayat had experienced, by creating a line of realistic lingerie for everyday women. Neon Moon designs and distributes nonconformist lingerie for women around the world. The company strives to create lingerie that empowers women in all phases of womanhood, fostering confidence. Rachi and Neon Moon wish to change the fashion and lingerie industry by catering to women of all sizes, ethnicities, and body types. Neon Moon will continuously highlight what women truly look like, and none of the models will be photoshopped or edited. Neon Moon offers alternative, colourful yet comfortable bras and knickers with names like Coucou, Bof, Tactac and Non.
Rachi says, “Ultimately the story behind Neon Moon is to not make women insecure, but to encourage all to seek more beyond what society says are ‘flaws’. Neon Moon doesn’t place pressure on women; instead, we design and sell intimate garments that young and mature women can comfortably, and confidently wear. It’s important for women to not compare themselves to unachievable standards of ‘beauty’, but to succeed in their own way, and not purely out of the male gaze,” says Rachi.
With the support of The Prince’s Trust, the young entrepreneur set about creating a lingerie brand inclusive to all, and went on to successfully launch Neon Moon on Kickstarter. Neon Moon had gone viral, to a point where Zooey Deschanel and George Takei where endorsing the brand. Tish Weinstock from i-D magazine interviews Hayat and says, ‘…but before you cry “WTF?!” and list off the many other ridiculous so-called “feminist” inventions that have found their way onto your screen, you should probably listen to what she has to say, because she’s actually got a point’. The London-based lingerie brand is appealing not only because of its style, but its sustainable fabrics and feminist manifesto. Hayat’s policy is to not shy away from representing the natural beauty and diversity of women. The brand’s aim is to empower women through portraying them as they are, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexuality, body shape or size. The models are barefaced and not retouched. Because of their unique and revolutionary ethical stance, Neon Moon have received a great amount of exposure in the media, and amazing support on social media.