Subhi Taha is both hilarious (if you’ve seen his videos, you know what I mean) and determined – with a brilliant minimalist aesthetic. As a social-media influencer & entrepreneur, he shares his experiences and guiding values that have led him to where he is today.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Hey y’all! So I was born & raised out in Dallas, Texas! I’m half Palestinian & half Filipino, that’s probably where majority of my cultural influences stem from outside of my American identity. I studied Visual Communication in college and worked professionally in graphic design as well as art direction for social media.
I’ve recently began delving into the fashion side of design, I ended up taking a break from the corporate world to work on that skill and alhamdulillah was able to (finally…) launch my clothing line a few weeks back. I also wanted to re-develop my personal social media presence in this time I’m calling my ‘creative break.’
What is the earliest memory you have?
My earliest memory…I’ve literally never thought about that so this is honestly life changing!! The farthest I can go (for now) is headstart, in the States that’s right before you start actual school so I was around age 3-4. I vividly remember my teachers, having to wait in line to brush my teeth, laying down in the dark for nap time on our trampoline-like beds, and dressing up as a pirate for halloween. It was lit.
It seems that you’ve branched out into a whole range of different things, notably fashion, while still making hilarious videos, and sharing meaningful blog posts about being Muslim & more. Is there a unifying vision behind all the new content you’re putting out there & areas you’re branching into?
That’s really why I wanted to spend time re-working my personal social media presence because I do have a pretty good following and for years I think I took that for granted. But every time I’d sit with my aunts or uncles, I’d get the same talk about why I need to take advantage of my platform & that God is giving me an opportunity to positively influence the Muslim community and I’m just throwing it away.
That spoke to me because I thought back to my youth and wondered how things would’ve been if I had a “Muslim role-model” to look up to on social media. So when working through how I’m going to be establishing my system to my channels, I realized how all over the place I was getting. I started off with comedy, I work in design, I post a lot about fashion, I often talk about my faith as well as address current events and social issues…it was getting messy. But I didn’t want to drop any areas & eventually realized it’s really all just things going on in my life.
So essentially my ‘unifying vision’ became just sharing my life with the world—talking about what’s going on with me, what thoughts are in my mind, what projects I’m working on, my perspectives on things, and most importantly – how I apply my faith to all those areas.
I really hope to inspire and motivate others to adapt a life sustained through God and find the truest form of happiness in doing so. I’ve been blessed to have found and adopted that lifestyle and I want to share that with everyone.
One area I hope to get more into soon is the humanitarian aspect of social media. I speak a lot to issues going on in the world but haven’t been able to really effect change on a larger scale, not just post about it. So that’s my next goal ensha’Allah!
What are you working on at the moment that you are most excited about?
Definitely my clothing line! Alhamdulillah the website went live a couple weeks ago and it went really well! The chaos just now started to die down a bit, but it’s all worth it! It’s been one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do but never really pushed myself to just do it. And whether or not it’s successful or is something I even want to continue pursuing in the long run; I can say I did it and won’t have that regret of not trying.
Another project I’m really excited about is my blog! It launched a few weeks before the line. Essentially my approach with my blog as that it’s the ‘home’ of my social channels. Any content (whether image, video, or writing) I create lives on my blog, and is simply shared via my social channels—everything ties back to the blog. That way I can have a system and organized flow to my content.
How is your clothing line progressing & what is your motivation behind it?
Now that it’s launched and we’ve gotten through the first large round of orders we can start executing marketing strategies and working to getting the name out there. Hopefully start working with influencers that mesh with the brand’s vision and identity.
…the guiding light for the brand is and always will be modesty, a faith-inspired concept.
My motivation behind the line, as it ties back to my faith, is to one: provide truly modest clothing, and two: promote a modest lifestyle. And that’s whether or not people actually wear it for modest reasons or simply like the aesthetic—a good amount of the orders were actually from non-Muslims. But the guiding light for the brand is and always will be modesty, a faith-inspired concept.
How do you feel about ‘modest fashion’?
The thing about modesty (not just in fashion, but as a lifestyle) for me is that it reminds me why I’m here, why I’m on this earth. It constantly reminds me that I don’t belong to anything in this life, not even my body. The only thing that isn’t temporary and will carry on to the next life is my mind/soul. Dressing modestly encourages that idea. It forces people to connect with what’s in your head, in your mind—that’s what you want people to know you for.
Obviously modest clothing is part of our faith and I’d follow that no matter what—but in my search to understanding why God teaches us to dress modestly, that’s where I’ve landed. And I can full-heartedly say that it’s been working. It’s really helped establish a newfound sense of self-confidence. In the time of social media especially where image is everything—it keeps me in check and allows me to remember my mind defines me, not my body. And that’s something that nobody can take away.
Have you ever thought about the legacy you want to leave behind? If yes, what would that be?
I’ve always thought about the concept of your legacy once you pass because so many people live their life striving to make their mark on the world and be known for something. It’s typically rooted in the desire of immortality, creating music, art, or anything that will live on even after you pass. But I never cared so much about that. It never made sense to me because I can guarantee I won’t care about “making my mark” on the world when I’m sitting in my grave. I know that seems dark, but it’s very real!
This life is temporary, I’m here strictly to be tested and counted by deeds which establishes where I’ll live in God’s eternity. So I care less about being known for something, and more about how I affect others in this life. Am I a positive influence? Do I help people find God’s love? Do I encourage people to love and do good? Those are the questions that guide me. Those are the kinds of things that will matter to me when I’m in my grave because those are the deeds that will speak for me on the Day of Judgement. I know this just became a khotbeh speech but that’s just my view!
Have there been any books, movies, travel experiences that have left a significant positive influence on you? If yes, would you like to share?
Without a doubt, my roadtrip through Colorado and Utah back in 2015. That was the first ‘nature’ trip I’d taken as an adult and it was truly life-changing for me. I drove with my mom and sister, hitting as many nature sites as we could—canyons, mountains, rivers, forests, everything.
There’s something about standing in front of these massive sites that made me feel so small and I’d just think if I feel this small in front of a creation of God, I literally can’t fathom the grandness of God Himself. I found a completely new form of love for Him, it was unbelievable. Now these nature trips are mandatory for us. We have to take at least take one roadtrip a year!
When you think of “success” what does that look like, and/or who is the first person you think of?
For me, true success is being able to establish myself financially with my career and being able to help as many people as I possibly can. I won’t feel that sense of success until I see the change I’ve been able to make in others.
The first person I think of, especially under my definition of success, would be the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). I remember learning that the only time he would get mad was when he’d hear of people being mistreated. He fought for equality and dedicated his life to loving others, and by doing so, spreading the love of God. That’s my inspiration.
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By: Subhi Bora