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This Designer and TikTok Star Can Turn a Scarf Into Just About Anything

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vogue– TikTok is largely dominated by trending songs, dance challenges, and overall embracing creativity, but it’s not as well known for its fashion scene. That being said, a stylish community is forming on the app—and Vogue is here to find the most inspiring, and most stylish, creators.

This week’s must-follow account is Claudya Moreira (@claudyamoreira1), a 34-year-old creator based in Lisbon, Portugal. On TikTok, she shows you endless ways to wear and style scarves—she’s found more than 50 ways so far. She has an inventive streak: She can fashion scarves into handbags, skirts, capes, and tops. One of her most popular videos shows her threading a scarf through button holes on a vest to make a belt. Her videos have become so popular that she launched her own scarf brand, Zafia, in September.

Moreira’s love of scarves traces back to her upbringing. “In Cape Verde island, where I was born, elder women wear a scarf tied around their heads so that younger people would know to treat the elder women with the utmost respect,” Moreira says. “When I look back to my childhood, I’ve always had contact with scarves—seeing my grandmother, who raised me, wearing it tied to her hair.” Having always incorporated the accessory into her wardrobe, Moreira then brought her obsession with scarves to TikTok in April, where her styling tips took off. When you can turn a silk scarf into a long-sleeve, asymmetrical crop top, you’re naturally going to get attention.

Since joining the app, Moreira has amassed more than 101,000 followers, all of whom enjoy seeing her find a new way to wear a scarf as clothing. In the beginning, however, she never expected to make that the focus of her page, and at that point hadn’t even launched her brand yet. Instead, she tried the regular TikTok fare, and found it wasn’t working for her. “Being at home and unable to go anywhere [during quarantine], TikTok was definitely a way to distract myself,” Moreira says. “In the beginning, I would just scroll through funny videos and dance challenges—but to be very honest, it did not work for me, especially the dance challenges. And I truly believed that I could dance!”

As her videos started gaining in popularity, she decided to launch Zafia in September. Her graphic prints and vibrant colors still take cues from the scarves that her mother and grandmother wore. “I worship my grandmother, mother, and all the women of my country,” Moreira says. “Zafia is my tribute to the Cape Verde islands, and to all that they gave me.”

Below, Moreira discusses how she finds scarf-styling inspo, what her scarf wardrobe looks like, and her favorite TikTok of all time.

What’s your process for creating TikToks? Where do you get ideas?

I spend one to two hours in front of the mirror almost every day, practicing new ways to tie a knot with a scarf, until it turns into something I like and I would wear. It is very important for me to create a style that people can relate to, therefore I try to be very modest and classy. Once it turns into something I like, I take a photo, save it to my phone, and record it the next day. If I have time, I do it right away. I style the scarf together with an outfit, record it, edit the video, and voilà—upload it onto TikTok and Instagram. I am very inspired by the comments that I receive, so I really have to thank my supporters.

Tell us about your scarf brand. When did you start it and what was the inspiration behind it?

“Crazy.” That’s what they called me for starting a business in the middle of this world pandemic. After creating so many videos on how to tie a scarf, the idea of creating silk scarves from my own brand came to mind. I was very scared, as I had no clue on how to run a business, but I knew without a doubt that I had to combine my creativity and the product, and share it with the world. After four months of doing videos showing people how to style a scarf, I did my own research on starting my own business, as well as an online course on project management. Finally, in September I launched the website where people could have access to Zafia Scarves. I seek with Zafia to bring sophistication and elegance with timeless pieces.

How did you learn to get so creative with your scarf styling?

It’s all about practicing. When you love what you do and you do it with passion, great things happen. I research a lot and spend hours every day just focused on next steps, next stylings, and next creations. I like wearing scarves around my neck, but a top combined with a suit is by far my favorite.

How many scarves do you think you own in your closet?