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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Spoiler Alert

How a new garment has changed the way celebrities guard their privacy

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Updated: July 13, 2016 12:00:14 am
Singer Bluey Robinson in an ISHU scarf Singer Bluey Robinson in an ISHU scarf (

IT’S not easy being a celebrity. Especially if you have just stepped off an airplane, looking suitably groggy and not quite your best. The last thing famous actors, models and the like need at such a time is a camera pointed at them. For the paparazzi, airport arrivals and entrances to cafes and restaurants are ideal photo-hunting grounds. But Saif Siddiqui, a Dutch-born entrepreneur of Indian origin, has found a way to beat them, the flash and block the photographs, and he’s doing it in style. From Paris Hilton, Cameron Diaz and Kanye West to international soccer players and popular television hosts, they are all wrapping themselves in the ISHU scarf designed by Siddiqui, which makes them literally invisible in photographs.

Made using reflective material, the monochrome patterned scarves (priced at £289) bounce off the flash, making the face dark and invisible. While there have been instances of reflective clothing being launched in the past — Los Angeles-based DJ Chris Holmes designed The Anti-Paparazzi Collection last year, as did Indian designer Kunal Rawal with a range of jackets and kurtas — Siddiqui’s collection has been a hit among celebrities.

“The ISHU, a take on the word ‘issue’, was launched in October 2015. I spent six years on the product. They are handmade in Tokyo and London,” says Siddiqui, who studied at GD Goenka Public School in Delhi before moving back to Holland in 2001. The idea to create the scarves, he adds, came from a photograph that was ruined by a bike reflector when he was in Amsterdam. “I thought it would be cool to be able to ruin all pictures people try to take of you without your approval. The ISHU gives control over who takes a picture of you,” says Siddiqui, who runs the label under his company, Access All Brands. He has also introduced ties, pocket squares and phone covers that work on the same concept.

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